Guest post courtesy of Pete Decker, the Lead Editor at The Goody Pet. Pete loves to share his passion for pets through snippets of interesting and helpful information. You can find more of Pete at his website, Twitter or Facebook. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and do not necessarily represent the views of Val Heart & Heart Communications Enterprises Inc.
Humans and their canine companions need their daily dose of exercise to be healthy and fit. It’s common knowledge and necessary to walk your dog at least once if not twice a day because canines are storehouses of excess energy and they need the stimulus that the sights, scents, and sounds which the outdoors can provide.
When it comes to physical activities, there are a number of things that you can do with your furry workout buddy like running, hiking, swimming, and biking. The simplest and probably one of the best things to do is to run with your canine companion.
It’s a fact that our modern lifestyle has rendered most humans and even their pets obese or prone to obesity. Weight issues are dragging us and our canine friends down. Running in the outdoors in a park or by the lake or in the countryside with fresh air hitting the face and toning every muscle in the body is not just the better way to get in shape and burn the excess fat but also an enjoyable way to spend quality playtime with your pet.
So, get ready to don those running shoes and do give running with your dog a try. But before you run, it’s important to know what to expect, how to train your pooch and enjoy the run with each other.
1. Check with your pet’s vet:
It is important to ascertain whether your dog is fit to run regularly. Consult your vet on what’s safe and healthy for your dog when you run with him, appropriate dietary recommendations, warm up tips, and how early you can start them on running training. It’s important not to start when your pooch is very young, because the hard/asphalt surfaces and running tracks in urban areas may not be conducive to the growth of the dog’s bones and joints. And a countryside or a dirt trail may not be exactly safe for your pup.
2. Start slowly and steadily – Don’t forget the warmups:
When you rush your dog into running too soon, then you expose your pet to the risk of injuries. Never skip the warmups, because they help in flexing the muscles. Begin with a light jog and graduate steadily into running at a comfortable pace.
3. Take short breaks:
It’s important to carry water bottles to give yourself and your dog adequate water breaks. If you combine some playing and fetching activities, both of you will enjoy the breaks and this could enthuse your canine partner into running.
4. Train your dog to follow some basic commands:
It is imperative that you teach your dog some basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘stop’, ‘leave it’ etc., and see to it that you train them to be disciplined and follow your instructions completely. If you are finding it difficult to train, then consult a professional trainer to help you out.
5. Try getting a hands-free dog leash:
A hands-free dog leash spells convenience and independence. These leashes are specially designed to run and walk your dog comfortably without having to tug on a leash all the time. It safer and helps your dog stay connected to you while enjoying a good run. It helps maintain balance and prevents toppling over.
Observe your dog and take cues, do not overlook any warning signs from your pet to ensure that your dog is enjoying the run as much as you do. Watch out for their paws, take adequate protection against ticks, and keep a bowl of water ready to clean the paws once you both are back from running. Have fun!
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