Running with your dog has many health benefits!

Love running? Your dog could be your perfect running buddy!

March 23, 2015

Spring has finally arrived and for some, it’s the perfect running weather. All you need is a good pair of running shoes, warm and comfy jogging pants and shirt… and your dog! Yes, your dog loves to run too (even more than you do)!

For smaller breeds, running short distances or running in the grass and playing catch are great cardio workouts. For larger dogs, running is a great way to burn off energy. It`s also a way for your dog to get familiar with new smells, fellow dogs and objects. Breeds that make good running partners include German Wirehaired Pointers, Vizslas and Labrador Retrievers. For speed runners, Greyhounds, Whippets, Border Collies and Dalmatians are a good match. Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies and Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a higher endurance and make excellent partners for long-distance runners.

The benefits of running for you AND your dog

Running has many human mental health benefits such as reducing anxiety and depression. The same benefits are noticeable in dogs too. Pet owners who run with their four-legged friends have found their pets to be much calmer after a run. Running is a great bonding activity where your dog sees you as a pack leader. As a human, you are also more likely to stick to a running routine when including your dog in the mix. Dogs enjoy routines and will look forward to their next run with you. Running will help you and your dog stay fit, live a healthier life and reduce the chances of developing health issues, like obesity.

Before taking your dog out for a run, here are a few pointers to consider:

  • Don’t go off on a jogging excursion with a puppy. It`s important for your dog’s bones to form properly and reach maturity.
  • Check with your vet if running is right for your dog. Your vet might want to check on your pet’s overall physical health before giving you the green light.
  • Build up your dog’s running distance. Although you might think your dog has the energy to run as long as you, he/she still needs to build up its muscles, paws and routine.
  • Be careful with your dogs’ paw pads. Believe it or not, dogs get blisters like we do! Running on pavement can be damaging to your friend’s paw pads, so try opting for a smoother surface such as grass or dirt.
  • If you’re planning to run a long distance, bring some water and treats that are rich in protein and carbs. While a few treats pose little risk, letting a dog run on a full or partially full stomach can cause health issues and should be avoided.
  • It’s always a good idea to bring poop bags.
  • It’s important to know your dog’s limit. If you notice your dog is panting, foaming, has slow motions or glazed eyes, you’ll need to stop your run and head for some shade to hydrate your dog with water. If these problems persist, head to a vet as soon as possible.

Nutrience strongly believes that a healthy human makes for a healthy pet. In support of healthy human habits, which pets will ultimately benefit from, Nutrience proudly sponsors outdoor activities. Here are some events you can catch us at this year:

Mississauga Marathon (Mississauga, Ontario) – May 3, 2015

Furry Friends 5K (Lake Ontario, Ontario – bring your pet!) – June 7, 2015

Oasis ZooRun (Toronto Zoo, Ontario) – September 12, 2015

Nutrience Oakville Half Marathon (Oakville, Ontario) – September 27, 2015

Hope to see you there!

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