1. Know Your Breed and Check with the Vet
Some dogs are better suited than others to run long distances. To avoid overextending your dog beyond its natural ability, do your research and consult your veterinarian. By consulting the vet first, he or she can alert you to any current health issues and monitor the health of the dog’s lungs, heart and joints.
2. Teach Basic Commands
Before taking your dog out to exercise, make sure that they understand basic commands. This way, in the event that they wonder too far ahead or get curious about another dog or person walking by, you can easily reclaim authority and avoid a potential conflict.
3. Build Up Gradually
The same way that people have to train to reach physical fitness, dogs do too. Don’t start your dog’s very first day of exercise with a 5 mile run. Rather, start off slowly and work them up to your ultimate goals.
4. Keep a Tight Leash and Don’t Let Them Pull You
It is natural for dogs to be curious and explore. If you allow your dog to pull you once, they may assume that such behavior is acceptable and may attempt to continue this behavior. To maintain the safety of your dog and the people around you, establish authority and maintain boundaries by keeping the leash tight and not accepting pulling as an acceptable behavior from your dog.
5. Be Careful What They Eat and Drink
Dogs have peculiar habits of eating grass, their own poop and even stones, so keep an eye on what they rummage through on their travels. Some foodstuffs will not agree with them. See the kind of things dogs can and can’t eat here. Be sure to keep your dog hydrated. Dehydration is dangerous for your dog, as it is for the owner. Allow for adequate rest and water break during you run.
6. Be Ready to Pick Up After Them
Some areas levy fines against dog owners that do not pick up after their pets. Be prepared to pick up poop after your dog at any point during the run.
7. Clean Your Dog’s Paws
Dirt and sand from the surfaces that you run on can get stuck between the dog’s toes and cause irritation or infection. After you complete your run, take a few minutes to wash your dog’s paws thoroughly. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.