Is it safe for my dog to run or jog with me?
If you’ve been dreaming of taking your best friend (of the furry persuasion) alongside you for your early morning runs, keep these factors in mind to be certain your little buddy is safe.
No two dogs are the same. Some dogs are made to run and some just aren’t. Some people are made to jump over a bar set at 5m using only a pole and their upward trajectory, and some just aren’t.
If you’ve seen dogs and their humans up and about having a grand old time together, you may be interested in finding out if it’s safe for you and your dog. Or perhaps you’ve seen the opposite: a dog clearly not coping with the vigorous pace of its owner and you wouldn’t want to put your dog through that. There are a few elements you need to consider before you’re good to go and we’re going to walk you through them.
What breed is your dog?
The breed of your dog will affect how they run: how far, how well and how safely. For some breeds, long-endurance based runs are perfect. Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Border Collies, Short-haired Alsations and Australian Shepard Dogs are fantastic long-distance running partners.
Dogs that are better suited to shorter distances are dogs with shorter legs like terriers. They can probably handle a short, steady run and be satisfied. Their short legs just can’t keep up with human strides!
The rule that longer-legged dogs can run further distances doesn’t apply to all dogs: Great Danes should absolutely avoid long-distance running due to their weak hips and joints.
Breeds that shouldn’t run
If a dog has a squashed nose and smooshed face, it probably shouldn’t be running: French Bulldogs, Pugs, Bulldogs and Pekingese to name a few. These dogs are Brachycephalic, meaning their respiratory systems don’t allow them to self-ventilate and protect themselves from overheating. Running with these dogs isn’t safe and you should consider other activities for you to bond over!
How old (or young) is your dog?
A lot of people know that you shouldn’t run with your dog when they’re old, but this also applies to when they’re too young. If a pup starts running before they are eight months old, there is the risk of future bone and joint complications. It takes longer for the bones of bigger breeds to develop, so waiting past the eight-month mark could be possible.
Discover: what pet insurance is best for my young pet?
Your safest pet is to ask your veterinarian for their advice when they see your pup. They will be able to monitor and predict their development and a safe starting age for them to go gallivanting.
As your dog gets older, running will become more tiresome and difficult for them. They do not have the energy they used to and debilitating conditions like arthritis, hip dysplasia or respiratory issues make running far riskier.
How is your dogs’ health?
Your vet is going to know the most about your dog’s health, and because you take your dog for routine vet check-ups (made significantly easier with pet insurance) you know about their health, too!
Your vet will be able to keep an eye out for any common or likely conditions and recommend a specific workout routine that will best suit your doggo. A healthy dog will be able to run with no problemo, but a dog running with an underlying condition could find itself in harm’s way.
Even healthy dogs need to be introduced to a new routine carefully. Distances should be kept short and sweet until your dog builds up some stamina.
How are they holding up?
When you’re running with your dog remember that the pressure isn’t only on them - YOU need to be the best running partner that you can be. This means being aware that your dog is not:
- Breathing too heavily
- Showing signs of dehydration
- Trying to stop for a break
- Pulling against the leash
Tips for taking your dog on a run
If you know that your dog is healthy and ready to hit the road, here are some things you should have on hand!
- A leash with a wrist or waist wearing option.
- A sturdy and comfortable dog-harness.
- Lights to keep you and your dog visible on the roads if you’re running in the evening or early morning.
- Water, water, water!
- Poop bags (don’t be that guy).
Get cover for accidents on the road
Or anywhere that you take your dog running. Accidents happen and taking your dog out into the world means that there is a possibility of injury. With Oneplan, our Accident Plan will cover you in the event of an unexpected injury. We make sure that you can afford the best medical care for your dog to get you two back on the road again ASAP.
Yours in insurance you could cuddle,