Many start off the New Year with a resolution to get in shape, and often that regimen includes some form or running or jogging. This year, we encourage you to get both yourself and your dog in shape by beginning or continuing a running routine with your canine. What better motivator than a bright-faced, panting, four-legger with high endurance whose tail wags at the mere sight of tennis shoes and a leash?
If you’ve never run with your dog before, keep in mind that if you’re out of shape, your dog might be too. Dogs need to be conditioned for long hauls just as humans do.
Start your resolution out right with this guide to “tail blazing” that will have you both back in shape in no time!
- Take your dog for long walks of at least a half-mile every other day. This gets them used to the leash, their surroundings, and your commands. This also gives your dog’s paws a chance to toughen up.
- After a week or so, add in periods of running into your walks. Gradually increase the amount of running over the next week or two until you are running the entire time.
- Once you and your dog are conditioned to run, you can add speed or distance. It is recommended to increase your distance about 10 percent each week, but if your dog starts lagging, slow down and let them catch their breath.
- Finally, while in training mode, allow your dog a day off for each day ran.