Your faithful pooch relies on you to live a long, healthy life. You are, after all, their best friend, and they can’t live without your care. We don’t often consider that, although we love to spoil our dogs, their health is also essential. Dogs who eat natural, unprocessed foods and enjoy an active lifestyle are healthier and are more likely to live a long, happy life. Running with your dog is a fabulous way to share the tremendous benefits of exercise with your pup.
Enjoy These 5 Health Benefits When You Run with Your Dog
If you are new to running with your dog, it will take a bit of training and additional consideration. Ask yourself the following questions before heading out to the sidewalk or trail with your dog:
- What pace can your dog handle?
- What surface will be best for running with your dog?
- Is your dog healthy enough to run the distance you have planned?
- Do you have a proper running leash? (We recommend Runner’s Choice).
Once you are confident that you and your dog are ready to start a running routine, you can look forward to experiencing the benefits described below.
Runners describe experiencing a “runner’s high” and feelings of euphoria following an intense run or long jog. This feeling is backed by science, which explains that running results in elevated endocannabinoid levels in the brain. Research published by the Journal of Experimental Biology determined that our dogs experience a similar “runner’s high.” Not only do our bodies reward us for exercising, but so do our brains.
People who run regularly often report that their running routines become monotonous. When running the same daily routine, workouts can lack variety and intensity. Running with your dog can provide the necessary intensity to improve your running performance. Even well-trained dogs vary their pace and are occasionally distracted during long runs. Reacting to your dog’s frequent changes in pace can provide a form of dynamic interval training that can boost your long term performance.
Never Miss a Day
Once you begin a running routine with your dog, they will expect the run every day at the same time. Even on days when you lack motivation, your devoted dog’s expectation of going for a run may be the nudge you need to get out the door. Whether the day brings good weather or bad, your pup will beg for a run until you give in. Who can resist those big eyes and perky ears begging for some exercise?
Dogs Offer Protection
When you run with your canine companion, you are a team. Your dog’s heightened senses can detect danger and her presence is enough to deter potential muggers or anyone intent on causing harm. If you experience a medical emergency, your dog can alert others that you need help. Runners feel safer when they run with their dog, which helps them stick to their running goals.
We already know the amazing benefits of running for our mental health, but did you know that running can help with your dog’s mental health, also? Studies have discovered that owners and their dogs can experience synchronized stress levels. One study, published in Scientific Reports, found that dogs take on their owners' stress and are also likely to mirror that stress. Running exposes your pup to new sights and sounds every day, which provides mental health benefits. Moreover, when running improves your mental health and clarity, your dog will mirror that.
Start running with your dog today to improve both your health and the health of your pup. Develop a consistent running routine that will ensure that you and your faithful companion will spend many healthy years together.