The sight of people jogging, cycling or even rollerblading with their dogs alongside them is becoming fairly common these days. If you have an active dog and an energetic lifestyle yourself, you might want to give this activity a try. However, it is not as simple as just taking your pet along with you on your next run.
You need to take different things into consideration when exercising a dog than when thinking about your own fitness. You need to bear your pet's breed, size and temperament in mind before taking them out for a bit of exercise.
For a start, smaller dogs are not going to be suited to most exercise, particularly running. Even something extremely energetic like a Jack Russell will be better suited to short bursts than an extended run. However, if you prefer gentle jogs to more hardcore runs then you might be able to take your pet along.
Large dogs, on the other hand, might get overexcited and want to go off ahead of you. This can be dangerous - if your dog tries to pull ahead while on a leash it can easily overbalance you and cause you to fall, which can easily lead to injury.
Your pet's breed will also play a part in this. If you have a muscular breed, like a Pitbull or Rottweiler, they will be much better suited to long distance runs. On the other hand, slimmer breeds like Greyhounds will be better at sprints but will fade and become exhausted over long distances. Choose an exercise routine that will fit with your dog's capabilities.
Finally, consider their temperament. If you take your dog out for a long period of exercise, you will not be in a good position to control them as you will become tired and drained. If your dog is likely to get overexcited or aggressive on your run, you might not be able to do anything about it. If this is the case, it is probably best not to risk it.
Written by: Hannah Dyball