Once your dog has mastered the art of running on a leash, you'll have yourself an always-willing, always-excited exercise partner. Just be sure your dog seems happy. A good sign: he wags his tail and barks when he sees you take out his running leash. Leave him home for a few sweat sessions if he seems stiff or uncomfortable after exercise.
In the long run, working out with your dog can keep unwanted pounds off, extend your life, and help you stay healthy and happy—and same goes for your furry friend. Keep it up!
When you finish a tough run and you're still panting and sweating, you probably wouldn't have a snack—you'd get sick to your stomach. Same goes for your dog, so hold off on treats until you've both calmed down a bit, says Wirant. (Watch out for ice cubes and ice water, too: The extreme temperature change could cause vomiting.) In the meantime, reward your dog by praising him, petting him, and giving him lots of attention. And before you head inside, let him have a few minutes to run around and explore, and to go to the bathroom once more.
As a dog owner you probably know better than to leave puppy poop behind, but still—it's easy to forget to take waste bags with you when you head out for a run. Not only should you be prepared to pick up after your dog while you're exercising, you should also know where you're going to dispose of it, even if that means holding onto it until you find a trash can.
Giving your dog time to "go" before and after your run will reduce your chances of having to make a mid-workout pit stop. "With time, you can absolutely train your dog to urinate and defecate on demand by taking them to the place where they usually go and using a verbal cue," says Wirant.
Check your dog's paws when you get back from a run to make sure they haven't suffered any cuts or injuries, says Winart. Take extra care in the heat, since their feet are susceptible to burns, and when you're on the trail, where you'll come across more rocks, sticks, and uneven terrain.
If you run in the snow, try to avoid roads that have been treated with salt, which can sting dogs' feet—and then upset their stomachs if they lick their paws once they're inside. Canine booties or disposable latex boots can shield paws from irritants; if your dog won't tolerate them, you can also apply petroleum jelly or Musher's Secret wax to their pads provide some protection.