Running and Fitness with Dogs
We’re all a fan of the “Kasama Run,” a running buddy who eggs you to wake up before the sun rises to squeeze in an easy 5K before heading to the office or that mate who’s willing to destress by breaking a sweat with you after a long tiring day at work.
We all need that extra-encouragement to push us to train better, run further, even as we take a pause to catch our breath and to finish only after the timer says we’re done.
The ultimate cheerleader, partner, and coach is actually your best friend.
Dogs are working animals; they love to help-out, they get excited about meeting goals and they love to please. Contrary to popular belief, canines don’t thrive in lazy conditions, spoiling and other humanizing tendencies—don’t believe what those puppy dog eyes say all the time!
Giving-in to your dogs every whim will actually make them sick, temperamental, and insecure. Happy dogs are active, disciplined and helpful.
This makes them the perfect “Kasama Run” or running buddy once you get them into it. On your part, you know that once your dog is hooked on something, there is just no way you can bail out of it. So if you get them used to running in the morning before 5:30 am, you can be sure they’ll be at your door, leash on mouth, tails wagging at barking like mad if you’re not on your heels by 5:45 am.
Having dogs as companions are also proven to help relieve stress, anxiety and depression amongst humans. There is nothing more motivating than seeing the tongue-out happy grin of your pooch as you dash around your village, both of you tired and panting—you more heavily and him drooling—but eager to get to the finish line.
Of course, in the beginning, you have to prep them up for the task. At first, they wouldn’t be so into it yet as they still don’t know what to expect, but that changes fast. After a week of dragging them, they would be more than excited to the point of guilt-tripping you on the days that you don’t actually want to run.
Here are 6 Things you need when Running with your Dog
1. The first thing you have to consider when you plan to run with your dog is the leash and collar. Opt for leashes that are adjustable and can be set on a shorter range. You don’t want your dog running far ahead of you. Ideally, your dog should be running at your side not behind or in front. The collar should also be sturdy, fit, and comfortable. Avoid materials that are rough and that can graze your dog’s neck. Don’t also go for body-harness if you’re after a serious run (these are for easy casual runs and strolls only) as this will put you out of touch with your dog when you want them to immediately heel, stay in one direction or are simply trying to shake them off distraction outside. bow and wow, the all-natural pet store recommends Petmate collars for outmost control without sacrificing on versatility and mobility.
2. The next thing you want to look at is a hydration belt with multiple pockets, like the Hands-free Hipster by Outward Hound, also available at bow & wow. You’ll be needing portable water and a poop bag at least in there and a versatile portable dog bowl that can easily shrink and expand at will. Trust me when I say this is crucial, you never know when your dog will decide it needs to go and there’s nothing worse than a dog-parent who doesn’t pick-up after their pooch. It is also not safe to run without making sure you have water for your dog as this will make them prone to heat-stroke, unlike us, dogs are less attuned with their bodies and are more prone to over-exerting it in an effort to please you. As demonstrated by Pinoyfitness CEO and Founder Jeff Lo, it is breezy to run with even two dogs so long as you’re properly geared and equipped with the right Alpha frame of mind and of course, not forgetting to put fun at the center of your heart.
3. Treats, add a couple of small ones to your hydration running belt. This is important when you’re just starting to run with your dog as most likely, you will encounter behaviors that are not favorable such as; Barking at other dogs, peeing at every plant-box, sitting down, sniffing or wanting to go the opposite direction. Make sure to reward your dog with the treats you brought every time it doesn’t commit the mistakes mentioned above. This will reinforce positive behavior to your dog and will make running with them smoother sooner.
4. Energy bars; Treats for you basically, running with an inexperienced furry friend is more tiring than running solo in the beginning. To keep-up, have a couple of healthy energy snacks in your stash. You can’t let your dog lead the pace, but in order to be an Alpha pack leader, you’d have to be as strong as one—so bite in that energy bar to fuel you on.
5. Good nutrition: Keep you and your dog on tip-top shape by filling a pantry of wholefoods options. Healthy Options has a myriad of selections especially formulated to supplement an active lifestyle such as wholefoods based protein formulas for an easy quick-meal post-run smoothie, wholegrain snacks that are based on complex-carbs instead of just simple sugars, and superfood add-ons like Maca root for lasting endurance. For your dog, bow and wow, the first all-natural pet store provides natural and organic food especially formulated for every breed, and even homeopathic-approved tinctures to address the common eruptive tendencies of our fur-friends when they are exposed to a volatile environment outside. bow and wow has remedies for dogs who goes off at the site of cats, the sound of honking cars or even those who are eternally obsessed with marking territories. All of which are unnecessary distraction to your run.
6. When you’re ready to take getting fit with your dog to the next level, why don’t you try biking with them? Again, take into consideration the 5 points written above and make sure you have a sturdy stable bike that won’t be easily uprooted by your hyper best friend. We’re a big fan of the Bam Bike. Here, founder and CEO Bryan McClelland, a certified dog-parent himself paddles with Sombra, a black Labrador-Poodle and demonstrates how easy it is to bike not just with one, but with two dogs given the right gear and confidence. Remember, out of everything mentioned, being Alpha is King. If you’re insecure and are unsure with what you are doing, your dog will sense it and will try to contest your authority as the pack leader.
The Bamboo bike isn’t just a treat for the sight, it is also sound for the environment and makes a good chew-toy for your dog — Just kidding! Dogs love to chew on just about everything so make sure to keep an eye on them around your bike, especially if its as enticing at this Bamboo bike.
So essentially running with dogs easy with the:
1) Right attitude
2) Nutrition as fuel
3) Correct Gears and Accessories to make
Ready. Woof. Go!
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