There are many benefits for both of you when you go running with your dog. Your four-footed friend has a job to do – stay beside you or pull you along if you start lagging behind. He’s also getting worn out so he’ll take a nice long nap later instead of getting into mischief. Plus he’s had the chance to burn off nervous energy and hang out with his best friend.
The plusses for you are getting/staying physically fit, burning calories, feeling good about yourself, and getting to spend time with your favorite pet.
Before you start running with your dog, though, here are some things to keep in mind:
Get your dog cleared to run by his vet. The vet can rule out any heart problems or hip issues.
Once you have the green light from the vet, start your dog off slowly. Just like you have to build up your own mileage, so does your dog.
Don’t have him run with you if it’s really hot outside. He can’t sweat to cool off like you can.
As tempting as it is, keep your pooch on his leash, unless you are in a remote area far from cars and it is legal to have him off-leash.
Yes, you have to train him to run beside you and not pull on the leash. This takes some initial work, but will make for lots of stress-free runs.
Bring water along for you and your pup, and stop periodically to give him drinks. If he looks like he needs cooling down you can pour the water on him, especially on his belly.
Running with your dog can be very rewarding for both of you. He might not be able to brag to others about that run up Mt. Stewart, but he will always cherish the memory of spending that time with you.