Dogs love to run everyone knows that, and actually, people love to run too, but somewhere along the way many decide they dislike running. Nevertheless, if you run, or want to start running, make sure and take your dog along with you there are plenty of benefits to doing it.
As always, before starting any new exercise program, please consult with your doctor and your veterinarian. Keep in mind what breed of dog you have as this may effect their ability to take long runs. If you have a pug or bulldog, running may be out of the question because of their nose/breathing situation. Use common sense and do your research when deciding on your canine running partner. Start your pup out on shorter runs like a mile or two and let them work up to longer runs, just as humans do to keep them from getting injured and to build their stamina. During the summer, it is important to also take into consideration what time of day you will run. At peak temperature times you may want to put shoes/socks on your pet to keep from burning their paws. Running at dusk will benefit the two of you as temperatures will also be lower.
Why run with your dog? Here are ten great reasons listed below:
- FUN! Dogs love fun and we love to run. Our enthusiasm will help you enjoy running as well.
- Cardio. Running is a great cardio workout for you and your dog. You will both benefit from getting that heart rate up and pumping.
- Bonding. As with any sport you do with your dog, it helps the two of you bond. It will be something you both learn to do together as a team and look forward to doing.
- Security. Most criminal types will avoid dogs. Why attack a person running with a dog when there are plenty of others running alone. Even a smaller, normally friendly dog may surprise you and suddenly become a guard dog if the occasion should arise.
- No excuses. Human running partners always find excuses not to run – too hot, too cold, something suddenly came up, etc. Dogs never have an excuse not to run unless they are sick or injured.
- Mental stimulation. Running together gets the mind going. The dog needs to pay attention to you and your signals, you need to keep an eye on what your canine running partner is up to, thus keeping your minds busy. The boredom disappears and you no longer have time to think about how much longer or why you shouldn’t keep running.
- Hill and speed drill trainer. Dogs love hills and they love speed drills, the things many runners dread. If you let your dog be your leader, he will show you how to maintain your pace uphill and how to sprint between lamp posts or telephone poles for speed drills. It becomes a small competition between the two of you rather than something you dread.
- Motivation. Dogs don’t start whining about the run being too long or needing to run slower. They are like energizer bunnies and want to keep on running until they get home. You will naturally want to please your dog which means you keep on running too.
- No unnecessary chatter. Dogs don’t talk your ears off about stupid stuff while you run. As a matter of fact, they rarely say a woof. You can talk to us the entire run or say nothing, we don’t care.
- FUN! Did I mention fun? Give it a try. Actually, try running with your pup for a few weeks so you have time to get a routine going. I almost guarantee you, you will both love it and be running partners for life!