Did you know that simply owning a dog can make you healthier? Whereas non-dog owners walk an average of 168 minutes a week, dog parents walk an average of 300 minutes.

But this level of exercise is only scratching the surface. Your canine companion can help get you in better shape than any personal trainer or gym membership ever could. 

That’s because your dog is an ideal running partner.

Wayne

For starters, their bodies were designed for running:

  • Like most animals with four legs, dogs can cover short distances much faster than we humans can.
  • Dogs (including wolves and hyenas) are also built for long distances.  They can easily gallop at full speed for 10 to 15 minutes before breaking into a loose gait that carries them for miles and miles. According to Natural History Magazine, the only other animals to fall in this “long distance group” are horses, wildebeest, and of course, humans.

But it's not simply their physical design that makes dogs such excellent running partners. It's also their temperament. Dogs are loyal work companions who thrive on exercise. Put your dog to work, and watch your social bond deepen with each successive jog.

In fact, not providing your dog with sufficient tasks can lead to a number of behavioral problems, including restlessness and aggression. In the words of Runner’s World, “a tired dog is a good dog.”

And these are just the benefits for you. Your dog also receives any number of perks from regular exercise, including:

  • Weight control
  • Confidence (i.e. reduced fear)
  • Better digestion (and less constipation)
  • Better agility
  • Better circulation

Done correctly, regular jogging sessions are a win-win for everyone involved.  But how do you make sure you approach these outings correctly?

How to Get the Most Out Of Your Canine Running Relationship

Your dog is a natural runner. But before you begin training for that next marathon, you need to take stock of your dog’s needs, health and ability. Use the below tips to make the transition as smooth as possible:

1. Consider Your Dog's Age, Size, and Weight

Dogs are the most varied animal species on the planet. Some breeds are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, while other breeds are large enough to take down big game entirely on their own.

  • Chihuahuas can't cover as much ground as golden retrievers can. But larger dogs are more prone to joint complications such as arthritis. Respect the size of your dog and adjust your running schedule accordingly.
  • Flat-nosed dogs like pugs and bulldogs often have more difficulties breathing than breeds with longer snouts. 
  • Age is also an important factor. Older dogs don't have the same endurance levels as their younger counterparts. But puppies younger than 18 months still need time for their bones to fully knit.

These are things you need to monitor no matter what. If your dog doesn't fall into the Top 20 Running Breeds, you'll need to pay extra close attention.

2. Environmental Considerations

In addition to monitoring your dog's health, you also need to survey external factors like temperature and running surfaces:

  • Unlike humans, dogs don't sweat. In order to dissipate heat, canines pant.  But they're not very good at panting while running. If the temperature is too hot or humid, consider scaling down your run or putting your jog off for another day.
  • Hydration is also important. Because dogs don't sweat, they’re much better at retaining water. But you still need to give your dog a fresh drink before, during and after every session.
  • Dogs were designed for running, but not necessarily on pavement. Their pads can blister easily, and leftover debris can cause irritation even after the jog is over. If at all possible, try to run on turf, grass, sand or soil. And be sure to clean your dog’s paws with a warm, soapy rag after each run.

3. Off-Leash or On-Leash Jogging

Another important decision — should you keep your dog on the leash or off? 

On the leash may be the better option for legal reasons (depending on how lenient your city is about canine restraints). You also need to assess your dog's ability to obey commands. If he or she doesn't come when called, it's best to stay on leash.

Assuming your dog is well disciplined, going off leash allows it to explore and set its own pace.

The Most Important Dog Running Tip of All

Regardless of age, breed or health, it is important that you start small and then scale up. You have to ease into an exercise regimen that suits your dog’s needs and ability.

How do you know when you’re moving too quickly?  

Unfortunately, your dog will never complain of fatigue. Thus, it is your responsibility as the pet parent to watch for early warning signs, such as:

  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Anxiety or stubbornness
  • Abnormally heavy panting
  • Glazed eyes
  • Signs of pain, stiffness or discomfort

If you're ever unsure about how to design an exercise schedule for your dog, don't hesitate to contact a veterinarian. Together, you can map out a manageable routine that keeps your dog in shape without putting his or her health in jeopardy.

 

Author Bio: Ashley Arnold is the both parent to her German Shepherd running partner and a world-class protection dog trainer for Wayne Simanovich Protection Dogs.

By Natalie Hennessy 45 days ago at 1:46 pm 0 Comments

Cats and dogs are generally well-behaved when it's just you and the family at home, but it's a completely different story when you're having guests over. Whether you're hosting a fancy dinner party or a casual backyard barbecue, pets can stir things up and stress out everyone involved. Read on for tips on how to wrangle your furry friend when you're entertaining guests.

