How to start running with your dog

Posted by Argos, 13 January 2023.

Whether you’re a lover of running or you’ve reluctantly chosen to take it up as part of your ‘new year, new you’ hobby, we’re here to tell you that running with your dog will make the experience much more enjoyable. But there are a few things to consider before you go on a run with your four-legged friend, and we’ve gathered together all you need to know right here.

Can I run with my dog?

Running with a dog can have great positives for both the dog and its owner, it comes with the advantage of maintaining a good level of fitness, whilst also benefiting mental health and wellbeing. The sights and smells that your dog is introduced to during a run or walk can help lower anxiety and allows them the opportunity to unleash their energy. However, this isn’t the same for every dog and can vary depending on the breed, age and personality of your pooch. These are the key things to think about before getting started.

Dog breed: Not all can perform high impact activities

It’s important to remember that some dog breeds struggle with medical issues which may affect their ability to run. Breeds with flat faces, also known as short-nosed breeds, are much more likely to struggle when doing high-impact activities such as running. We would recommend doing some research on the breed of your dog and having them checked by your vet before you plan to run with them.

Age: What age can you start running with your dog?

So, at what age can you start running with your dog? If you own a puppy, you should wait until they’re fully grown before they accompany you on a run. Running as a puppy can cause injuries, but you can try other low-impact exercises with them whilst they begin to mature. If you have an older dog it may also be worth making sure they aren’t experiencing any joint issues or problems that could be worsened by running, therefore we would advise checking with your vet first.

Your pooch’s personality

Sometimes even the healthiest of dogs can feel like being lazy. It’s important to take into account whether or not running is right for your pooch, as some dogs may not enjoy it as much as others. If you notice they look stressed when you walk away whilst they’re off the lead, or they’re not keen to pick up the pace, then running might not be for them.

How to run with your dog

Knowing how to train your dog to run with you is valuable to starting any high-impact activities with your dog. If your dog is an eligible candidate to accompany you on your runs, then it is still important to start off slow. Work on building their tolerance with shorter distances such as 1k -2k and as they get used to this, start to increase the distance. We also recommend making sure you have the right equipment with you, there are various options such as belts, attachments and dog leads for running for you and your dog to wear, but the key is to find out what is most comfortable to use.

How far can I run with my dog?

You should only go on long-distance runs after training and adjusting your pooch to more intense activities. Anything over 5k can be considered a long run for a dog, but many athletic dogs can run even further. If you check with your vet before introducing running, they may be able to advise you on how far you can potentially run with your dog after the right amount of training. It’s also important not to push your four-legged friend too hard, dogs don’t sweat out of their skin, instead, they pant, therefore not letting them stop when they need to, could lead to breathing difficulties.

So, there you have it, our guide on how to start running with your dog. Want to try other new activities with your dog? Check out our top 5 ways to get fit with your dog here.

Remember it’s important to protect yourself from unexpected vet bills, should your pet come to any harm, with Argos Pet Insurance provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our dog insurance policies today.

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