ASK YOUR VET FOR THEIR OPINION BEFORE RUNNING WITH YOUR DOG

Not all races of dogs have the same capacity for running! First of all, it is important to make sure your pet is genetically made for moderate exertion for the time you want to run.

Short-legged dogs generally have trouble following humans, even for a slow jog. The same goes for short-nosed dogs who may have trouble breathing and feel faint if they exert themselves too much.

Important: it is not recommended to run with a puppy less than one year old. Make sure the skeleton is mature, which can take up to 20 months for some races, before taking them running. Finally, it is wise to consult your vet who will give your dog a check-up to make sure they are apt for exercise.

GRADUAL PROGRESSION FOR DOGS TOO!

It is one of the basics of running training (for humans): avoid increasing your distance too brutally so that your muscles and tendons get used to the exertion and reduce the risk of injury.

If you decide to run regularly with your dog, the same precautions apply to them.

Warm-up at the beginning of each session by alternating intervals of walking and slow jogging. Your dog will enjoy the liberty and be able to do their business (make sure you always have plastic bags on you and put them in their nearest waste bin).

Set a pace that allows your dog to follow you with making too much effort. It is preferable they pull on the lead, and not the other way round…

Finally, think about getting a harness adapted to traction.

CHOOSE FOREST TRAILS RATHER THAN BITUMEN ROUTES

The forest is ideal for running with your dog! It is preferable to choose routes without any traffic to avoid accidents and protect tendons from impact on bitumen. Running in a natural environment enables your dog to run more freely and will stimulate their sense of smell. Take the following precautions if you take their lead off:

- Make sure your pet respect the most basic commands you give them.

Don't let them get too far away from you. Make sure you can see them all the time to be sure they don't swallow something they shouldn't.

- Make sure there are no small children where you are running, as your dog might frighten them.

running with your dog

BE CAREFUL AND ATTENTIVE WHEN RUNNING WITH YOUR DOG

Dogs need to drink often, particularly if they are exerting themselves. So it's a good idea to stop every fifteen minutes to give your animal a drink. You will need to carry a container – if you haven't taught your dog to drink from a bottle, in a CamelBak for example. Don't make them run in hot weather. And don't forget they don't have shoes! In other words, make sure the ground temperature is tolerable.

It's important  that your dog doesn't eat for at least two hours before going for a run. Dose their food according to exertion and give them extra protein and calcium. Make sure they don't lose or put on weight. If they do, ask your vet for advice and correct their food doses.

One last tip: after your run, make sure your dog has no injuries on their feet and no wounds in danger of infection.

Finally, reward your dog after a good run. They deserve it!

 

Pay attention to your dog's breathing. If they have trouble bringing their heart rate down and are breathless for several minutes, you've probably pushed them too hard.

 

RUN WITH YOUR DOG IN THE SNOW... OR TRY BIKEJORING!

Finally, ski resorts are holding more and more competitions, including in lower mountain ranges. It's a great chance for putting a race bib on your chest and testing the tips in this article.

Races are often quite short, so they don't require extensive training, particularly if you - like most of us - are looking to have fun and push yourself, rather high performance.

Don't use the cold and snow as an excuse for sport hibernation. On the contrary, it's a chance for magical experiences. And when spring comes, you'll be proud to have maintained your fitness level and eliminated the excesses of the festive season.

running with your dog

SOME INTERESTING TIPS