About the Author: Nettie Finley, the Professional Dog Trainer at MyPetDoggie. Specializing in behavior rehabilitation, Nettie leads our team with her effective training techniques. As a certified canine behaviorist, she brings transformative change to challenging behavior cases. Her experience and expertise elevate our content, providing practical, insightful training advice for our readers. Also, she loves her Cavapoo!
What’s better than improving your health while having fun? I cannot think of anything! Well, that’s what comes with having a dog. The benefits of running with a dog are not only useful for you but also for your pet’s health. A 30-40 minute walk can improve your health in ways you wouldn’t have expected.
Dogs are a great pet to have. They are a source of pure joy, love and happiness. While there are different breeds of dogs that make them different from one another, the most common characteristic in all of them is that they love going on a walk or run. They’re ready to play almost all the time. So, having a pet dog means an unlimited amount of fun.
Going on a run is physical exercise which is easy and really helpful. But it is not easy to just make up your mind and get going ever since treadmills became an option. It can be hard when you do not have a dog.
Their cute faces and whines to go out can convince you easily to take them outside and have a run. Being a dog owner myself, I can confirm it is true that their happiness and activeness mean the world to you and if going on a run can make them happy, you will not have to think twice!
While researching I have found out that not only is running with your pup beneficial for their physical but their mental health as well. If I start mentioning the benefits of dogs to go on a run, the first thing that pops up in my head is that dogs love being social and I think there is no better way to help them socialize and know other people and places other than taking them on a run. Exposure to new smells and sights helps them feel better.
When I talk about socializing being a benefit because dogs get to make friends and have companionship, how can I not mention that it can also help you make a bigger friends circle with similar interests?
Running is a source of energy for our brain. It helps new cells grow and develop to improve the overall performance and functioning of the brain. The feeling and chemicals released before and after running help in the calmness of the mind. That, Running gives a sense of satisfaction to be taking care of our health, it naturally makes us feel better.
Okay, enough chit-chat. Now let go down deeper into this, let’s get started.
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15 Health-Related Benefits of Running With a Dog
The benefits of running with a dog are plenty. As I mentioned above, dogs love going out to parks for runs and to play. It helps them in a lot of areas. Be it physically or mentally, they feel relieved after being on a run.
I feel like they are made this way, to just exist and have fun, stay hyperactive and enjoy their life to the fullest. Those creatures only care about being loyal to the owner and loving them. So we should, too, take care of them and their pure heart to the best possible extent.
One of the most common and best ways is taking them on a run which will help their muscle movement and prevent pain in joints. Their physical health will stay content all the time if they are taken on regular walks.
Regular movement of the body and exercising helps with quicker recovery from injuries as well. Their bones and joints are just healthier and happier if dogs are taken out more often.
It’s also the easiest way to a healthy life. Not only for your dog but for you too. Moving muscle by running is the best thing you can do for your bones every day and taking your dog along just means getting healthy while also having fun and making someone extremely happy.
Bonding And Socialization:
Playing with them also helps in building a bond with your dog. Games like tug or fetch are super interactive and important for the health of your dog and the relationship you share with them. When going for a run, you can play these games and help them to feel safer and happier around you.
Wait, are we getting too serious? Okay, let’s take a break from that. Now, let me tell you about how it works wonders in making you and your dog happy. There is this hormone named endorphins and it is released when exercising. It is the hormone with chemicals that make you happy. Isn’t that magical? Wait wait, don’t rush into taking your dog out already!
Mental stimulation is yet another benefit for dogs and you that should not be avoided. Dogs are happy creatures who want to stay active and joyful at all times and it only comes with a happy and stimulated mood. As I have observed, playing with your dog and being interactive with them is the best way possible to keep their mind stimulated.
Digging in, let’s be honest, none of us likes being fat and lazy. And dogs are just the same. Their love for being playful at all times can be hindered by weight. So, I have good news.
Weight management is an awesome benefit that comes from running. According to research, a dog of 20 pounds can lose 75 calories every hour through running and a person can lose up to 671 calories in 30 minutes. Instead of taking them on a walk, go for a run. It is the most effective way to lose weight and manage it.
Increased Energy Expenditure:
Being physically active and having increased energy expenditure is also one of the benefits of running with a dog. Exercising is the cause of high energy expenditure. Running allows you to be physically fit and alert which helps you use up your energy in better things.
