Going for a run is even more fun when your four-legged buddy can tag along! ShokzStar Jenna Kinzie shares her top five essentials for running with dogs for every pet parent out there in this guest blog post.
Getting outside is more beneficial than ever right now for our physical and, most importantly, mental health. Our runs in the great outdoors may look a bit different than they did pre-COVID-19, but distancing ourselves from our human friends and running groups doesn’t mean we have to be alone. This is a perfect time to get our furry companions in shape and run together! After all, a tired dog is a happy dog!
So, whether you and your fur baby are just starting out or have been logging miles for years, I hope that one (or all!) of these dog running essentials make your experience a little bit better! Like myself, you’ll likely go through some trial and error as you go, but if I’ve learned one thing it’s that the little things can make a huge difference when you’re on the go with your pups!
AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Headphones
Safety FIRST! This one is obvious. If you run with dogs, people, solo, or you just simply exist, AfterShokz Aeropex headphones are a must. These durable, wireless bone conduction headphones allow you to hear your surroundings so you can keep yourself, your pup, and others safe while doing your favourite activity. Running with your furry friend is not only an exercise for your body, but it is an exercise in multi-tasking as well. You've got a leash, poop bags, Sparky spotting a squirrel, etc. The last thing you need is an environmental surprise such as an unexpected dog, car, or person catching you off-guard. Stay alert for the safety of yourself and your fur baby, while listening to your favourite jams, of course!
Poop Bags and Dispenser
Speaking of poop bags...DON'T FORGET THE POOP BAGS! I know it's no fun to feel the smush of poo in the palm of your hand, but as a pet parent, it's a no-brainer (and common courtesy) to clean up after your fur baby. I suggest thick bags so that they don't burst while running (I'll spare you a photo of that one - it DOES happen) and, of course, environmentally friendly bags, such as the Earth Rated PoopBags. They are thicker, larger, leak-proof, and made of recycled materials! I like to store them in the ZippyPaws leash attachment dispensers - they attach flat against the leash and don’t jingle or jangle as you run!
Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash
Another one of the most important items when running with your four-legged companion is your leash. This essential tool will make or break your running experience. Using the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner hands-free leash was a game-changer for me. This allows you to run without the hassle of juggling and getting tangled up in a handheld leash. The Stunt Runner leash connects at the waist, making your running experience much more enjoyable for both you and your pup! They even have a connector if you're running with more than one furry friend.
Martingale Collar (or Harness)
This tip is individual to you and your dog. Every dog is built differently and reacts uniquely on a leash. For some, a harness might be best. For others, a collar is the right solution. The possibilities are endless (and, quite frankly, a little overwhelming!). I personally prefer something called a Martingale collar. I found mine on Etsy in a variety of beautiful colours and fabrics. This is a necessity for my Sighthounds since their heads are smaller than their necks (really!) - but a great tool for any dog. A Martingale collar tightens when pressure is applied (when the dog pulls) but is made of comfortable cloth fabric so as not to harm the dog. I recommend speaking with a qualified trainer to find out more about works best for you and your dog!
Portable Water Bowl
Your fur baby needs water breaks just like you do! Especially now that summer is upon us, I try to be particularly aware of the heat. Dogs don't share our unique ability to sweat, therefore we must be cautious not to let them overheat. Overheating is very serious, so avoid a scary situation by shortening runs in the summer and by having water on hand. I like to have a squirt bottle and a portable pop-up water bowl. Allowing your dog to drink cool water and applying cool water to your dog's inner thigh are great ways to help them lower their body temperature. I like Dexas Popware’s collapsible travel bowls because they have a handy carabiner, perfect for hooking on to your backpack or leash! Your furry companion will thank you!
Thanks for reading! I’ll leave you with my biggest tip most of all: enjoy every moment with your running companion!
Keep up with Jenna’s everyday adventures by following her on Instagram and Twitter. Follow Jenna’s fur babies Charlie and Derby featured in this article!