If you’re a runner and dog owner, you might wonder, “does running make dogs happy?” The good news is that for most dogs, the answer is “yes.”
You can run with almost any dog breed, though some enjoy it more than others. Take them on the road or trails to boost your exercise routines. How long should you jog with your dog? It depends on your dog’s size, age, breed, and health conditions. Check with your vet if you have any concerns before taking your dog on runs.
Running with your dog has many benefits for them and can be your ultimate mood booster. Here’s what you need to know.
Running With Your Dog
There are many benefits of running with a dog. Here are six advantages you don’t want to miss.
1. They Are Great Accountability Partners
When you run on your own, it can be easy to back out on your workout. When you do it with your dog, it is much harder to say “no.”
Your dog needs exercise, and running is a great way to provide it. Getting into a running routine with your pup can get them looking forward to it, which could motivate you to put on your running shoes and get out the door.
2. It’s Great Exercise
Running is an excellent form of exercise for you and your dog. It stretches their muscles, lets them engage with their primal instincts and allows them to use energy.
The activity can strengthen your cardiovascular system and improve the amount of feel-good hormones in your brain, boosting your mood and reducing mental health symptoms. The best part is all you need is a pair of running shoes and your pup to start getting these benefits.
3. They Provide Safety
If you have a medium or large dog, running with them can give you peace of mind. No matter who you are, running alone can raise reasonable concerns about unsavory characters targeting you on trails or road paths.
While these incidents are rare compared to the number of people running each day, they happen enough to keep your guard up. Research shows that criminals are less likely to approach people with larger dogs since they don’t know what the dog will do. Your pup may be the friendliest mammal in the world, but strangers don’t have to know that.
4. It Saves Time
A busy schedule can cause stress. Exercising with your dog eliminates the need for you to walk your dog later. This gives you some downtime you didn’t have previously.
When you free up time, you can rest or meditate, which refreshes your body and mind.
5. They Don’t Judge You
Group runs are intimidating for many runners, as they don’t want to run slow or with poor form around other runners. Your dog may be a runner who is always faster than you, but they won’t brag.
Your dog loves spending time with you, and they don’t care how you run. Running with your dog lets you stress less about keeping up and instead do the workout you can best do now.
6. It’s A Great Way to Bond
Whether your pup is still new to the family or you are well-established best friends, running with your dog is a great way to bond. Life can get busy, making it hard to find time to dedicate to them.
If you enjoy running, consider taking your dog along for the ride to get some of that one-on-one time. You’ll need to focus on one another to make the exercise successful, reinforcing your trust and helping you reconnect.
Tips For Running With Your Pup
There are some things to consider when running with your dog. The following tips can keep you and your dog happy on the run:
- Bring Water – Some runners can go a few miles without a drink, but your dog might need water sooner, especially if they have a warm coat. You can purchase water bottles with dog bowl attachments to easily keep them on you.
- Have A Running Tether – While you can run while holding your dog’s leash, it can impede your run by tightening your grip and impeding your arm movement. A running tether attaches the leash to your waste, freeing your arms.
- Keep An Eye On The Temperature – Pavement gets hotter than the outside temperature. If it is too warm, it can hurt your dog’s paw pads. Experts recommend testing the surface by placing the back of your hand against it for at least seven seconds. If it is uncomfortable for you, you shouldn’t bring your dog.
- Keep Treats On You – It’s natural for your dog to get distracted occasionally. Having their favorite treats on your person can help you return their focus to your run.
- Listen to Your Pup – Just like you have bad days, your pup does too. Watch them during your run to look for signs of fatigue. You don’t want to push your dog past its limit. Excessive panting, misbehavior and trying to stop are signs of needing a break. Always plan to go a shorter distance than you can with your dog and increase it if you and your dog feel good.
By keeping these things in mind, you can ensure you both enjoy the run.
Boost Your Mood By Running With Your Dog
If you are a runner and dog owner, you can combine your passions by running with your dog. Running with your pup can boost your mood and help keep your mind and body healthy.