Good For Your Immune System:
Running makes your immune system strong and healthy. It increases the immune cells in your body. This helps in preventing future diseases and infections as they will be detected earlier.
Vigorous running helps in an activity which is essential because it stimulates high metabolism and helps amazingly in weight loss. It helps in maintaining the basic and most important activities of our bodies such as respiration, circulation and digestion. Benefits of running with a dog are many, and this one is also one of the most effective ones.
Running may be something seen as a common activity, but it helps as a stress reliever, in mindful thinking and improved behavior.
Endorphins, as I mentioned above, work as a chemical that helps make you happy but their job doesn’t end there. It also has an amazing physical effect on your body and overall relieves stress and makes you happy.
They actively try to convince you to take them out and spend time with them, so give it a shot. Try going out with them as often as possible. You will notice a major change in their health and attitude. They will be calmer and less aggressive, they will not feel the need to bark or do annoying things to get attention.
You’ll Be More Attractive:
Exercising means moving muscles and having a fit and prominent body. That automatically means you become attractive as you run! Running is a booster of confidence which relates to a good posture and a good posture is undoubtedly beautiful. Running helps strengthen your muscles and bones promoting better alignment.
Take A Break:
While on a run, do not forget to give your dog a break. It’s important for them to recharge, go to the bathroom, and sniff the new surroundings. Allow your dog to get used to the places and smells so they can enjoy their run better.
Both Of You Will Feel Great:
Running makes dogs extremely happy. It’s sure that their mood will improve and they will feel great. And as for you, it is a source of strengthened cardiovascular systems. A run can help your mind feel relaxed and relieved because of the hormones produced which ultimately improve your mood and reduce mental health issues.
A Strong Relationship:
Not taking them out not only makes them sad but also kind of prevents you from building a stronger emotional bond with them. Accompanying them to do things they love with them is the most effective way of building an attachment.
They have a life of a total of 11-15 years and we should always try to make it the best and make memories for ourselves to reminisce about later on. They only like spending time exploring and loving their human best friends.
Motivation to stay active:
The benefits of running your dog also include having the motivation to stay active. Many times we don’t prioritize ourselves but having pets compels us to love them to the fullest and when they want to do something, you don’t like stopping or restricting them from it.
Having dogs just naturally means having someone who needs to go out a bunch. Their wagging tails and excitement every time you go near the front door or even take car keys explain love for going out. The motivation they give you to stay active is something you cannot get anywhere else.
Exploring nature is good for you both and there is no better way than going on a long run. To see all the new places, explore safe trails, and make memories with your little best friend. Trust me, as a dog owner myself, I often wish I had taken my old dog out more frequently and taken pictures of the biggest smile she used to have every time she saw greenery.
Exercising helps in getting better sleep as well. When you go on a run, your body naturally will get tired and you will fall asleep quicker to regain your energy and strength. Remember, while the benefits of running with a dog are many, you should not do it in excess. It can cause serious damage. Well, that’s a topic for some other day.
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Tips for running with your dog
Looking at the benefits of running with a dog, you do want to start as soon as possible right? I get it. Who doesn’t want to make their pet healthy and happy especially when in turn things favor you too? We all need some guidance before we start taking our favorite creatures on a run or for any other activity. I’ve got you covered with all the tips and advice you need for your new routine.
Consult A Vet:
Just casually going on a run with your dog may seem easy but you should always consult a vet. You should get a proper check-up of the dog and if they are well and healthy enough to go on runs every day or quite often. They are different creatures with different requirements and needs. So, we should always consider that and take care of them that way.
Us as humans, we can not take sudden changes in routine. Imagine you need to shift your nap time all of a sudden, isn’t it going to be hard to cope with? Think of it the same way for dogs. Starting gradually will help your dog understand and get used to the exercise. Sudden shifts in routine can cause problems and you don’t want them.
Consider Your Dog’s Breed And Age:
As I mentioned above, all dogs love going on runs but do not let the benefits of running with a dog blind you. Don’t forget the breed and age of your dog when you plan on taking them for a run. All breeds are different and take things differently. Some may be okay with running 5 miles in 10 minutes and some might have a problem with that.
Leash training is highly important. Train them to stay on one side whether left or right, whatever suits you but do not let them wiggle around going here or there because it will cause you to trip and fall once the leash tangles in your legs. You should take care of your safety first because you can only care for your dog when you are safe yourself.
