Activities For Dogs With Owners Who Like Running

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Introduction

Running as a form of exercise is a polarizing idea; there are those who love to run and there are some who absolutely despise it. For those who do enjoy running, there are a few ways to make their daily routine more fun and exciting. An ingenious way to add some spice to your runs is to bring your dog with you. What’s better than getting a workout in while spending some quality time with your dog? Going for a run with your dog not only benefits your health, it also helps your dog remain stimulated and active for better health. Here are some running-related activities for you and your dog to take on. 

Jogging

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Food
Water
Leash or harness
Treats (optional)
Activity description

Going for a jog and letting your furry friend tag along is a great way to sweat while still bonding with your dog. Not only that, your dog also gets some much needed exercise to improve their overall cardiovascular health. Jogging is an easy activity to do and can be done almost anywhere. The tricky part is to get your dog to run with you. There are some cases when your dog will simply follow your lead when you go for a run. For those who have a hard time with this, there are special leashes and harnesses that you may put on your dog so that they can run at the same pace as you do. Jogging is best done on a good day out and will not cost you anything. The length of the run depends on you. However, if it is your dog’s first time to jog, an hour maximum is recommended to prevent your dog from getting too overworked.

Step
1
Find a spot for jogging
Jogging is an activity that can be done almost anywhere. However, when you are going for a run with your dog, some things have to be taken into account. The challenging part is to look for a jogging spot that is dog-friendly. Suitable options include open areas like parks. If you are going to jog around your neighborhood, make sure to keep your dog on a leash so you will not scare other residents.
Step
2
Do some warm-up stretches
Once you’ve decided on a running area, make your way to the spot. Prepare your dog’s leash and also do some warm-up exercises and stretches. This is important to avoid any soreness after the run and to prevent potential injuries that may result from the run. Then, start off by walking around your jogging spot. This will help your dog warm up as well.
Step
3
Go for a run!
After a few minutes of walking, you may start the run and have your dog follow or lead you. Go slowly and increase your speed as needed. Remember that you need to go at your dog’s pace and not your own. Stop and walk every hundred meters or so to prevent fatigue on your dog’s part. Also, regularly check your dog for signs of exhaustion. If your dog looks lethargic, give him some food and water. The last thing you want is your dog to suffer from dehydration.
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Active Fetch

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Toys
Food
Water
Treats
Activity description

The game of fetch is one of the most definitive activities that owners can play with their dogs. However, if you are someone who likes to keep moving, then you can take things up a notch and play active fetch instead. Basically, active fetch is similar to the classic game of fetch. The catch? While your dog is running and retrieving the toy you threw away, you can start sprinting some distance. Then, after retrieving the toy, your dog will try and bring the toy back to you. To make things more active and challenging, run away from your dog. The game ends when your dog catches you. Another variation that you may do is to throw the toy away and try to beat your dog in retrieving it. This game is best done on a clear day out and in a wide open space where dogs and owners can run freely. 

Step
1
Find a park or open area
Since active fetch involves a lot of running around, you would have to find a wide open area that is spacious enough. If you have a backyard, you may play the game here. If not, there are plenty of other options such as dog parks or along the shore by the beach.
Step
2
Play active fetch
When you find your playground for the day, make your way to your spot. Bring the toy of your choice and throw it a few meters away from where you are. As your dog goes to fetch the toy, sprint or run around towards the opposite direction to create some distance between you and your dog. Have your dog chase after you. However, do not run too fast or too far away so that your dog won’t end up tired or bored. Rest as needed and hydrate often. Also, do not forget to give your dog some treats for a job well done.
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Dog-friendly Marathon

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Hard
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Food
Water
Leash or harness
Activity description

Marathons are a huge thing in the United States and regularly take place across all states. With the current popularity of marathons, it is no surprise that there have been a few twists on this running event. Dog-friendly marathons and races have been around for some time now. These types of races are usually just short distances and cater to all types of dogs. They are held regularly and some even benefit some charities. Hence, you not only get to exercise with your dog, you also get the chance to help out. The registration fees of such events are usually cheap to moderate and the race itself can be finished within an hour or two, depending on how fast or slow you go. You may need a leash or a special harness to keep your dog from running ahead of you.

Step
1
Find a race near you
Look for a marathon or race within your city that you would like to participate in. Do your research and find one that you can prepare for and has the distance that you want. If you and your dog are first-timers or occasional runners, a short distance is recommended. But if you and your buddy are already seasoned runners, you may go for the longer distances. Also, choose a race that is at least a few weeks away. This will give you ample time to train and get used to running with your dog before the actual day of the marathon.
Step
2
Register and train
After you find a race that works for your schedule and one that you feel you and your dog can do, you will have to register for it. Fill out all the necessary forms and complete the registration. Then, take time to train during the days leading up to the marathon. An hour a day of walking and running with your dog will help both you and your dog get in good shape for the actual race.
Step
3
Race day!
Pack all the things you have to bring the day before the race. Bring enough food and hydration for both you and your dog. Also, prepare the leash that you will use for your dog during the race. On race day, go at a pace that will not stress your dog out. But, more importantly, do not forget to have fun and enjoy with your best bud.
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More Fun Ideas...

Fartlek

This funny-sounding game is an actual training routine that is used by runners all over the world to boost their speed. Translating to “speed play” in Swedish, fartlek is the practice of incorporating short sprints within a routine run. To play fartlek with your dog, simply burst at a fast pace for a couple of meters and watch your dog follow you before reverting to your normal pace. Do this as often as needed. This allows you to train and improve speed and be with your dog at the same time. 

Chase

Chase is another simple but classic game that owners love to play with their dogs. The rules are pretty straightforward – run away while your dog tries to chase after you. To play, call your dog’s attention by clapping, whistling or any other sound. Once you have your dog’s attention, run away. When your dog is within a few feet away, turn around and reward him or her with a treat or a gesture of affirmation. Stopping before your dog reaches you allows you to control the game and not let your dog have to nip your leg.

Conclusion

Running is a sport enjoyed by many. With all these activities to choose from, dog owners can now enjoy their daily runs without having to leave their furry friends behind. Whether just a casual runner or one who is training for a marathon, your dog can serve as the “paw-fect” workout buddy and training partner.