Dogs are pack animals, and they make great companions when running. Running is great for dogs, but Vet Street recommends consulting with your veterinarian before running with your pup.
Your four-legged friend can get hip dysplasia or arthritis, which can make running uncomfortable and even detrimental to your dog’s health.
But if your dog is young and healthy, he shouldn’t have any issues running with you. According to the AVMA, running can also be a bonding moment with your dog and is a great form of exercise to help keep a dog from becoming overweight.
1. Running Backpacks
Running backpacks are essential if you plan to run for long distances or through trails. These aren’t your normal backpacks. Instead, these backpacks come with:
- Numerous compartments
- Water containers or holders
- Waterproof material
- Easy adjustments
Lightweight in design, these backpacks will never keep you down and some even come with a water bladder, which makes it easy to sip water while you’re running. I recommend packing an energy bar in your backpack, a portable bowl for your dog, a map and any other key items you’ll need.
Maximize your backpack space, and also bring treats and additional food for your dog.
2. Dog Leashes Designed for Running
Dog leashes are essential when running. Everyone should have their dog on a leash when they’re out in public to ensure that no injuries or bites occur. When you’re running, you’ll need a leash designed for running along with a dog harness designed for running.
Some harnesses do come with leashes, but others do not.
The right leash needs to be:
- Extra durable
- Comfortable to hold
You’ll find many leashes that act more as belts than leashes. These models will go around the runner’s waist to better control the dog and make sure that the runner has less to worry about. Reflective leashes are also great and will come with reflective stitches to increase the visibility of the dog.
If your dog has problems with pulling, take a queue from Cesar Millan.
3. Travel Water Bowl for Your Pup
Dogs need to drink when they’re running. There’s no doubt about it – dogs need to stay hydrated to stay happy and healthy. The problem is that a lot of owners overestimate the endurance of their animals.
You also need to consider the hot pavement and thick coat of a dog.
A travel water bowl can:
- Clip to a belt buckle
- Fold and unfold
These bowls should add little weight to your run, and they also need to be compact. I picked up a cheap bowl at the supermarket that’s made of rubber and breaks down easily for easy carry when walking my dog.
It’s nice to stop and sit for a minute while ensuring your dog has the water needed to complete your run.
Note: Always keep extra water for your pup available at all times.
According to Cesar Millan, your dog needs 8.5 – 17 ounces of water per 10 pounds per day. If your dog is running, they will need even more water to stay hydrated.
4. Paw Protectors
A dog’s paws are very sensitive. I once walked my dog on hot pavement, and she quickly laid down. I thought it was strange until I realized that the pavement was blistering hot. Paw protectors will help protect your dog from:
- Salts and chemicals
- Hot surfaces
- Rocks and debris
Your dog is capable of running on dirt and other flat surfaces, but they’re not immune to paw injuries and damages.
If you plan on running with your dog, paw protectors, which act like little socks, will allow your dog to remain far more comfortable when running. This is a great option if you’ll be running on pavement or concrete, which causes a dog’s paws to become raw or produce small cuts.
5. Reflective Clothing / Accessories
When you’re running at night, it’s easy to be overlooked by a passing vehicle. There’s special, reflective clothing that will help make you be more visible when you’re out for your run with your pup.
According to Science Buddies, 75% of pedestrian accidents are during low-light hours: nighttime, dusk and dawn.
This means that you need to be visible to ensure the safety of you and your pup.
Items that can add to your visibility are:
- Reflective vests
- Reflective dog leashes
- Reflective shoes
- Reflective hats
If you’re really serious about running at night, you may even want to a wear a hat that has a light on top to help illuminate your path.
You can never choose too many reflective items when running.
A reflective harness for your dog may also be a good idea and will not only add to the safety of the dog, but will also make it much easier to see your pup when running. If you drop the leash on accident, the reflective leash or harness will help you locate your dog in low-light conditions.