BY: BRENDA ALVAREZ
When it comes to running with my pup Maddy, I like to keep it simple. I’m totally guilty of spoiling the living daylights out of her, but who isn’t? She’s my adventure buddy (oh yeah, and my husband too). Over the past four years, I’ve collected tips + advice from both my vet and fellow dog owners and would like to share what has worked best for me and my pup!
RUNNING WITH YOUR DOG 101
- Wait around 12-18 months before taking your dog on a run. Let those little puppy bones grow! There will be plenty of time to log hundreds of miles together down the line. When in doubt check with your veterinarian. I was super conservative with my girl and waited the full 18 months. Ask your vet about the right distances for your breed.
- Get a correctly sized leash and harness for your dog. The right harness will not only give your dog better range of motion, but it will prevent any unneeded chafing or jerking. A cat or squirrel is always nearby… trust me on this one. (Ruffwear makes some of the best dog gear around. I use this leash and this harness on my Maddy.)
- Potty bags! Be a good neighbor and a good citizen. Scoop that poop, friends! We all get caught without a bag from time to time. Once I had to scoop my pup's business into my coffee cup with nothing but leaves. Don’t risk losing a latte – pack those bags.
- Just like you wouldn’t eat an hour before a run, do the same for your best friend. Be careful not to feed your dog right before or after a run.
- Pups do not sweat like people. Most of their sweat glands are in their paws, which is why temperature and surface matter.
- Try and run once temperatures are cooler. Early morning jaunts or pre-dinner hours are best.
- If you must run during the hottest time, pick a nearby park or shaded area. Bonus points if you run near water so your pup can cool off mid or post run!
- Stay off hot asphalt or rocky trails. These conditions can really do a number your dog’s paws.
- Some dogs need more water than others. If yours drinks a lot, be sure to take that into consideration for longer runs. I usually take my hydration pack on longers runs and share with Maddy. Just a quick scoop of one hand and she has an instant drinking bowl.
- Bandanas are a pup’s best friend. And now he or she can rock our Manifesto Bandana! Pro tip: spray them with lavender to keep bugs away. Another pro tip: wrap some ice cubes in the bandana to help your pup stay cool.
- Snuggle the crap out of your pup post run. I praise Maddy during our runs for staying focused on our task at hand vs. chasing cats and squirrels.
Now get out there!