Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How to start Running With Your Dog

I'm honored, today, to also be writing for and in conjunction with, Who Wants to Pawty LLC, a pet sitting and dog training business that operates in the west suburbs of Chicago. They've asked me to write a blog post to help their clients realize the considerations of running with their pets. 

Running is always more fun with a partner!  There's probably no one more willing and ready to head out for a run with you than your beloved dog. Lots of people run with their dogs for companionship, safety, or even just to wear Fido out so it's better behaved!

However, there is a lot to think about before heading out for a run with your pet. You need to consider your safety, the safety of others, and the safety of your pet. So what should we consider before running with your dog?

Firstly, your dogs age. Running with a puppy while its still developing can lead to permenant damage. You should consult your vet to determine if your pet is developed enough to run. The earliest is usually around 8 months, but larger breeds can sometimes develop more slowly. Even then you need to start slow and keep the distance down. Just like us, your dog needs to build to a distance slowly to keep from getting injured. 

Secondly, consider training. While your dog is young teach it to walk properly on a leash. Take it to a trainer and work on obedience and basic commands. There's nothing worse than an uncontrollable dog pulling its owner down a trail, lunging at innocent bystanders, or worse, darting out into the street.

Once, Fido is fully developed and is a well behaved pet walking on the leash, start building those run miles slow. Make sure to carry enough water for both of you on your trek's!  Enjoy your time with your buddy!  It may soon be the most favorite part of your pets day. If you happen to take a hiatus make sure you build the miles up slow again for you and your dog. Running distance takes some getting used to, and you need to start over again when you haven't done it for a while. 

Keep an eye on Fido's health and well being just like you do your own. Keep regular check ups with your vet, and take notice of any limps or changes in behavior. Remember, they can get running injuries just like you, and are not indestructable. 

Happy Runnng!
Coach Meulen

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