You might be tempted to put your baby in a stroller, grab your dog's leash and go. After all, your well-trained pooch has been jogging at your side for months or even years. He's been with you while you explored the best dog-friendly hiking trails in the Pacific Northwest. He's even learned to enjoy running on crowded paths. So what can possibly go wrong while jogging with him and your new baby in a stroller?
Well actually — a lot! You've added a strange wheeled contraption to the mix, complete with a new member of the family who smells odd and makes weird sounds. To your dog's nose and ears, at least. Let's not overwhelm your poor pup with everything at once!
You'll need to give your pet time to accept the new baby first before you all three go for a jog. He'll also need to get used to the stationary stroller before you try getting him to first walk, and then jog, with it. With time, practice, and especially patience, you'll be effortlessly jogging with your dog and the baby's stroller before you know it. An extra benefit of this daily exercise is that it will help him adjust to the stress of having a new baby in the house.
1. Choose the Right Stroller for Jogging With a Dog
Having the right stroller is key when you want to take both your baby and your dog for a jog. A slightly heavier stroller won't be as easier to tip over as a lighter-weight model. A swiveling front wheel makes it easier to maneuver around corners. You'll appreciate that when you're trying to get yourself, the stroller, and your pooch around a corner. Especially if that corner is crowded!
Make sure whatever stroller you choose is sturdy and has great brakes, just in case. The large, easy-to-grip handle should be comfortable to hold with your arms at a 90-degree angle and it should extend far enough back so you won't be whacking your knees with every stride. A stroller that folds for storage or to load into a vehicle is extra handy.
2. Training Your Dog Before Jogging With a Stroller
According to Pathway Pooch, your dog should be great at obeying these 4 commands before you try taking her for a jog with a stroller.
- Loose leash walking on your left side (to keep her away from pedestrians and other dogs passing on the right)
- Heel (especially useful at crosswalks)
- Stay or wait (great for maneuvering that bulky stroller through doorways)
- Leave it (squirrels, cats, and trash can sometimes tempt even the best dogs!)
3. How to Teach Your Dog to Jog With a Stroller
Patience is key here. Your poor pooch has already experienced a massive upheaval in his life. There's a new person in his family and that interloper may have even cost him his favored place in your bed. Just learning to lovingly accept that new little person is a big deal. So be patient, try to stick to your dog's routine as much as possible, and slowly let your dog get used to the stroller.
Note: When jogging with your dog and a stroller, never attach the dog's leash to the stroller. If your dog's leash is tied to the stroll and your dog gets frightened and bolts, the consequences could be catastrophic. Instead, use a good hands-free leash that lets you concentrate on your baby while still having perfect control over your dog.
Teaching Your Dog to Accept a Stroller:
- Let your dog get used to just seeing the stroller sitting quietly in your home at first. Offer him a treat occasionally and praise him when he sniffs it or otherwise shows calm interest in it. You want him to associate good things with this strange new object.
- Once your best bud is used to seeing the stroller, try moving it slowly around your home. Don't forget the treats and praise! Keeping a handful of treats on the tray or in the cup holder of the stroller will strengthen its association with good things.
- Take the empty stroller for a few walks with your dog, giving him lots of praise for walking quietly beside it. A baby blanket that smells like your little one will get him used to the idea of the baby coming along for a ride. A few more treats won't hurt, either!
- Start off with baby steps (pun fully intended) by walking with your dog and your baby in the stroller before you jog. Choose a wide, level path and a quiet part of the day at first.
- Finally, go for a jog with your baby in the stroller and your best friend at your side. It won't hurt to have another adult along for help during the first few jogs.
4. Tips for Buying a Great Hands-Free Leash
A great hands-free leash will help you maintain control of your dog in any situation. If it's adjustable, you can keep your pet safely away from the stroller's wheels, especially during turns. It should also help you maintain the proper form during your jog. The last thing you need with a new baby is a sore back or strained muscle!
Details of the Runner's Choice Hands-Free Leash:
- It has three length adjustments (30", 46", and 54") so you can keep your dog close to your side or allow him a bit more freedom while still maintaining perfect control.
- It includes a waist belt that's adjustable from 28 to 48 inches and is comfortable to wear.
- The tough, durable Runner's Choice is made with a unique bungee material that has a minimum breaking strength of 215 pounds and will easily absorb any shocks from even the most powerful dog. Yet the entire leash weighs a mere 7.04 oz.
- This exceptional hands-free leash is made with American handcraftsmanship and the finest materials, including marine-grade bungees and military-grade webbing.
- The Runner's Choice offers superb functionality under a wide variety of conditions.
Now that you've seen all of the details we've built into this thoughtfully designed leash, we think you'll agree that it's just what you need for jogging with a baby, a stroller, and a dog!
With the right stroller, a great hands-free leash, and the proper training, you can safely go for a jog with both your baby's stroller and your best friend along. All of you can get out there and enjoy the fresh air and fun! Check out our Dog Blog for more tips on exercising with your dog and don't hesitate to send us a woof if you have any questions.