Throughout the pandemic, I have had the opportunity (like many of us) to work remotely, in turn, spending way more time with my dogs. I have since shifted my perspective to think about going for a jog with your dog as the unquestionable gift it truly is, and how lucky we are to explore nature with our best friends. This is one of the long list of awesome benefits with working out with your pup.
My Blue Heeler/Australian Cattle Dog mix, Harvey, now holds me accountable every morning to take her for a run. She has done a more effective job making running a routine than any coach I have ever had. Just looking at her bright and energetic eyes in the morning and her big tail knock everything over from excitement is just music in motion to my dog mom ears and heart.
Assuming you have discussed your running or jogging plans with your pup’s doctor (aka the vet) before heading outside, we are going to discuss 9 amazing benefits of running with your dog.
1. Running Helps Your Dog’s Behavior
Many dogs are under-stimulated, and exposing them to new running pastures can help mitigate any destructive or rambunctious tendencies they have. It provides a positive activity to release their energy. Running with your dog can help them become more balanced behaviorally. This can reduce their overall stress (yes, dogs stress out too!) as well as their boredom levels. It has also shown that establishing a running routine with your dog can help issues including barking, digging, anxiety, and more.
2. Running Supports Mindfulness
Running is just more enjoyable with your dog by your side. Their focus is not on their Apple Watch, iPhone, or their pace –their pure joy is in the actual run with you. Running with your dog helps us become more mindful and focuses our attention on the present moment. Your pup is literally the definition of mindfulness. Observe how they are so happy and content when outside in nature – their head is up, tail wagging, and they are alert to take in all the beauty in the present moment. They never get bored with a single walk. We have a lot to learn from dogs.
3. Running Releases Endorphins For You And Your Dog
Yup, both you and your dog child release endorphins while exercising. Studies have shown that running with your dog releases mood-boosting endorphins. Have you ever watched your dog have an overwhelming amount of happiness as he runs through a field in pure bliss? Mood-boosting effects from exercising have countless studies confirming that the more you move, the more you groove.
4. Your Dog Provides Protection Running With You
Having your dog by your side could potentially stop a dangerous encounter. It also heightens your dog’s senses to be more aware. We live in a world where dog moms and everyone has to be conscious of our surroundings. Having your pup there could make you less vulnerable to different threats, and an extra pair of eyes (and nose!) never hurts. Running with your dog can make you a less attractive target, and dogs have been known to sense danger before us dog parents can.
5.) Working Out Provides Bonding Time
Your dog will treasure the time you have together on your runs, and this makes it a truly bonding experience. If you are a current runner or workout, you probably run with some of your close friends. And that experience creates a bond amongst your friends. This same theory applies to running with your dog – it’s a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your bond and relationship. Your pup will appreciate this quality time they get to spend with you, and it improves their quality of life.
6. Dogs Help Mix Up Your Running And Workout Routine
Your dog will help you switch paces and mix up your routine given their different sniffing stops and paces. This takes the monotony out of your everyday run. Try going to different dog-friendly parks and discover new environments together. I love exploring new areas and taking little “breaks” when I find hidden gems in nature, and this helps to keep my runs exciting and fresh.
7. Provides Post-Run Dog Mom And Dog Dad Quiet Time
Let’s face it, sometimes you would like to take a bath alone or maybe go on your phone for a few minutes without being paw’d non-stop. Just me? Didn’t think so. As a result, after your pooch enjoys their run, they will be ready for that well-deserved nap! And while they are napping peacefully, you can relax yourself or get productive! Unless you want to take the nap with them, that is!
8. Having a Dog Around Sparks a Social Life
Something about having a cute dog sparks conversation and provides a commonality among other dog lovers. They respect the side conversations you have with your dog and find joy in the latest environmentally-friendly collar you just purchased. Dog moms and dog parents are typically friendly and have the best topic in common with you – your passion for dogs!
9. Running With Your Dog Regulates Your Running Pace
Establishing a running routine with your dog can help develop your own running pace. You will support and encourage each other. Let’s say you wanted to skip that last mile – your dog will push you because they love running that last mile. And how can you say no to their new favorite hobby? Your fitness levels will grow together, and your pup can help maintain the running and jogging pace you have established. Dogs can also help you not over-do your running because they want the routine of your pace. If you decide to go all out for that last mile, and it is not a pace you and your pup have created yet, your pup will keep you in check to ensure you aren’t overdoing it.
You don’t have to start at a fast-running pace when going out for your initial runs. It will take time for both you and your dog to develop a routine and endurance. Again, make sure you let your veterinarian know your new routine, so they can offer advice and guidance.