One of the main things that prevents me from going running as often as I would like is that I prefer not to do it alone. Finding a running partner isn’t easy, especially when you both have commitments and as soon as one of you start to feel demotivated it has a knock-on effect.
So what about the one friend that loves spending time with you whatever you’re doing, doesn’t have a hectic schedule and will always be up for a long run – in fact it’s their absolute favourite thing ever! .. Of course I’m talking about your dog!
Okay so you haven’t got a dog? I am sure you know someone who does – plenty of neighbours or friends will jump at the chance to have a night off from walking the family pooch.
So now you’ve got the motivation and you’ve got your furry running partner. All you need to know are a few tips to make sure the experience is the best it can be for both of you…
1. As you can see from this picture above, my dog has a really thick coat and would absolutely melt into a puddle after a long run, especially in warmer weather. Remember that your dog (as enthusiastic as he/she seems) can get tired and hot during a run, so make sure if your dog is the hairy kind like mine; that he or she rests – especially if you notice that they are getting overheated. Avoid running during very warm weather, wait till the evening when it’s cooler or don’t take your dog with you when it’s just too humid… maybe have a nice walk instead!
2. Think about the surface you will be running on as paws can be quite sensitive especially to hot tarmac, stony or rough surfaces and also beware of rubbish and horrors such as smashed glass. You don’t want your best buddy to end up with an inflamed and infected paw. Wash your pups paws after your run to make sure they are free of debris.
3. Take plenty of water for both of you – you can get some really handy collapsible bowls that are really small and light – for example these ones from our sister store, simply hike.
4. Use a fairly long lead, but avoid extendable ones as they extend too far and you have much less control especially near busy roads and it’s harder to keep your dog away from cars and pedestrians – A harness is usually helpful and you can get aids such as a running belt so you can keep your dog under control and hands free. Make sure your lead is fairly long otherwise your dog is forced to become too close to your feet and may risk being kicked in the face or tripping and this could lead to a trip to the vets for damaged teeth or worse, so best to keep your pet away from your feet and out of harms way.
5. If your running at night or in low light, make sure both you and your pet can be seen. Fluorescent, reflective clothing is ideal and you can get reflective collars and little flashing leds lights for your pet.
6. Talk to your vet about any concerns for your dog’s health. We are always told to consult the doctor before taking up an exercise regime, so consider your pets fitness and make sure they are up to it.
7. Consider your dogs breed – Large working breeds are better at coping with long distances than tiny little pooches. Check out http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/jog.htm for a list of good running companions; see if your breed is listed.
8. Make sure you pick up after your dog – Just because you are on a running mission doesn’t change anything, take bags with you in a running bag/belt.