Dogs can make great running partners depending on the breed and health of your dog, see our article titled: “Is it safe t take my dog on my morning jogs?” But, before you head out the door, be certain you have the appropriate gear to make the run much more enjoyable for both you and your dog.
Gear up your dog before hitting the running trails
Just as you have appropriate gear for running, your dog can also use appropriate gear. Everything from leashes and vests to heat protective doggy boots, reflective harnesses and lights, it’s best to make certain your dog is ready for a safe run.
Hydration is key
The right supplies can make your running experience enjoyable for both you and your dog and help avoid dehydration and injuries. Always bering a water bottle even if the weather is cool. It’s best to give your dog water a few times along your course rather than giving a large mount at the end. This will prevent your dog from gulping the water quickly and possibly coughing it up. Keep your dog hydrated throughout the run by giving him small doses along the way. If possible, bring a portable water bowl, there are plenty on the market available at pet stores or Amazon.
Choose the appropriate Leashes
Consider using a hands-free leash such as Wagtime Club Hands Free Bungee Dog Leash available on Amazon. Hands-free leashes use a bungee design so you and your dog can run together without the annoying tugging feeling. Plus, you won’t get knocked off-balance should your dog suddenly stop to take in all the new smells along the course. The hands-free leash wraps around your waist to free up your hands for natural running strokes.
Consider your running surface
Just as you wouldn’t want to place your bare feet onto hot pavement, your dog won’t want his paws touching hot asphalt. Be aware that your dog’s paws can get burned. Dog booties offer safe protection against hot pavement. Unfortunately not all dogs are keen to wearing booties. If that’s the case with your dog, protect your dog by running only on shady surfaces. Remember icy weather poses just as much of an issue as heat, if your dog won’t wear boots, it’s best to avoid slippery surfaces.
Dog harnesses are best for running
You can avoid neck strain on your dog by choosing to use a harness. Your dog will be much more comfortable given you have an appropriate harness. The best harnesses offer support without causing unnecessary chafing especially on long runs. Consider using a two-ring harness which allows for an even pull on both sides of your dog. Also look for harnesses that have a backup quick-release buckle for added security.
Use Reflective Wear
Be extra cautious and safe. Depending on where you run, reflective gear is a great option for both you and your dog, ensuring distracted drivers see you.
Just as you probably wouldn’t run at night without grabbing a reflective jacket or vest, your dog shouldn’t be without some sort of reflective gear. There are plenty of reflective collars, harnesses and leashes available both online and offline for your dog. If you run frequently at night, you may want to invest in a highly reflective safety vest for your dog. Check out those available on Amazon. Additionally, it’s best to run on the opposite side of the road against traffic to make sure you see oncoming vehicles, which is actually the law now in many states.
There are plenty of helpful products on the market to make the running experience for you and your dog a safe and happy one. Proper preparation can ensure many years of running with your beloved dog alongside you.