Trail running is running off-road. It could be running over hills, hiking trails, or cross-country, but it is usually long-distance and is often in mountainous terrain. Your dog can be great company along you run. He is a source of motivation, provides a sense of security, will love the challenge and the new terrain, and it is, of course, great exercise for you both! Here are some tips to keep in mind when trail running with your furry friend.
You must take responsibility for your dog’s capabilities as he will want to keep up with you and he won’t know his own limits. Do not expect too much too soon – especially if he has led a sedentary lifestyle up to now. Ask your vet if you are unsure of his fitness, and build up gradually towards longer distances.
Remember that hot weather will make the ground scalding and a dog has no protection against burning, sharp, rough, or uneven surfaces. Be considerate; dog booties or a protective balm like PawTector may be required. Carry food and water for your dog if need be.
Hot weather will make the ground hot and could cause discomfort or injury to your dog’s paws. If the weather is hot or humid, consider leaving your dog at home – heat stroke is very dangerous for dogs. You will also need added protection when going out on snow and ice. Applying a skin guard, like PawTector, will help lock in moisture and prevent damage from salt. Though, you might need to wash his paws when you get home in case he has salt or other chemicals on them – it could be toxic to him if he licks himself.
You can protect your dog’s paws from the elements with PawTector. The
natural blend of waxes and oils creates a barrier, preventing them from becoming dry, rough, sore or cracked. Any minor injuries or dry, irritated patches can be soothed naturally afterwards with Paw Soother. The natural blend of butters and plant oils helps to heal, smooth and moisturize
If you are running in a wildlife protected area, keep your dog on the leash. He could disturb ground-nesting birds, upset grazing animals or cattle, trample crops or vegetation, or generally disturb or chase wildlife. Keeping him on the leash is also important for his safety if you are running in mountainous terrain.
A responsible dog owner should always clean up after his dog, wherever you both are, out of consideration to other people. When trail running with your dog, you have to consider whether your dog’s mess could contaminate the area or water, as well as the wildlife. Don’t forget those doggy bags!
Mind Your Dog’s Temperament
Remember that not everyone loves dogs and wants to be approached by your dog (or they may not want your dog to approach their dog), and you should respect that. If your dog is not good with recall, or he is protective of you, keep him on the leash. If you want to take your canine best friend trail running with you, be considerate of his needs as well as yours. Take precautionary measures to avoid getting into an unpleasant or even dangerous situation, and you will have years of safe, happy trail running ahead of you both.