All you need to know before running with your dog

All you need to know before running with your dog

There are many ways to engage with you and your dog, as simple as taking your dog out for a walk to participating in a run from an awareness program near you.

What is a dog run 

A dog run can be either a private or public fenced off area in which a dog can be kept confined and get exercise. Since most dogs will get into just about anything, a private area keeps them safe from potential hazards such as poisonous plants, chemicals, or other animals. 

However, a dog run will be different from a dog run event, dog run events are events that offer perks and special festivities for runners who bring along their four-legged friends. 

What is the benefit of a dog run 

Dog runs provide a safe space where your dog can exercise and gives owners peace of mind that they're safe and not getting into trouble. If your dog is a digger, you know how much it can cause if not supervised. 

Virtual dog run

A virtual dog race is a race that can be run or walked from any location you choose. You get to run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself. You may complete a virtual 5Ks, 10k, half marathon, and more! Some events will even ship your medal directly to you. 

Dog runs that create awareness

Animal abuse is a matter that I feel always gets pushed aside. Animal abuse happens more frequently than most people know. Animal abuse can be deliberate or just by simply neglecting to take care of an animal. 

If you would like to help raise awareness, there are several events where you can 

  • Raise awareness on issues such as animal cruelty, responsible pet ownership, and rabies awareness
  • Surround yourself with 700 furry friends as you take part in a race, exciting games, and activities

Virtual Dogs Run Worldwide

The running community has taken a major hit because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions this spring, a time of year when the race calendar normally is ramping up and runners are itching to lace up their racing shoes. Runners who thrive on the energy and spirit that they find at races suddenly are on their own because of cancellations and postponements. Companies that held races, and charities that count on them for financial support, also are hurting.

Months later after the pandemic has gone better, companies are starting to held events and races with your beloved fur babies. Here are some events that are near you and you might have not known.

SINGAPORE - JUST RUN LAH!

Give the dog a Second Chance Virtual Run 2020, it is a virtual run event that emphasizes the importance of adopting a dog instead of buying a new one. "Adopt don't buy". Be kind to motherless fur babies and have faith that you can finish the run on time.  

 singapore virtual run

MALAYSIA - DOGATHON

dogathon

Dogathon is run by University Putra Malaysia's Veterinary Medicine Faculty students. Dogathon first started in 1997 as a platform to address the issue of stray dogs. Since then, it has grown to be the largest canine gathering in Malaysia with over 700 4-legged friends reported at last year's event! Dogathon not only raises awareness but most importantly pet owners are able to create memories with their beloved furballs. 

Dogathon also collects funds to support PROKASIH's Catch Neuter Release (CNR) program which is intended to help reduce the stray population around UPM campus. Dogathon is not just a platform for pet owners to gather and share their experiences with each other, but also to strengthen the bond between dog and owner. 

The main highlight of the even is the 1.5km dog race, putting you a race with other pet owners and their champions. With exciting prizes such as dog essentials. Without further ado, start training your babies to stop chasing other champions and focus on the race instead. 

dog playing with each other

THE UNITED STATES - FURRY SCURRY

Furry Scurry is less a race and more of a fun run and dog walk. The walk draws 12,000 people and 5000 dogs, according to Dumb Friends League. This year's event Furry Scurry is going virtual due to the pandemic. It was scheduled for May 2 in Washington Park.  Furry Scurry also said that " just because we won't be walking together doesn't mean that we aren't walking for the same reason, which is to help end pet homelessness and animal suffering" 

Unfortunately, this year's event has ended, but don't worry, they will hold another event next year! If you would like to be part of the event, you may check out their website for more information.

furry scury

UNITED KINGDOM- K9 TRAIL SPORTS

K9 Trail Sports is a group set up to provide support and information for those wishing to find out more about the sports of canicross, bikejor, and dog scootering and take part in our virtual races. Currently, the K9 Trail Sports team consists of a few enthusiasts who have been competing and training for a number of years in all the disciplines. 

Currently, the K9 Trail Sports team consists of a few enthusiasts who have been competing and training for a number of years in all the disciplines. They have traveled all over the UK taking part in races and are regularly seen in Scotland as well as England and Wales. They understand that not everyone wants the expense or has the time to travel to all these race, that is the reason why the team has set up "K9 Trail Sports Virtual Race Series" so that you can compare your times with others in the sports from the comfort of your home trails. 

 

k9 trails

HONG KONG- FRINGEBACKER

FringeBacker COVID-19 Hong Kong Virtual Marathon. You may choose your own challenge, from 42km full marathon, 21km half marathon, to 3km/5km/10km fun walk or run. With social distancing in place, you can complete it remotely and creatively in whatever ways convenient for you, such as run at your neighborhood, local trails, treadmill, stairs, walk the dog in parks, anywhere that is doggie friendly! 

hong kong virtual run

Before you and your pups start to join the race, here's a checklist of things to keep in mind :

1. Preparation is key

Before joining the race, as an owner, you will need to be aware that the skeleton of most dog breeds is fully grown after approximately 1 year. That's when you can start taking your dog out for regular runs, the same goes to a 1.5km race, generally, you shouldn't start running with your puppy before six months of age; any earlier, you can risk affecting his growing joints and muscles. 

During the first year, your dog should get used to walking and running by your side. Jog for a few hundred meters when out for a walk from time to time. As soon as your dog stays by your side, you can start increasing the running distance step by step. 

A Magyar Viszla or a Dalmatian are natural-born runners, whereas a pug or bulldog might have difficulties breathing. But also smaller breeds like Terriers, Shelties, or Chihuahuas — to name just a few — are great companions for runners. Especially for bigger breeds, however, we recommend doing a health and HD (hip dysplasia) check.

2. Be mindful

Running with a dog requires a lot of dedication from both owner and dog. There are many distractions waiting for you: people, kids, other dogs, animals, big trucks, cars, bikes, etc. Therefore focus on your dog and set your own pace or distance goals aside. In the beginning, your furry friend needs all your attention, you wouldn't like it either if your friends leave you behind right?

It is essential to observe your dog closely and don't put your own runner's enthusiasm above your dog's needs. Observe your dog while running, whether is it following you or it is lag behind. 

winter road

3. Temperature check: Ice Ice Baby or Sun is Shining

As long as the temperature ranges between -10 and 15 Celcius or 15 and 60 Fahrenheit. If your country's weather is always at a high temperature, make sure you run in the shade, for example, a park with lots of trees and in the woods. During summer months, you can run your dog early morning or late evening. If you run your dog in blazing sunshine, your dog might suffer from heat-stroke! 

Remember, dogs cope far worse with heat than we do due to the reduced number of sweat glands

dog in the car

4. Paw friendly running route

The more cushioned the ground, the better it is for your dog. Forest soil, meadows, or sand are ideal. Dog paws are highly sensitive and it can get sore during the summer if the route isn't paw-friendly. 

Get boots for your dog! Or protect your dog’s feet with a paw balm by applying it both before and after a run.

5. Dogs can have sore muscles

A dog's metabolism is actually not very different from ours. If you noticed your dog is suffering from sore muscles, give it a break, don't force him to run, as this might lead to negative associations. To avoid sore muscles, make sure your dog gets used to running gradually. 

dog giving a break

6. Give me a break

Give your dog several breaks during a run to allow it to rest, breathe, and drink some water. You can also make your dog really happy by letting it run free for a bit. If you notice your dog refuses to run; rapid panting; dark red tongue or excessive drooling take an extended break immediately.

PetBacker will be having several virtual pet run events. Stay tuned for more information! 

We hope these tips are useful - think about taking your 4-legged friend with you on your next run!