It’s time to get your daily run in, but you feel a little lonely. Does your significant other want to come? No. What about the kids? They might out-run you, which could be discouraging. But there sits your dog. Hmmm…
Working out with a pet can be fun, but it’s also important to remember the physical capabilities of your furry friend. The last thing you want is to injure yourself or new workout buddy. Here is a small list that outlines the do’s and don’ts of working out alongside your family pet.
1. Do Think Ahead
If your dog likes to chase after people or the mailman, don’t go for a walk or a run during peak people hours. The last thing you want is for your dog to run after someone and leave you behind or pull you down.
It’s also important to keep in mind your dog’s activity level. A 10 year old lab can’t run 10 miles. So make sure that you bring your dog on a workout they can do without discomfort.
2. Do Make Sure He/She Is Trained
Your dog needs to know the command “stay” or “sit” or “heel.” If your dog gets away from you, you need to be able to control him or her. This also prevents injury for yourself if your dog starts running too fast.
We don’t want this to happen to your pup!
3. Do Reward Your Dog
Make sure you praise your pup for an excellent workout. When you get home give them some fresh water, a treat, or some loving. Positively rewarding good behavior will make your dog happy and eager to continue your workout routine.
4. Do Focus on the Dog
This may seem a little strange, but the focus must be on your dog. You’re in charge of the well-being of this animal. If he or she gets too tired, it’s time to turn around and go home. Is it time to walk for a little bit? Don’t push your dog to the brink. This also pertains to dogs that run faster than you. If you know that your dog can sprint 3 miles and leave you behind, then maybe think about biking or finding another way to keep them by your side. Either way, the focus must be on the dog.
5. Don’t Chase Your Dog
You want your dog to stay by your side on your walk or run. Don’t allow your pup to take control, make sure your dog knows to stay at your side or just a touch ahead of you. Running after your dog can lead to your own injury or could lead to your pet getting lost or into some trouble.
6. Don’t Use A Cheap Collar or Leash
If you keep your dog on a leash or collar, make sure the leash is between 4-6 ft and that the collar is snug but not too tight or loose. Also, use one with a smooth and soft lining so it doesn’t tug on their neck and fur. NEVER use a chain collar while going on a run, this can damage your furry friend’s neck.
7. Don’t Run When it’s Super Hot
Dogs overheat quicker than humans, so if it’s hot out, stick to a shady area. This helps your dog stay cool and also avoids burning their paws on the hot concrete. It’s also important to take lots of water breaks, for both you and your pup.
It’s important to remember that when you exercise the top priority is taking care of your body, and the same rules apply when you exercise with your dog. Make sure you’re taking the proper steps to keep your pet healthy, and talk with your vet before starting a routine with your dog.
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