For many, a fitness journey with their furry friend can be an exciting prospect and a huge motivator.
Running alongside an excited pup might be just what’s needed to keep them pushing up those big, seemingly endless hills.
But you need to consider that if you are just starting out, the dog probably will be too. While dogs can typically run further for longer, there is a chance you may burn them out.
Here are just a few ways to get your running buddy trained up properly so that you both get the most out of your fitness journey.
While it may surprise some that their dog would struggle with a 3-5km run, it may just be the case.
A sprinter may struggle with a low pace jog, and a lot of the time dogs are pretty comparable to sprinters.
With busy lifestyles owners usually take their dogs out on two or three little walks, where the dog is off lead, zooming about at full pelt.
If that’s the way your dog gets its current exercise, you are going to need to work on its threshold just like your own.
So go little by little, many will be tempted to chase the benchmarks; 3km, 5km and so on, but the best way to do it for both you and your dog is through a gradual process.
If you are running you may not be as observant, especially at the beginning when, let’s be real, breathing is the main priority.
You may miss glass or other sharp objects that could hurt your dog’s paws, especially if you plan on running on trails.
Because of that, it’s worth investing in dog boots, which no doubt your pup will absolutely despise at first.
Over time though they will get used to their new shoes and you can venture the paths less travelled.
And it looks super cute too!
This one is key. Many don’t realize that their dogs don’t actually have that great a diet.
Kibble, while popular, is highly processed – even if it had the right nutritional balance, you wouldn’t want to eat a processed microwave meal every day.
Dogs can really benefit from whole foods, which their bodies can break down easier, which translates to more time on the road.
While your own research is key, the most popular model would probably be one of the raw dog food diets.
It clearly helps with running since long-distance sled dogs typically eat raw.
The diet can be daunting with a fine nutritional balance that has to be met, but that can be handled by one of the premium raw dog food pre-prep companies.
It’s a change that’s worth making if you want to get the best out of your dog – and consequently yourself – when running
Last but not least your dog will need a comfy harness, not a chokey collar, and definitely not a halti.
Get your dog something that isn’t restrictive and offers them some space to breathe and pant during breaks.
An extendable lead is probably a good idea too. Until you establish a pace your dog may be pulling ahead or lagging behind and a tight lead could off-balance you