Observe Your Dog’s Cues
Observe your dog’s cues and make it easier for them to get trained and stay safe while running. Cues like “let’s go” are the most common and dogs get used to them really quickly. Then, “get running” or “move it” can help dogs understand that you want them to speed up and pick up the pace.
Choose Safe Running Routes:
Choosing safe routes is fully your responsibility. You need to make sure you don’t encounter any wild animals or there are no fast cars going around. Mainly, the best places are dirt-covered and surrounded by trees. Consider and prioritize only going there.
Do not forget that dogs need water as well when they are on a run. Always carry water for your pet and make sure you bring a bowl along or something that has water spouts. It is not safe for dogs to gulp water.
Warm-Up And Cool-Down:
Just as warm-ups and cool-downs are important for us humans, they are as important for dogs. There are a few things such as loosening the leash, changing positions, and making them do some dog stretches that help in warming up. You should make sure to keep these in mind before allowing them to run.
As for cooldowns, casually slow down and start walking. For a cool down, you need to bring the temperature of your dog down and the heart rate to slow down. Help your dog by rubbing their muscles or helping them stretch their limbs. This will help them realize that they should now stay calm.
Is it better to walk or run with your dog?
Walking your dog is not enough exercise for them. You should definitely take them on a run every few days for stronger muscles, heart, and lungs. Walking your dog has different benefits such as increased mental stimulation that comes from sniffing walking and enjoying new territories. While walking your dog is okay, they need to run every few days.
Does running with a dog make you faster?
Running with your dog will increase your stamina and strengthen your body to cope with the long run. As you get used to it, you will not feel as tired and out of breath. Dogs help in this as they pull you along and motivate you to run faster with them. Which is a good sign for your health and one of the benefits of running with a dog.
Should I give my dog water while running?
Yes you should. They need water as much as we do, for their energy and metabolism levels to stay maintained. Make sure you only give them water. Anything else like a sports drink is not suitable for their immune system. Also, keep in mind that gulping water is not good for your dog so you should carry essentials like a bowl or bottle with spout so the dog can easily drink water.
How do you start running with your dog?
Cues. They are the best possible ways to help you in training your dog for a run. Short runs and jogging while your simple walks will make them aware of the beginning and they will get ready for a run. For slowing down, you can keep a cue as well to stop them. Rewarding your dog whenever they do the desired act is what helps them understand that you want them to do it and they save it in their memory. This also feels like one of the benefits of running with a dog, they are extremely good with cues!
Is it okay to run with your dog every day?
Yes, it is. It is beneficial for dogs to run every day and you should definitely go for it. But, do consider their physical attributes and whether or not they can take it every day. Running every day can get overwhelming if it’s done for many hours. Just keep a good check of the time and their health and you are good to go. The benefits of running with a dog should not only be helpful for us but also for the dog. As I mentioned above, the first and foremost thing you should do is to take them to a vet and ask them whether it will be okay for your dog to go on a run every day.
How do I know if my dog likes running?
Body language says it all. Whenever you are out for a run, keep a check of their body language. Look at them for any signs of stress when you walk away and not wanting to catch up. Getting slow and lazy quickly is also a sign you should note down. Take it easy on them and do whatever they are comfortable and happy in doing. Generally, running makes dogs happy so if yours doesn’t look quite happy, take him to a vet as well to make sure they are not injured or suffering from any health issues.
Will a dog chase me if I run?
Yes. It will. A dog’s chasing response can get triggered by looking at someone running. And they can catch you if they want so it’s worth it to just stop and take your step back. They run faster and can hurt you if they misunderstand you for danger. They usually chase runners because they do not like any intruders in their territory. If it’s about your pet dog, they can chase you to just play around and because they want to follow their leader as it’s in their instinct but you need to make sure you don’t end up tripping and hurting yourself with the dog.
Is running with your dog good for bonding?
Absolutely! Dogs love going for runs and you being the person allowing them to do what they love, they will definitely start thinking of you as their best friend and loving you more. This develops deeper love and trust in dogs for you. By far, dogs are the best running companions. They keep you well-guarded and their happiness motivates you to do it for a longer time.
Now, that was it. For me, I said enough regarding the 15 Health Benefits of Running With a Dog. I hope it helps!