Q: What’s the best way to run with my dog in tow?
Amy Marsh answers
A: Dogs can make great running partners. While they’re young, dogs have all the energy in the world, which is actually a good thing when you’re having a rather un-motivated morning. Their puppy eyes may be all it takes to get you up and out the door. But, before starting a regular routine with your four-legged friend, there are a few factors to consider.
Has your dog had a check-up recently?
Play it safe and take your dog to the vet. This will help eliminate the possibility of any underlying heath issues that would prevent them from being able to run and be active with you. In trying to support their overall health, you may want to start your pup on a chewable multi-vitamin or joint health supplement.
Are they new to regular physical activity?
Start out slowly — as you would your own new exercise routine. You want to be sure to minimize the risk of injury, so choose a pace that’s comfortable for Fido to maintain.
Does your dog drink enough water?
Take water breaks during the run and make sure to have a bowl of water ready for your dog when you get home. If planning a long run, bring along a few treats in order to keep your dog’s energy levels up. Pets need fuel and fluids, too, especially during the warmer weather months!
Do you live near a proper running route?
Be aware that asphalt can get very hot in the summer time, and your dog’s paws are soft and susceptible to blisters and cuts. Running on soft surfaces can help protect their paws and reduce impact on their joints.
Bottom line is that you and your dog can both benefit from exercise, so what’s better than doing it together?!
Amy Marsh is a four-time Ironman champion, two-time Iron distance champion, and was named the 2010 USAT Long Distance Triathlete of the Year. Brandon Marsh has been competing in triathlons since 1988, and can be counted on to be a top-10 contender in every event he enters. Got a question about swim-bike-run or sports nutrition for Team Marsh? Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter, follow Brandon @BrandonMarshTX and follow Amy @AmyCMarsh.