|Jogging - Running.Running or jogging with your dog is an excellent form of exercise. If you do wish to run with your dog, the most important thing you want to be aware of is your dog's safety. Here are a few safety tips that also apply to other forms of exercise, especially the more vigorous kinds:|
- Don't run when it's hot or humid out. A dog with a thick fur coat, such as a Siberian Husky, can get overheated rapidly in hot or even warm weather under exercise conditions. Wait for cooler times of day such as early morning or later in the evening.
- Watch out for extremely cold weather. Northern breed dogs can handle extremely cold temperatures but dogs bred for milder conditions may have trouble.
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of water. Dogs lose a lot of water through panting. Proper hydration is essential to maintaining an optimum bodytemperature. A good trick to use if your dog is reluctant to drink is to pour some beef or chicken broth into the water. This is a technique Iditarod racers use to get their dogs to drink enough water.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. This includes other people, other dogs, small animals (important to be aware of if your dog has a high prey drive), and especially vehicles. If you are running alongside a road and your dog spots another dog on the other side and a car is coming, you need to be able to foresee any potential problems and be able to control your dog. Though all you really need in order to run with your dog is a leash and a pair of shoes, one of the best ways to run with your dog is to use what is called a Skijoring belt (essentially a leash attached to a belt - it is pictured in the cross-country skiing section).
- This belt is primarily used for cross-country skiing with your dogs but is easily adapted to running use. It allows you to run hands free with the pull of your dog going into your midsection rather than your arms where it could throw you off balance. If you choose to run using a regular lead, it is better to use a shorter lead such as a 6 foot cotton web lead. A longer lead will allow your dog to roam too much rather than focusing on running straight ahead. Harnesses are very useful for running as well. They allow the tension of the lead to go through your dog's chest and front shoulder area rather than through the neck, which makes far easier for them to run.