What to do with your pets when you are entertaining

1. Advise guests ahead of time.

Advise guests ahead of time

Close friends and family may know about your pets, but for those who are visiting your home for the first time, a heads-up is appreciated. They'll probably find a poodle adorable, but some people are afraid of larger dogs. If you let them know in advance that you have a boisterous pup (and assure them that he's affectionate), they'll know what to expect.

2. Exercise them beforehand to tire them out.

Exercise them beforehand to tire them out

Play with your pets before the party so they can release all of their pent-up energy. Take the dogs out for a round of fetch and let the kitties chase that toy mouse around. By the time the guests arrive, your pets will be calmer and will probably be more interested in sleeping.

3. Consider putting them on a leash.

Consider putting them on a leash

If you know that your dog will make a run for the door as soon as it opens, consider putting him on a leash. This will keep him safe, even with the door constantly opening and closing as people start coming in. It also prevents him from jumping around and becoming too boisterous as you greet your guests.

 4. Pet-proof your party space.

Pet-Proof your party space

If your pets are allowed to roam, make sure that toxic food such as chocolate and nuts are out of their reach. Candles, tinsel, and ribbons can be harmful and potentially fatal when ingested, so take extra precaution when using these items for decoration. Keep breakable items like glasses and vases out of reach so that they don't accidentally knock them over.

5. Prepare a room where they can retreat into.

Prepare a room where they can retreat into

If your pets are used to other people and trained in basic commands (like "sit," "stay," and "heel"), then it's business as usual. But if they get nervous around strangers, it's better to have a room where they can stay during the party. Leave them some food and water, as well as their favorite toys. Check on them every now and then to make sure they're okay. This is also helpful in case you have guests who are afraid of dogs.

 

Pets are part of the family and you don't want to make them feel left out in their home, however, you also want to make your guests comfortable and at ease. Try these tips when you have a party so that everyone - you, your pets, and your guests - have a great time.

 

Jennifer LutzJennifer Lutz writes about home décor at blog.christmastreemarket.com. For more tips on throwing a successful party, check out her BBQ tips here.

 

By Natalie Hennessy 52 days ago at 2:00 pm 0 Comments

Being an adorable pug can be tough,ok who I am kidding since last week I got to visit the Big Apple for the NY NOW Gift Show. 

Momo take on the Big Apple

Products featured: Garden Fresh Apple Toy & Skulls & Roses Lounge Bed

Landed in New York City! A black car picked me up to take me to my accommodations – this is how I do it. These little legs are more for show and I wasn’t about to test them on the subway.

Black Car Service

Product featured: Pumpkin Chill Pad

As Chief Pug Officer I am always on the job whether its product testing, modeling our newest award-winning lounge beds or greeting potential clients with lots of snuggles and kisses. 

Momo on Tower of Lounge Beds with Toys

Products featured: Urban Denim Lounge Bed, Royal Crest Lounge Bed & Holiday Toys

The city streets are full of interesting smells and yummy treats, but I could tell my human was dog tired so we took a break. Can you tell which photo was taken after I ate my tasty Bocce's Bakery treats?

Break Time in NYCTreat time from Bocce's Bakery

Back to work and sometimes even I need to get some beauty rest. My Bamboo Lounge Bed is comfy and its elevated sides keeps everything in the right places if you know what I mean (I’ve got some love rolls from all those treats). Tongue out, don't care!

Momo passed out in Bamboo Lounge Bed

Product Featured: Bamboo Lounge Bed

I asked my team for a pumpkin latte and they gave me a Garden Fresh Pumpkin Plush Toy – not amused.

Momo & the Garden Fresh Pumpkin Toy

Product Featured: Garden Fresh Pumpkin Toy

I made an appearance at BarkBox Headquarters for a meeting. Checking that one off my pug bucket list! I found my space in this big office and the perfect vantage point to locate their treats ;)

Momo at BarkBox

Momo at BarkBox

I made some new friends - so many pups so little time - watch out humans this pug is on a mission!

Momo makes friends at BarkBox

I held a meeting to discuss my upcoming products coming to BarkBoxs soon. My human got us lost and we ended up in the wrong conference room. I bet these things don't happen to my friend Hamliton the Pug

Momo in BarkBox Conference Room

Hey where are all the P.L.A.Y. beds at? I am going to need to talk to their Canine Resources Department ASAP these pups deserve to lounge and snooze in luxury.

P.L.A.Y. Beds

New York you are perfect, oh paw-lese don’t change a thing! Until we meet again because New York is always a good idea…

puglife

By Natalie Hennessy 55 days ago at 12:06 pm 0 Comments