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How to Prepare and Care for Your Dog When Jogging with Him

Updated on October 12, 2017
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Januaris is a supplier of pet food and care products, and he’s a true animal lover. He loves to write about dogs, bettas, bees, and pigeons.

According to canine fitness trainers, dogs need to be prepared adequately for an exercise. They also need to be given good care during and after the exercise.

Preparing your dog well and taking proper care of him in an exercise will keep him active and free from some injuries. This will allow you and your canine friend to enjoy all the benefits of the exercise.

So how can you prepare and care for your dog when jogging or running with him? Well, read on to learn how to get your dog started for a jog or run. See how to care for him in the heat and how to treat his skin, teeth, legs, and other parts of the body during and after the exercise.

Jogging with a Dog
Jogging with a Dog | Source

In Brief, How to Prepare and Care for Your dog When Jogging with Him

- Preparing Him

1. Feed him.

2. Check his health.

3. Check his fitness.

4. Warm him up.

5. Start at a slower pace.

6. Guide and control him with a harness.

- Caring for him

1. Focus more on workouts that favor his behaviors.

2. Reward him with treats.

3. Provide him with enough water.

4. Take breaks.

5. Monitor him throughout.

6. Let him cool down.

7. Inspect him for injuries.

8. Inspect him for parasites.

9. Bathe him.

10. Give him enough food and water.

11. Let him rest.

Preparing Your Dog for Jogging

1. Feed Your Dog Hours Before the Exercise

It is strongly recommended to feed your dog 10 hours before the exercise. This is because giving him food right before the exercise can lead to digestive problems. But giving him some little amounts of water at the start is recommended as it hydrates him.

In order to ensure he remains active throughout the run, give him food that contains the right amounts of fat and protein. Fat will provide him with performance fuel while protein will rejuvenate his muscles after the hard exercise.

2. Check His Health

Checking his health will help you know if he's capable of participating in the exercise. If you have been keeping dogs for a while, you may not find it difficult to assess his health. Some health conditions to check include respiratory problems, heart disease, obesity, and arthritis.

If you are not capable of determining his health or you are sure that he has a health issue, you can get help from a veterinarian. If he's in good health, then you can start getting ready for the run.

3. Check His Fitness

The ability of a dog to run is determined by his fitness, in addition to his health. A fit dog can walk at least 30 minutes without getting tired. If your four-legged buddy is not quite fit, you will be forced to adopt lighter jogging exercises.

You can assess his fitness on your own or ask for assistance from a veterinarian. Exercise is a great way to improve his fitness, so when you are out there in the field or on the road ensure you give him some good exercise.

4. Warm Him Up

This is a great way for you and your canine friend to start the exercise at a higher note. Warming up your dog should take only a few minutes. The recommended time is 5-10 minutes.

The best way to warm him up is to throw a ball and allow him to run after it. While he's after the ball, you can stretch a bit or perform some press-ups. A warm-up is highly recommended for overweight dogs and those with joint problems.

A Dog Running, Probably Warming Up
A Dog Running, Probably Warming Up | Source

5. Start the Run at a Slower Pace

Starting at a slower pace will allow your dog to adapt to the jogging exercises with less stress. Quick movements frighten these animals, so it is important to start at a slower pace to keep him comfortable. Pack some treats and water ready to hit the road.

To start the run, call your canine buddy by his name and make two steps. Repeat this until he's comfortably walking with you. Give him some treats and increase the pace.

6. Guide and Control Your Dog with a Harness

If your dog has not fully mastered the jogging movements involved, you can use a harness to guide him. A harness can also help control your workout companion when he meets other canines.

Your dog can get involved in fights with other animals, subjecting himself to diseases and parasites. But you can prevent any fights with the help of the harness.

When it comes to choosing the right harness, it is recommended that you consider the size of your pet and the harness type. Getting the right size is not a major issue: choosing the right type is the thing that challenges many people as there are many types out there. Personally, I have settled on the Big Dog Soft Reflective Harness which is the strongest, lightest and most user-friendly and durable vest harness out there. I keep my dog under control and comfortable with the help of this item.

If you are confused on which harness to buy for your pet, I recommend that you try this one provided by EXPAWL - a leading supplier of quality pet products. The harness itself comes with a reflective strip above the D ring, easy-grab handle for easy control, durable shell with lined and padded interior for added comfort, and adjustable front chest.

