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Your Dog as a Jogging Buddy

09 June, 2014 0 comments

Running with a dog

 

Your Dog As a Jogging Buddy

When many of us decide to tackle our bodies and try to get them into shape, the process can seem overwhelming.  Getting a physical, eating right, drinking more water, eliminating the junk foods we all love in favor of more salads and carrots -- the process can seem endless, and not a whole lot of fun. 


Then there's the dilemma of choosing your exercise routine.  Often people settle upon jogging as a way to enjoy their exercising more.  Yes, you still have to work at it, but at least you'll be outdoors in a wide open space and be able to see people.  This will make the time seem to go more quickly, the effort a little less strenuous.  And then someone mentions the idea of jogging with your dog and the lights start flashing and the bells ringing.  Yes!  Perfect!  Why not take your best friend along with you on your daily or several times a week jog.  It'll be great for both of you.


Now it's true that your dog probably gets more exercise than you do and really doesn't need to lose a few pounds, but the extra activity will help tone his muscles, tune up his cardiovascular system, and keep him generally fit, much the same as it will you.  Besides, it's important to make sure that your dog isn't just active, but is getting enough exercise every day.  While your dog engages in many energy burning activities a day that help to keep him physically and mentally fit, such as running, leaping, fetching a ball or toy, even chasing his tail in circles, there's still room for extra exercise on his agenda.  So go ahead and jog with your best friend.

 

Preparation

1.  Having your dog as your jogging buddy can seem as natural as running with a human friend, and indeed it is.  That's why before you start out you should have your veterinarian give him a thorough examination including -- heart, lungs, weight, etc. -- and determine if he's in good enough shape to undertake such a high-energy activity with you on a regular basis. 

 

2.  Next, mentally go over your dog's obedience.  What commands does he know, and will he listen to you when it counts?  Your dog must know how to heel.  While you are jogging it is crucial that he stay by your side. 

 

3.  Also, he should have mastered the commands of sit and stay.  In the course of your jogging you are going to need to stop for various reasons, anything from meeting up with a friend, to crossing the street, to the approach of other joggers etc.

 

Easy Does It

1.  You need to have a constant and uniform approach to your jogging routine.  Make absolutely sure that you are one hundred percent committed before beginning this program, otherwise it isn't fair to either you or your dog.  While you should try and jog every day, so that your dog will get used to the routine, don't push your limits or those of your dog.  Give yourself and your dog time to gradually increase your strength.  This is especially important if your pet is a senior or has any type of health condition which can affect his ability to keep up.


2.  Some advice which will be of advantage to both you and your dog is that you shouldn't start off jogging right away. Before each daily jog you need to have a warm up period to give your muscles and those of your pet a chance to get ready for the big jog.  At least a 5--10 minute warm up period is recommended.  Also, once you have finished your jog, allow at least five minutes for cooling down.


3.  Remember that your dog is not a racehorse.  It's a lot easier for humans to jog for long periods of time than it is for dogs, who like to run and play, but usually in short, hard spurts with lots of stops to do everything from lift up their leg to chase a butterfly.

 

Keep Alert For Overexertion

Your dog loves you and wants to please you, so if you're running, he's going to try and keep up with you.  What?  Fall behind and have you leave him?  No way!  Unfortunately, sometimes dogs don't realize their own limits, so you have to keep an eye out and notice if he's tiring, slowing down, or panting way too much.  That's when you have to slow down and walk for a while, or stop altogether for some water and rest.  Never forget the importance of staying hydrated for both you and your dog.  And if he's looking a little the worse for wear, maybe it's time to call it quits and go home.

 

Safety

1.  Always know where your dog is.  That's the most important rule in pet safety.  He belongs to you so it is your responsibility to keep an eye on him at all times. 


2.  Which leads us to the next rule.  Never jog with more than one dog at a time.  You might think that your trusted pets won't be much trouble, but it's impossible to control two dogs and your own body at the same time.  Don't risk it.

 

3.  Use a leash.  It is vital to the safety of your dog and the safety of others that you maintain this method of controlling him and keeping him next to you while exercising outside.

 

Jogging together is a fantastic way to bond even further with your dog.  It also comes with more opportunity for socializing for your pet.  It's important for your dog to get used to seeing other people in all kinds of situations, to hear different sounds, and see things he might not have seen before, and not react in a panic or fear.

 

It's also beneficial for both pet and owner in terms of improved health and higher levels of energy.  But the most important thing which having your dog be your jogging buddy does is that it brings pet and owner closer together.  You spend more time together and share that feeling of accomplishment as your jogging ability increases, and best of all, you get to share all that love.




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