Have you ever thought about the benefits of running with your dog? Come rain or shine, summer or winter, your dog is probably the only one who’s always excited for a walk. Whether you’re coming home after a long and grueling day or comfortably spending a day indoors, your dog will always be enthusiastic to go out with you.
Dogs are probably going to be the most supportive and faithful running partner you’ll ever have. It’s a good thing too because going outside is great exercise for them, providing them with much-needed physical and mental stimulation.
But what about you, the owner? Are there advantages of running with your dog?
Let’s find out.
Running has many great benefits for you and your dog.
Benefits of Running With Your Dog
We may think that we’re doing our dogs a favor when we let them join us for runs but they’re doing us a lot of good too.
Here are some of the benefits of running with your dog:
Running has long been recognized as one of the best exercises for cardiovascular health and longevity. Additionally, this aerobic activity pumps muscles, helps circulation, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens legs muscles, and joints.
Runs are also a great way to manage and lose weight, strengthen immunity, improve cognitive function, and reduce the risk for certain diseases like cancer.
When it comes to your dog, we don’t need to tell you how good physical exercise is. It gives your pet a chance to stretch its legs and run around, giving it a healthy outlet for pent-up energy and activity.
At the very least, a run will leave you and your furry friend so dog-tired that you get a good night’s sleep.
Running regularly at a medium to vigorous pace has a wealth of mental and emotional benefits including an overall improvement in our mental health.
In addition to sharpening our memories and making us faster and better learners, it reduces stress, depression, and anxiety, making us feel better about ourselves while boosting self-confidence.
When we run, our bodies not only become healthier but also produce a lot of natural feel-good chemicals that can elevate our moods.
We produce endorphins, hormones that interact with our brain receptors. They produce happy feelings that have been compared to the effect of morphine and minimize our ability to feel pain.
We also release neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids. These have a similar effect to cannabis, a psychoactive drug that is often associated with its ability to produce a euphoric high.
These mental benefits aren’t exclusive to humans but are also shared by our pets. The Journal of Experimental Biology published a study some years back showing that exercise also triggered the release of endocannabinoids in dogs.
Like humans, dogs release feel-good endocannabinoids when exercising that produce a euphoric feeling.
Consistency in Your Exercise Routine
It’s often been said that the hardest part of the run is covering the distance between you and the door. When it’s uncomfortably hot or cold outside, when it’s raining, when you have too much work and too many chores — it’s just too easy to find reasons to skip a run.
A wagging tail and your dog’s hopeful gaze can melt the hardest of hearts and may just be the coaxing you need to get you through that front door.
Having a dog to run with is like having a four-legged and always enthusiastic exercise partner by your side. A dog can give us the motivation we need to get moving and get out there.
Motivation While Running
Think about all the things you’re likely to do to maintain a desired pace or to run for a predetermined length of time. Perhaps you use music with a driving beat, rely on a smartwatch to motivate and monitor your performance, or you could bring your dog for company and to keep things interesting.
With a curious and active dog by your side, you’re more likely to run longer and faster to keep up with them. Dogs by nature love to explore their surroundings. Whether it’s a hiking trail or your neighborhood, they’ll have countless opportunities for smelling and experiencing things and you’ll be right there along with them.
With a curious and active dog by your side, you’re more likely to run longer and faster to keep up with them.
You’ll Always Have a Running Buddy
From time to time, human exercise partners will have reasons they can’t go with you, different exercise activities that they prefer, or schedules that clash with yours.
In contrast, when has your dog failed to perk up and wag its tail at the mention of the words outside, park, or walk?
Do dogs like to run with their owners? Absolutely. No matter the time of day or weather, your dog will always be eager to run with you. Dogs embrace any excuse to go outside.
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Guidelines for Running With Your Dog
If you love your dog and running, there’s a big chance you’ll love running outdoors with it. As responsible owners, we of course want to make sure that the run is as good for them as it is for us.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when running with your dog:
- Know the pace that’s right for your dog’s age, size, state of health, and physical ability.
- Bring water for yourself and your canine.
- Don’t go running when the weather is too hot for you or your dog.
- Consider if your dog can handle the route you have planned.
- Even if your dog is properly trained, it’s always good to carry a running leash just in case.
Always consider your dog’s age, size, state of health, and physical ability when deciding on the route, pace, and distance for your run.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Run With My Dog Every Day?
Yes, and it’s good for them. Dogs need at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. If you don’t feel like running, you can also go on walks, or go to a dog park and play catch.
Here are a few more things to remember as you incorporate running as a daily habit:
Is running with dogs bad? No, the point is to give your dog a healthy amount of physical and social interaction whether it’s with you, other dogs, or other animals.
How long should I run with my dog? Thirty minutes is the recommended duration recommended by The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention. It doesn’t have to be confined to running either. Any type of physical activity for 30 minutes is enough to keep your dog physically and emotionally healthy.
How Can I Get My Dog To Run Faster?
To train your dog to run faster, put some distance between yourself and your dog and use its favorite toy to encourage it to run towards you. Offer treats and lavish praise as positive reinforcement.
Along with this skill, you can also teach your dog to heel and walk beside you as you run, and How to Teach Your Dog to Behave in a Park.
How Far Can Dogs Run With You?
Most dogs can run 20 to 40 miles per week and more. If your dog is a puppy, the limit runs to less than a mile. With proper and consistent training, you can train and empower your dog to cover increasingly longer distances.
Thirty minutes of outdoor physical activity daily is good for dogs and good for us.
Also Read: 5 Tips For Working Out At Home
When you tie your shoelaces and invite your dog to go outside, it’s the highlight of its day. While many people endeavor to start and keep running, many overlook the four-legged companions who are just waiting to be invited along.
Now that you know the many benefits of running with your dog, take it along with you. Your running and your health will be better for it.