It’s time for Doggy Dash!
Tips to get your dog ready for a 5k
Andie Missert is a Marketing Specialist at Kurgo Products. She manages the Kurgo blog and enjoys reading about unique adventures that dog owners go on with their pups.
5 Tips to Become an Active Walker with Your Dog
Whether you are training for a road race or looking to get a bit more exercise outdoors with your dog, knowing where to start is the first step. Understand that any change from your normal day-to-day activity can be challenging, but also extremely rewarding! Increasing your frequency or pace of walking is great for your mental and physical health, as well as your dog’s. Follow these expert tips below to become an active walker together.
Since active walking may be a new activity for both you and your dog, start slow. For daily walks with your dog, begin to gradually increase your speed for a more strenuous workout. This will make the transition to being more active easier for your pup. By slowly starting to increase your walking speed, this should also gradually increase your stamina. If you’re looking for a bit more of structure in terms of a training plan, follow Leash Your Fitness’ 6-week training plan for either walking or running. By following this, you’ll be road race ready and set to tackle a 5k! (Looking for a dog friendly 5k? Look no further than the Sacramento SPCA Doggy Dash on April 28th!)
Use a Dog Harness
When actively walking with your dog, we recommend using a harness instead of a collar. There are a few benefits from using an active dog harness. First, this is a more comfortable option for your dog. Walking can involve quick movements that can cause quick pulls on your dog to better direct him or her. A collar would pull tightly on a dog’s neck, while a harness guides and redirects. The Kurgo Journey Dog Harness is great for any activity and has a leash attachment on the back for even more comfort. Another benefit of using a harness is that you’ll be able to keep your dog close. If you’re in a city environment or someplace new, you’ll want to keep your dog close and the best way to do that is with a fitted, active harness attached to a short lead.
Consider Your Environment & Weather
Weather and environment both play major parts in being active outside. Remember that dogs do not sweat, they pant. Exercising outside with them in the heat is not a safe idea. They also do not wear shoes so if the pavement is hot, it will burn their paw pads. In the summertime, exercising early in the morning or evening might be best. Also consider your environment that you plan to be outside in. Think about whether it is safe for you and your dog. If your dog is easily scared by cars, it might be worthwhile to find some close trails to walk on. If your dog is trained to stay close to you and is very obedient, perhaps walking and exercising together in a city environment could be feasible. Think about your area, how obedient your dog is, and determine which area for exercise will work best for you as a team.
Hydrate & Fuel
Make sure you bring plenty of water for you and your dog on any active run. If you’re thirsty, your dog likely is, too. Running belts are great for storing water, as well as keys, phones, etc. while on the move and out for long walks. Just as important as fueling, make sure you and your dog are well hydrated and fed before going out. Set yourself up for the best results by feeding and hydrating your body properly.
The most important thing to remember when trying something new and active with your dog is to have fun! Active walking and exercise can be a great bonding experience, but don’t stress too much about your speed or whether you’ll be able to run a marathon one day. Have fun testing out new environments. Hiking might be a perfect fit for you – enabling you to explore new places and surroundings. Start a “dog jog” group with some pals. Exercising with your dog can be physically, mentally, and socially fulfilling. Good luck!