9 Benefits of Running With Your Dog

9 Benefits of Running With Your Dog

Author WDF Staff | Last updated: Apr 04 2023


We all know that running is one great form of exercise that we like to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle. When you add your dog to this mix, things get even better. At this time, this is not only a great exercise but also an opportunity to create a stronger bond with your dog. Running with your dog will benefit you and your dog from physical to mental well-being.

If you are considering starting to run with your dog, we put together a few benefits you could experience to keep you going. Starting is the hardest thing to do, but once you hear all the potential benefits for you and your dog, we are sure you will put your running shoes on and go on an adventure.

Physical benefits

Every physical activity is great for keeping you in good shape and increasing your fitness levels. Running is one of the oldest forms of exercise many people do when they want to lose weight.

When you include your dog in the running, you are also providing him with good exercise that will for sure benefit him. This is especially true if you own a high-energy dog breed that requires a proper amount of daily activities if you want your dog to be happy and satisfied.

running with dog

Mental benefits

When running, your body will release endorphins, chemicals that will help improve mood and reduce stress. By releasing this chemical, you can fight anxiety, depression, or any other mental illness.

As said earlier, the same should apply to our dogs. By running, you will allow your dog to spend his accumulated energy and prevent boredom or any destructive behavior.

By running together, you will create a stronger bond with your dog, and you will be able to communicate with him even without speaking words. With running, both of you will find benefits, and that will lead to a happier and more relaxed mind.

Social benefits

By running with your dog, you are opening new doors and creating an opportunity to connect with other same-minded people. On your daily run, there is a possibility that you will run into other people running with their dogs, and this could be an opportunity to get to know each other.

Not only will you possibly find some new friends, but also your dog could get a new canine buddy to play with. All this could make this experience even better, and if your dog likes to run, he will for sure enjoy running with you and other dogs.

Improving discipline

When you decide to make some new life changes, discipline and consistency are key to finishing what you started. If you want to lose weight and start running, by bringing your dog with you, you will have extra motivation to keep going.

When you see your dog enjoy your new activity, you cannot quit just like that. Your dog will serve as a motivator when things get hard, and when you don't feel like running, you will realize that your dog doesn't care about your bad mood or bad day and wants to get his routine done.

All of this will help you establish a better discipline that you can translate into another parts of your life to be successful in anything you do.

running with dogs

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Additional training for your dog

We will assume that your dog learned at least all the basic commands before you start running with him. If not, we would suggest not taking your dog running with you because if your dog doesn't know basic commands, there could be a lot of problems on the way.

Running with your dog will serve as an opportunity for your dog to learn some new commands. As you run together, your bond will become stronger, and you will be able to find a new way to communicate with your dog. If you do all of this, you will have an even more obedient dog.

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Weight control

Obesity is a serious problem not only for humans but also for dogs. Regular running will help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of many diseases, such as obesity, heart problems, and joint problems.

Running your dog could also find some health-related benefits, and most commonly, they will refer to a reduced risk of hip dysplasia and arthritis.

Improved coordination

As you run through different streets, and environments, your dog will learn how to adapt to many different situations, and this will help him get better agility and coordination. This could all translate into different parts of a dog's life. Don't be surprised if your dog starts to perform better at dog sports after you start running.

running with dog

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Better life

Many different studies show that running can prolong your life, and the same applies to our dogs. By regularly running, you will feel better and reduce the risk of many different health issues for you and your dog, thus potentially increasing the life expectancy of your best furry friend.

Additional security

Some of us could be frightened to run alone, especially if we like to run early in the morning or late in the night when it is dark and there are not many people around. Taking your dog with you can be more secure because you will have a protector in case anything happens.

Dogs have great senses and could potentially alert you before a potential danger appears or if you don't notice it on your own.

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How to get started?

Before you grab your running shoes and start running, there are a few things you should consider first.

1. Vet check-up

Before you start running with your dog, you need to make sure that everything is alright with your dog and that he is in good physical health. After the check-up, your vet will give you the green light.

2. Find proper gear

When running with your dog, you must find the best and most secure harness and leash that will not bother either your dog or you to be able to enjoy your running sessions. Also, try to find reflective gear for a situation of low light conditions. Whenever you are taking your dog on the run, you must have a dog bowl and water with you; the most important thing is to keep your dog hydrated, especially if you like to run for a longer period of time.

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3. Start slowly

Whether you are in good fitness or not, you should take things slow. Let your dog get used to his new routine and adjust to running. Moving fast can create problems for your dog or even initiate an injury, and we are sure you do not want that.

4. Look for weather

You should avoid running in extreme weather conditions to protect your dog. This is most commonly referred to as hot summer days because dogs could easily get heat stroke. If you like to run during summer, we advise you to run early into the morning or late in the evening to fully protect your dog.

5. Look at your dog

Dogs like to communicate with their bodies, and if something bothers them, their body can quickly tell you something is up. Watch your dog for any sign of discomfort, fear, or pain, and stop running if you notice anything unusual.

6. Proper care

After every running session, you should thoroughly check that your dog doesn't have cuts or debris. Also, if you like to run through the woods, you should always check your dog (and yourself) for ticks. They could easily attach to your dog, and the faster you notice them, your dog has a better chance of recovering.

World Dog Finder team

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