With summer here it's the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors with your four-legged friend. There is nothing nicer than spending some quality time going on a long walk in a park, through the amazing English countryside or lovely woodlands. Many people take this perfect opportunity to get fitter and what better way than to start jogging with your pooch making part of your "get healthier and fitter" summer routine.
A lot of dog owners get involved in running for charities and take their pets along with them which is a brilliant idea because both the people taking part and their dogs get sponsored which can raise much needed for the charities concerned. Knowing how to behave when out jogging or taking part in a charity event with your pooch, means learning about the right etiquette to match any situation you may find yourself in. This includes a lot of unexpected ones that may frighten your canine friend and where planning of a route makes a lot of sense so that nothing will take you or your pooch by surprise.
If you are planning to take part in a dog friendly charity event with your pooch, you need to make sure you read all the rules. Many of the longer runs which are typically over 3 miles stipulate they are for "people only" and as such you would not be allowed to run with your dog.
Don't take it for granted that your dog is fit enough to jog with you at an event.
If your dog has not be out on regular runs with you, the chances are they will not be fit enough and therefore you would not be doing them any favours by taking them along with you – especially during the summer months when the weather is that much warmer. You have to be absolutely certain your pooch is ready and fit to take part in an event of any sort and if you have any doubts, it is best to leave them at home because it is far better to be safe than sorry.
Planning is all important when taking part in an event with your dog and this means taking along enough water for the both of you as well as lightweight bowl for your pet to drink out of. You should also take along enough of their favourite treats to reward them en-route when they are being really well behaved.
Poop bags are essential items to take with you because not picking up your dog's mess would be very bad etiquette. You then need to make sure you dispose of the bags somewhere acceptable which should be in a bin specifically for this purpose.
The one type of lead you should not use on a run is a retractable one which could prove not only inconvenient for other runners but quite dangerous because it could cause someone to trip, fall over and injure themselves. Retractable leads are brilliant in the right situations but when out jogging or taking part in an event this is not the case at all because it allows your dog to get a little too far away from you.
Ideally, your pet needs to be kept on a shortish lead so they remain at your side during the run. You may even like to consider using a harness which offers you a lot more control and is more comfortable for your dog to wear as there's no pressure put on their necks which is a very good thing!
The majority of dog-friendly events are considered as "fun runs" and not races as such. Therefore you don't have to do your best to cross the finishing line in record time but rather pace yourself so that you and your pooch get to enjoy the whole event from start to finish without breaking sweat. The lovely thing about fun-runs is that you can stop when you want to and catch your breath, have a chat with like minded dog owners who may be taking part which makes it such an enjoyable experience all round.
It's really important to show lots of consideration towards other people taking part in an event or who you meet when you are out jogging with your pooch. The start of a "fun-run" is typically a little bit exciting which is why you might like to think about starting out at the back. This will be less stressful for your four-legged friend and you may find other runners who have brought their pets with them are doing the same. This allows you to start the race at your own pace without being in any body else's way.
Needless to say, you have to take super care of your dog throughout the event making sure they are happy and not tired out. The chances are there will be lots of children around and many will want to say "hello" to your dog so you need to be certain that your pet will not get too agitated or nervous about the situation and if they are – it is best to take them out of harm's way. You need to be very aware of what's going on and your surroundings so that nothing untoward happens which could spoil the day.
It is really important that your dog is fit enough to take part in a charity "fun run" with you. Most of these events are planned well in advance which gives you the necessary time to get them and yourself fit enough for the big day so that you both really enjoy the experience and there's no better excuse to get fitter and healthier than when you are raising money for a favourite charity!