Lack of exercise and boredom are a recipe for disaster when it comes to your dog. Dogs with pent-up energy and no way to release it are bound to display undesired behaviors, such as excessive barking, destructive digging, scratching and chewing or garbage raiding. Taking your dog along on your daily jog is one way he can burn energy and bond with you. Before doing this, be on the safe side and learn the do’s and don’ts of jogging with your dog.
1. Do bring your pet companion to the veterinarian before starting a regular jogging regimen with him. Your vet can examine him and determine whether he’s physically capable of handling the strain.
2. Do keep your dog on a leash at all times when you jog with him. This allows you to control him and protect him from hazards. A 6-foot leash is sufficient. Hold the leash in your hand; avoid tying it to your wrist.
3. Do bring water and some treats along for your dog when you go jogging. Take regular water breaks to help keep him hydrated and give treats for good behavior or to get his attention when distractions occur.
4. Do wear reflective bands or blinking tags, and also put a reflective collar on your dog so you’re both visible during the darker parts of the day or if a sudden fog sets in.
5. Do start jogging with your dog in a gradually progressive manner. Start with a short jog and slowly increase the duration as the days and weeks progress. Always make a five-minute warm-up and cool down part of your jogging session. Create a routine, so both you and your dog’s cardio fitness slowly improve.
1. Don’t go jogging with your dog during the hot weather, because if his body temperature reaches 105 degrees Fahrenheit or more, he might suffer heatstroke. Also, the hot pavement can hurt your dog’s feet. Jog during the cooler parts of the day, such as in the morning or late in the afternoon.
2. Don’t feed your dog immediately before going jogging, because this can trigger gastric upset and stomach problems.
3. Don’t jog in areas where the pavement is covered with rocks or gravel, because these can damage your dog’s foot pads. Always check your dog’s feet after coming home from your jog.
4. Don’t go jogging with multiple dogs, because it’s hard enough to control one dog when you’re moving at a fast speed. Also, dogs of different breeds might have different exercise needs and might not move at the same pace.
5. Don’t overexert your dog or push him too hard. Observe him closely while you’re jogging. If he slows down and stops or pants heavily, take a rest break or consider going home.
Texas A & M University
Partnership for Animal Welfare