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How to exercise with your dog

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Expert QA

I like to jog with my dog, but the experience is always uncomfortable for both of us. The last time, the leash cut into my hand, and my dog almost knocked me over. How can I make this less stressful and more productive?

I'm glad that you haven't given up on your dog as a jogging partner. There are many perks to exercising with your dog, so long as you both are in shape and up to the task. (Confirm that with your dog's veterinarian and with your own doctor.) You both need regular exercise, and your dog is ready and waiting to go out when you are.

Arden Moore, author of Happy Dog Happy You, offers some helpful tips on how to best jog with your dog. Moore advises that owners like you should:

  • Use a leather leash. You are probably using nylon or some other material now, which can be harder to grip and may cut into your hand, as you describe.
  • Be prepared. Bring water and disposable bags for any necessary cleanups.
  • Run on grass, if possible. You may have the latest high-tech running shoes with a thick rubber sole, but your dog's paws come into direct contact with the substrate.
  • Watch the weather. Don't attempt outdoor jogging or other strenuous exercise with your dog on extremely hot or cold days.
  • Practice safety. At night, use reflective tape and safety lights.
  • Train your dog to run at your side. Moore says that you should "extend your leg in front of your dog," should it try to cut in front.
 

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