A man’s best friend—or woman’s in my case— can be an ideal running companion. Especially, if like me, you have no friends who like to run at 5am. However, before you lace up and leash on, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Even if running or walking with your furry friend is only something you do occasionally, safety for the both of you should be taken seriously.
- Breed: First step is to know your breed. Certain breeds are better suited for running long distances. Ask your vet before you set that mile marker for the two of you. This will better ensure the odds of a safe run for the two of you.
- Hydration: When you grab a bottle for yourself or put on your hydration pack, don’t forget about Fido. He needs water, too. Bring an extra bottle. Your dog would thank you for it if he could talk.
- Weather/Temperature: When running with your dog, you must take into consideration the outside conditions. Pavement gets very hot. Snow with ice melt can hurt their paws. An early morning run, a shaded trail or an after dinner run can all be options for you to consider.
- Moisturize: Just as we moisturize our dry hands and feet, dogs need that love, too. Try using a natural wax product before your runs to protect your dog’s paws from the pavement. My dogs love Mushers, but check out your local pet store for other options.
- Harness: I highly recommend investing in a quality harness when running with your dog. This can alleviate the pulling and it’s gentler on the dog when you do need to pull. They even make a hydration harness/backpack combo for dogs. This is something that is on my list to check out.
- Leash: After almost 15 months of trial and error, I have found that using a leash that can bend and wrap around my wrist is the easiest way for me to control my dog. Trust me, I still rock my Coach all-leather leash on walks, though. My dog has style! I also recommend a leash no longer than 8 feet. This keeps your dog closer to you and not in the way of other runners, or even cars.
Remember, we all need to move for 30 minutes a day. This includes your pets. A run around the yard is great and all, but your dog will love a long-distance run! Try it. Go for a small walk with your dog each night or a quick jog to test it out. If all goes well, gradually work your way up to your desired pace and distance. Before you know it, man’s best friend will be man’s best running partner. Go run.
Joy Adamonis is a local freelance writer, blogger and Beachbody Coach. She is a devoted mom and wife who enjoys living an active lifestyle. Kickboxing, yoga and running have transformed her life and have helped maintain her 75-pound weight loss. She loves a good cupcake, crafting, football and margaritas! Read more from Joy @ www.mysensationalkid.com