Running with Your Dog: A Pack Activity Packed With Benefits

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Running with a dog is a pretty accessible stereotypical image of pet ownership. And there are good reasons why. The numerous benefits that accrue to both the owner and the dog make taking your dog for a run one of the more efficient ways to spend time with them—addressing multiple needs at once. Here are some good reasons to adopt running with your dog as a habit.

Health benefits


Running as a form of exercise can help to keep both you and your dog trim and fit. Just as the sedentary lifestyle is bad for your long term health, lazing around all day indoors is a recipe for pot-bellied pup.


Taking him or her for a run is a great way to shed some calories, raise their overall metabolism, and avoid the health problems that are associated with canine obesity. Running with your dog also helps them to strengthen their heart and lungs.


While running occasionally is better than nothing, we recommend that you try and schedule consistent workouts once or twice a week for observable results.

Behavioral benefits


Making a running buddy of your dog also burns pent up energy that your dog may possess. Most dogs (though this depends on the breed) have it in their blood to highly energetic creatures.


If they don’t get the exercise they need, they tend to act out—zooming around indoors like a rocket, begging incessantly for attention, or being unable to focus and concentrate when required. These behavioral issues can be avoided by ensuring that your dog gets its fair share of stimulation.


To keep your dog in a ‘balanced’ state, it’s important to give them an outlet to vent. And once you’ve done this, you may find that they are calmer, more obedient, and happier pets overall.

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Relational benefits


Running with your dog is also a great way to bond with your pet. Leading your dog to work together to reach a common goal (of completing a distance run, or meeting a set time) even if they don’t understand, can help you to feel more bonded with your pet, and having a running companion also makes you push yourself further during your runs.


For your dog, running is also a bonding activity as it simulates act of a ranging over vast territory as a pack the way their wolf ancestors would have done.


In addition, both you and you fur pal will experience the release of feel-good chemicals (responsible for the famous runners’ high) such as endorphins during and after a run, which can facilitate bonding.



Given the clear benefits to running with your dog, it should be a no brainer for most pet owners. So, if you haven’t yet tried running with your dog, what’re you waiting for?


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