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Running With Your Dog: Safely Take Fido For a Run

Updated: Aug 27, 2023



If you're considering taking your dog on a run, there are a few things you should make sure of before hitting the road.


Running With Your Dog: 10 Things To Do


1. Asses Your Dogs Fitness Level


In order to ensure that your dog is healthy enough for running, consult with your veterinarian. Check your dog for any issues that could worsen with running. Make sure they don't have any orthopedic issues that could worsen from running (such as hip dysplasia).


If your dog is overweight, start a diet and exercise program with the help of a professional as soon as possible. If you have an older dog, start slow! You don't want to push them too hard or they could get hurt.


2. Is Your Dog Up To Date On Immunizations


Make sure your dog is up to date on immunizations and will not be in any danger from diseases picked up from other animals.


3. Is Your Dog Well-Nourished and Hydrated


It's important to check that your dog is well-hydrated and has not been eating anything he/she shouldn't have recently (such as chocolate or grapes).


The last thing you want is for your furry friend to get sick after a long day of running around!


4. Run On The Right Side


Most runners and cyclists are familiar with the concept of running on the left side of the road because of how it's portrayed in movies and tv shows. However, this is not a good idea for your pet. Most people drive on the right side of the road (or path), so that's where you should run if you want to keep everyone safe.


Additionally, many runners will be traveling at speeds similar to yours, so they might not be able to avoid your dog if they dart into their path unexpectedly. And though cyclists can see your pup from far away thanks to their stature compared to yours (so long as you're on flat ground), they can't always anticipate your dog's movements or intentions—and even if they were able to predict them perfectly every time, there's no guarantee they'd know how fast or slow your dog moves relative to them.


Ultimately: Expect the unexpected.


Runners and bicyclists should be aware that dogs may come out of nowhere while they're moving at high speeds; likewise, dogs need room around them so that cars aren't forced off course when making right turns onto crosswalks or driveways.


5. Pacing


Run at a pace your dog can keep up with and consider their age and breed.

  • Know your dog's limits.

  • Don't overwork your dog.

  • Consider their age and breed.


Older dogs may tire more quickly than younger ones, so it's important to monitor their activity level closely. Also, a large breed like a German shepherd should not be put through strenuous running sessions on a regular basis since this can lead to arthritis later in life; but if you're going out for an occasional jog with them now and then (such as during off-leash hours at the park), there shouldn't be any issues with their health—just make sure not to let them run too far off from where you are so that they don't get lost or injure themselves trying to catch up with you!


6. Stay On Sidewalks And Grass


If you're out for a run with your dog, keep them on sidewalks, trails, and grass. Avoid roads and highways because they are more likely to have cars. Also, avoid running on concrete and asphalt as these surfaces are harder on their feet than softer terrain.


7. Carry Water


Carry water and a collapsible bowl with you. As a dog owner, you know that your pet needs water. But it's more complicated than just giving them a bowl of water and being done with it. Not only does your pup need hydration in general, but runners are also at risk for dehydration because of the intense exercise they’re doing—and dogs can become dehydrated too.


If you have any concerns about your pet's behavior during or after training (especially if it involves drinking excess amounts), here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Dogs should be able to drink from bowls without needing help from their owners (except small puppies). If they seem to struggle with this task at all times, they may not be getting enough fluids in their diets—which could cause stress on their kidneys and urinary tract as well as other health issues before long.

  • Be sure to bring plenty of fresh water along on your runs by keeping an extra bottle with you at all times! You should also keep one or two collapsible bowls on hand so that if there is no way to get back home before needing refills on either type of container then those will work instead until such time as running conditions improve within driving distance again."


8. Carry A Light


Use a safety light around your arm or ankle, or attached to the leash, for visibility after dark. Safety lights are a must during early morning and late evening when visibility is low. The easiest way to use them is by attaching them to your dog’s collar or leash. If your dog can’t wear a collar (for example, because they have a harness instead), you could also attach one around your arm or ankle for yourself.


Safety lights come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors; some are battery-operated while others need light from the sun or even from another source in order to glow. They’re typically made out of durable plastic with reflective surfaces that make it easier for cars driving at night to see you and Fido as you run together through dark streets and parks. Choose one that suits your needs based on how much visibility matters when it comes time for an evening jog!


9. Avoid Retractable Leases


Use a leash that won't get tangled easily (refrain from using retractable leashes). If you want to take your dog running with you, then a leash is essential. The leash size should be at least 6 feet long so it doesn't get tangled easily. It should also be comfortable for you and your dog to hold.


You may want to invest in a reflective leash if there are times when it's dark outside and visibility is limited, but this isn't necessary unless you're going on very early morning or late evening runs where there are no street lights.


Leashes tend to get dirty quickly during playtime, so make sure yours is easy to clean (ideally machine washable). Many leashes come with an integrated collar that can also be removed from the main part of the leash when not in use as well as stored away from dirt and grime with ease—this can make caring for them much easier since everything stays together instead of getting lost somewhere inside your home!


10. Paw Protection


Protect your dog's paws with booties if it's cold or hot outside (or there is snow). If your dog's paws are prone to getting cold, consider purchasing a pair of booties.


Booties can be made from neoprene, fleece, or felt and can be purchased at most pet stores. Although it is not necessary to put booties on your dog when you go for a run, if you have experience with snowy winter weather then it may be beneficial to invest in some footwear that will keep their feet warm and comfortable.


When putting booties on your dog, carefully lay them on the ground so that they fit comfortably around their paw size and don't slide off too easily as you walk through the door (or out onto the street). Your pooch may need some practice at walking with these new additions before they get used to how they feel.


It's an easy way to keep those precious pups nice and safe!


Have Fun & Stay Safe


Running with your dog can be fun, but make sure they're ready for the run and use the right equipment to stay safe.


Before you start running with your dog, make sure that he or she is in good shape for the activity. It’s not safe to run with a dog who has health issues such as arthritis, heart disease, or respiratory problems. Your vet can tell you if this is an issue for your pooch.


When it comes to equipment, I always recommend using harnesses rather than collars when running with dogs. A collar can be easily caught on something on the trail and strangle the animal—no fun! In addition, it's important to make sure there's enough room between their chest and the leash so they don't get tangled up in it and trip over themselves.


As for safety for people: I always recommend using reflective gear when out at night so people can see us coming from afar (especially since most trails aren't lit). If we look like a bear cub's daddy from far away, then everyone will know we're coming before getting too close!




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