The Do’s and Dont’s of Running with your Dog

Dog activities: One of the best things to do with your dog is to run with them! It's a great cardio exercise that you can enjoy together! Running with you dog takes practice, so learn how to train a dog to run with you before jogging with your dog. Maybe someday you can even run races with your dog!

Things To Do With Your Dog

One of my favorite things about having a dog is being able to go on walks and runs with them. 

Benefits of Running With Your Dog:

Ally and I both get a lot out of running: I get my daily cardio in, some fresh air after being inside most of the day, and some quality time with my pup; She gets to stretch her overly-energetic legs, see the sights and smell the scents of the outdoors, and she doesn’t have to get left behind at home. Win, win!

In order to keep yourself and your dog happy and healthy for these activities, I created a list of things that I have come across while running with my dog.

So here are my do’s and don’t’s for running with your dog!

Jogging With Your Dog


DO: Talk to your vet before! Your vet will let you know of any red flags. It’s also good for them to know how active your dog is – in case of any health concerns later on down the road!

DON’T: Take a young puppy on a long run. Their bones and joints are still developing! It’s best to wait until your puppy is done growing before taking them on a long-distance run. When Ally was a puppy, I kept our walk/jogs less than 1 mile, and we built up to that gradually!

DO: Stay updated on flea and tick preventative! Being outdoors, especially in the spring, summer, and fall, unwanted pests will leap (literally) at the opportunity to host on your dog… Then you have to deal with them in your house!

DON’T: Let them pull you. This is for your safety as well as your dog’s safety. Also, use a 4-6 ft. leash. This gives them enough space to not trip you, and doesn’t give them too much freedom to get distracted or get in anyone else’s way! Some people say that your dog should never be in front of you… I don’t personally follow this. Ally helps me keep my pace when I want to slow down or stop!

DO: Stay hydrated and take water breaks. You need to stay hydrated for a better run. Your dog can’t sweat like we do, so they need water for hydration and to keep them cooled off.

DON’T: Forget about their sensitive paws! This means… Don’t run on hot pavement or on ice/snow. Your pup doesn’t have sleek Nikes like you do! Their paws are exposed to whatever they are standing on. They can get burned on hot pavement and can sting after running on ice. Also, make sure nothing gets stuck in your dogs paw while on a run! Trapped gravel, dirt clumps, sand, etc. can cause a lot of discomfort for dogs.

DO: Have a plan for #2. Let’s be honest… Sh** happens. All jokes aside, activity and exercise can make a dog’s digestive system move and groove. So make sure you have a waste bag with you! Ally is famous for this.

DON’T: Ignore warning signs. Pay attention to your dog. If they are slowing down, foaming at the mouth, panting extremely hard, coughing, take a break. Let your dog rest and give them water. If Ally gets to this point, I always take the safe route and head home.

DO: HAVE FUN!! This can become special quality time for you and your dog. Whether you’re running around your neighborhood or exploring a new trail, your dog will appreciate that you wanted to bring them along with you. It might take a couple of runs before you and your dog get the hang of things. But practice makes perfect!

Ally is the reason I have discovered some of my favorite running spots in metro Atlanta. That’s why I’m proud to say, “My running partner has 4 paws!” 

running with your dog

*Picture: Ally and I after the Atlanta Dog Jog in May 2015

What helpful things would you add to this list for running with your dog? Do you enjoy running with your dog?

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