I love running with my canine companion. It’s a nice change of pace and with a little planning, you can run with your dog, too!
One of my favorite things to do is run with my dog. She’s a great companion and makes running really enjoyable. Over the last two years of running together, we’ve learned to match our stride and read each other’s body language. I know that the first half mile will include a lot of sniffing and lolly-gagging. I also know she’ll have to answer nature’s call within the first mile.
But running together didn’t come easily. It took time and patience. And almost as important, it took the right tools to make it comfortable for everyone. A run can only be as good as the runners are comfortable, and who wants to run when they’re uncomfortable? Canines included.
If you’re considering running with your canine companion, there are five things you should have to make it fun and appealing for all.
5 Tools for a Successful Run with a Canine Companion
Using a harness for running is a lot more comfortable, and quite a bit safer, for your dog than a collar. Harnesses make it easier to control your dog, too. There are lots of different options for harnesses depending on what kind of dog you have. Is she a puller? Does he stop suddenly and dramatically? Perhaps you’re interested in canicross (which is a whole different ballgame). Choosing the proper harness is very personal and there are a lot of options to choose from. Do a little bit of homework and research and find what works best for you.
2. Hands-free leash
Before I caved and got a hands-free leash, I used our regular “walking” leash for runs with my dog. It was fine and got the job done, but it was too long and more often than not, one of us would inevitably trip over it. The hands-free leash was a game-changer and I highly recommend getting one. It makes running with dogs much more manageable and fun.
We use the Tuff Mutt Hands Free leash.
Humans need water. Dogs need water more. I can easily finish a 6-miler without hydrating but my dog cannot. Please make sure you run with water when you take your canine companion with you. I usually fill one bottle for my waist belt and that’s plenty to get us through a 4-mile run.
I run with my Nathan Trail Mix hydration belt when I run with my dog.
4. Training treats
Training treats are handy on the run for a few reasons. First, they’re good for their intended purpose — training. Second, they’re a good tool to use if your running buddy gets easily distracted. And third, they’re a good source of fuel for your pup. My dog can run for a while without fuel, but sometimes it’s nice to bring a little snack along. It keeps things fun and interesting for them. Don’t feed your dog too many treats on the run, though. You don’t want to upset her tummy!
My dogs like Pet Botanics Training Treats for training and running!
5. Paw protection
Paw protection isn’t always necessary but if you live and run in harsh conditions (i.e. ice and salt covered roads), you may want to consider using paw protection for your canine companion. Having the coating between the yucky salt and the pads on the dog’s paws can mean the difference between a short, awful run, and an enjoyable, longer one.
We use Musher’s Secret in the winter for running on salt covered and icy roads.
Running with a canine companion can be so much fun. A little forethought and preparation can make running with a dog that much more enjoyable for all involved. I love running with my girl and look forward to our running time together!
Do you run with a dog?
Have you ever run canicross?
P.S. I runfess that I forgot it was runfessions this week… It’s been a long week, mmkay? #facepalm. I runfess I’m linking up with Marcia anyway. 🙂
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