Dog jog: how to make the most of your canine running companion

Thinking about starting a running routine and need a reliable partner? A dog jog can be just the right choice for you! Make the most out of a dog jog with these safety tips!

19 March 2018

Sanda

Summer is approaching, and we all want to get in shape. A dog jog is a perfect way to bond with your pet while staying fit. But how do you know if your dog is ready to go for a run? And most importantly: can running be harmful to your dog? No worries: we have the best tips to make the best possible experience out of your dog jog!

5 tips for a safe dog jog 

Whereas some dogs can endure running long distances, others can’t. If you are not sure about your dog’s ability to jog, here are the 5 tips you need:

1. Your dog’s health condition matters

And for a proper dog jog, it does matter how fit your little dog buddy is! Active dogs will find it easy to adopt a regular running routine. Whereas sick or older dogs who struggle with daily exercise, may not make the best running partners! Also, consider that some dog breeds are more inclined to develop various diseases, so make sure to check your four-legged friend’s health condition before every dog jog! A complete checkup will determine whether your dog is ready to start running with you or not.

2. Not all dogs are born runners

Whether your dog is suited for running or not depends on the breed. Some dog breeds find it easier to jog, while others cannot keep up. Before you start jogging with your dog, make sure his body is anatomically suited for jogging long distances. In general, large breeds with long legs have an easier time jogging. Those include:

  • Huskies
  • Australian Shepherds
  • Greyhounds
  • Labradors
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Dalmatians
  • Poodles
  • Border Collies
  • Weimaraners

Dogs with shorter legs and a smaller nose are better off not jogging. Due to their “smashed” face, they will experience problems with their breathing.  Among those are:

  • Pugs
  • Bulldogs
  • French Bulldogs
  • Boxers
  • Pekingese
  • Shih Tzus
  • Corgi
  • Dachshund

jogging and dogs

3. I have a puppy, can he join me for a dog jog?

Both very young and old dogs may find it challenging to jog. In fact, before being able to run properly, puppies need to develop their bone structure sufficiently to ensure their joints are protected. For senior dogs, often affected by various diseases, jogging is not recommended.

In general, puppies under one year should also not go for long walks or runs.

4. When is it ideal to jog with my dog?

Dogs endure hot and cold weather differently. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t jog with your dog when it’s too hot, because the last thing you want is for your dog to experience a heat stroke! Remember that dogs have fewer sweat glands than us and they can’t shake off the heat like we do! Try to jog early in the morning or late in the evening, when the temperatures drop and the sun isn’t at its highest point. The best advice is to test your dog’s jogging endurance during different temperatures. Keep a diary, or use the Tractive Dog Walk app to keep track of each dog jog. Thanks to the screenshot feature, you can make your own jog diary and fill it with the most amazing shots you can capture! Is your dog weather-sensitive and you’re not sure whether he will fully respond to your commands? Equip your dog with a Tractive GPS Tracker on his or her collar. This way, you’ll be prepared for unexpected behaviour and reactions of your pooch, which will give you extra safety and peace of mind when jogging with your dog!

Discover Tractive GPS

5. How to jog better with your dog: accessories and equipment 

Hot weather is not always the issue. Sometimes it may be too cold for you and your dog to jog, whereas other times, the right equipment provides you with extra safety. Dogs who are not used to being around other people can easily get distracted by new sounds and outdoor voices to the point of starting to follow them. Is your dog used to wearing a dog leash? Does he listen, distraction-free, to your commands? If the answer is yes, nothing stands in the way of a shared running experience. Nevertheless, before you start running with your dog, it’s important to teach your dog the right commands while in standing pose or during walking. 

Choose the perfect dog harness or suit: A comfortable harness attached to a long and flexible leash can make the perfect dog accessory for jogging. The leash can be 1.5 to 2 meters long. Ideally, you could tie the leash around your waist. This way, it will provide freedom for upper body movements while running.

Do’s and don’ts for a successful dog jog

dog-jog-tractive

Want to get the best out of your dog jog? Make sure you follow these simple do’s and don’ts:

DO’S

DON’Ts

  • Always do a little warm-up before the run: start with walking for a few minutes.
  • Start your running routines gently and intensify step-by-step. Physical condition is built up over time, both for human and dogs.
  • Carry water for you and your dog and take short breaks for optimal hydration. Consider weather conditions and suitable gear such as a harness for your dog. During winter, some breeds will need extra equipment, such as a dog jacket for winter or doggie shoes.
  • Train your dog properly before going for a jog outside. Teach him various commands and build trust with him.
  • Running together is teamwork! Even if you’re “the boss”, always treat the needs of your furry friend as a priority! Give your dog time to release before starting to run.
  • After meal dog jog? Better not! This could lead to gastric dilatation or bloating, which can be life-threatening to your dog.
  • No snacks policy during the run! It’s not about being strict, but it’s about protecting your dog against any choking risk.
  • Your dog first! Are you a marathon runner? Very ambitious of you. Nevertheless, your dog may not feel like running a marathon every day. So make sure to take his needs and abilities into consideration when deciding the pace and length of your runs.
  • Never go for a run while it’s hot outside. Both of you can suffer from heat stroke. Alternatives to hot weather can be running through the forest or staying in the shadow, or even better, early in the morning and late in the evening.

Safety tips first, but then ready, set, go!

Many dog lovers feel that dogs are, by far, the best running partners. Why so? To begin with, dog breeds who are genetically suited for running will run anywhere and at any time, because dogs love rituals and will get used to it very quickly. Secondly, these dogs will never complain about the weather and will motivate you to run on a daily basis. Most importantly, running dog breeds are always happy to be your companion for jogging and their enthusiasm is often contagious.

Always remember, dog jogs are not suitable for every dog breed. If you’re the lucky owner of a bigger breed, which is suitable for jogging, you should definitely give it a try. The results might surprise you!


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