Here are the top reasons you should be hitting the trails with Fido as much as you can!:
This seems like a no-brainer. Obviously, going for a run, walk, or jog is great for your health, but what does adding a dog to the mix really do to improve that? The short answer is that it will improve your overall performance, allowing for increased healthy results. First off, having another being dependent on your regular outdoor run introduces accountability. The chances of you ditching your workout because you're "too tired" diminish greatly when there's an irresistible furry face nudging the leash into your hands and pawing at the door.
On top of that, once you're out and enjoying the fresh air, you can let your pup set the pace. If you have a particularly active dog, this could mean that you're pushing yourself just a little bit harder to keep up. Simply including your dog in your routine means you'll not only be more likely to actually do your workouts, but also more likely to improve your performance than if you were alone!
Running alone is not always best practice, and we all know that there's safety in numbers, so why not take your dog along for some peace of mind? If you have a natural guard dog, they'll help alert you to potential dangers you may not see and can also make sure any unsavory types you meet along your path stay at arms-length. Even if your dog isn't particularly intimidating and is more likely to lick a potential threat than harm it, just having them by your side is a deterrent on its own.
It's easy to forget that you are your dog's best friend and they absolutely love spending time with you. Having a regular jogging routine with them is a great way to strengthen those bonds of friendship and love and can lead to a more harmonious home life. Now, I know some of you out there insist that your dog just isn't the daily-run-routine type. Trust me, I hear you (see below for footage of my actual dogs):
But I promise that committing to a regular practice will mean everything to them. It lays the groundwork for structure, obedience, and healthy (less destructive) habits. Mostly because...
An Exercised Dog is a Good Dog
Dogs need a fair dose of daily stimuli to keep them entertained. If you don't provide that in the form of organized play and exercise, it's extremely likely that your furniture and prized possessions will take the brunt of their excess energy. I very wisely (ha!) adopted two puppies at the same time. On a good day, I could stop their incessant maniacal couch-hopping, shoe-eating, dish-towel-tug-o-warring, toilet-paper-shredding antics with a well-timed yak milk chew.
This would grant me perhaps 30 minutes of peace which I used to hurriedly fit in my daily workout. It was the worst. And I'm embarrassed that it took me so long to piece together that I could just kill two birds with one stone and take the little monsters on a workout with me instead. Running with two dogs (especially endearingly clumsy ones, like mine), is quite the feat and you definitely need both hands to keep the leashes in check.
Luckily, my Mega i-40 Armpocket keeps my phone, house keys and even a few dog treats together and out of the way so I can stay hands-free for pup-wrangling! I'm especially grateful for the extra drop-protection that Armpocket has to offer, as running with dogs can be a touch unpredictable and it doesn't hurt to have your bases covered. But if you take the time to really work with your dog and give them the exercise they need, you'll soon find yourself with pleasantly quiet little angels (and intact couches):
Tips for Running with Dogs
So now that you know a few of the benefits of running with your dog, let's go over how to make this activity even more enjoyable, if you can imagine that!
- Get a good running armband. A protective phone armband with zippered storage pockets will help you run better with Fido because it provides hands-free storage of your phone, keys and cash so you can hold your leash and pay attention to what's ahead.
- Use a running leash. For serious runners and their pups, nothing compares to a running leash. Grab a style with a quick-draw or spring design so your dog doesn't take you with her if she sprints towards a squirrel or a bird. You may also consider a leash that goes around your waist so you get hands-free security while you run.
- Be patient with your pup. Dogs know how to run, but they don't inherently know how to run on a leash. Remember that trail running with a dog requires a bit of training and sometimes a lot of patience from both you and your furry friend.
- Let your dog warm up with you. You know how important it is to get your muscles primed for a good, long run, so make sure your pup gets a little warmup session of her own. Starting off walking is always a great way to get going.
Got Any Tips of Your Own? Please Share!
Let us know your tips and tricks for running with your dog and share some photos with us on social media! At Armpocket, the only thing we love to see more than our customers running is our customers running with doggos!