Caring for Your Dog During and After Jogging

1. Focus on Jogging Workouts That Favor Your Dog's Behaviors

Focusing on workouts that favor your dog's behaviors will make the whole exercise process easier for you and him. Canines love to run, chase, jump, and fetch, so you can use these behaviors to develop a quick exercise program that will not strain him.

You can also make of use dog games during the jog. Some games that your four-legged friend would definitely love include fetch play, ball dribbling, digging, tug-of-war, and flying disc.

A Dog Digging Up Soil
A Dog Digging Up Soil | Source

2. Reward Him with Small Treats

Giving your dog some small treats every now and then will be a great way to motivate him. So reward him often with treats, especially when you are impressed with his performance.

Note: It is advisable not to give him a lot of treats as they can cause digestive problems and make running more difficult for him.

If you are looking for great treats for your canine buddy, I would recommend that you try the Milk-Bone MaroSnacks Treats which are designed to suit all dog sizes. My dogs really love these treats which are quite delicious, tasty, and nutritious with cooked bone marrow beef fat and meat meal. The wholesome treats are rich in calcium and are available in different packs to allow you choose a pack that is enough for your dog(s).

3. Provide Him with Enough Water

This is a great way to care for your dog in the heat. If you are running in hot weather, give him water to help him cool down and remain well hydrated. This will in return keep him active.

Concerning on how to give him water, you can use a water bottle that releases small amounts of water to control the amount he's drinking.

4. Take Breaks When He Gets Bored or Tired

When your workout companion gets tired, you should take a break to let him rest. The number of breaks will depend on weather and terrain, among other factors. If you are exercising in hot weather or on steep slopes, you will have to take breaks more often.

If you had not given him treats and water, you can decide to give him these essentials during the break. If your jogging companion stops panting and looks relaxed, you should know that he has rested enough and you can then continue with the exercise.

5. Monitor Him Throughout the Workout Session

The purpose of monitoring him is to identify any signs of fatigue or poor health. A dog is usually happy and alert when he's in a good body condition. If he starts to stop or lie down, you should know he's fully exhausted.

Other signs that you should check include heavy panting, overheating, heat stroke, coughing, and limping. If these signs persist, you should stop the run and call a veterinarian.

6. After Jogging, Let Your Dog Cool Down

First, slow down your running as you prepare to end your exercise session. This will allow your dog's heart rate and body temperature return to normal.

After getting back home, let him cool down and you can help him relax by rubbing his muscles and stretching his legs. If he's still experiencing high temperatures, you can use a damp towel to cool him down.

7. Inspect His Feet for Any Injuries

You need to check for any cuts, blisters or cracks on his toe pads and nails. If he has minor cuts and blisters, you need to clean the toes and disinfect them. This is a great way to care for dog wounds. If he has major foot injuries like broken limps or deep cuts, you need to call a veterinarian for help.

Injuries can hinder dogs from running or participating in other exercises. So if he sustained some injuries, you will have to wait for them to heal before you can plan another workout session.

8. Check Your Dog for Parasites and Foreign Objects

If you were exercising in grassed or dusty areas, you should check every part of your dog's body for parasites such as ticks and mites. Some parts that you shouldn't fail to check include ears, armpits, neck, and under the fur.

You need also to check for foreign objects such as leaves and soil particles. If you find some parasites or objects, you can use your fingers to remove them. Removing these harmful organisms and objects is a great way to care for your dog's hair.

Inspecting a Dog for Parasites and Foreign Objects
Inspecting a Dog for Parasites and Foreign Objects | Source

9. Bathe Your Dog with Soap and Clean Water

After checking and removing any parasites and foreign objects from his skin and hair, you can go on to bathe him. It is recommended to use a soft cloth, soap, or shampoo and clean water to wash your four-legged friend.

Ensure you wash every part of his body, including paws and nostrils. After that, you can rinse him with fresh water and dry him with a clean towel. Washing your dog is also a great way to care for his hair.

10. Give Him Healthy Food and Clean Water

Your dog will definitely be hungry and thirsty by this time, so give him enough food and water. Ensure the food is healthy! Any food that can add unnecessary calories is not recommended. The best foods are the ones that contain plenty of vitamins. As for the water, you should ensure it is clean and safe.

11. Let Your Dog Rest

Finally, lead your jogging companion to his house and provide him with good resting conditions. Since he will be extremely tired, he will most likely sleep immediately. Let him have enough sleep and rest, and you can facilitate this by not making noise near his house.


Your dog will definitely enjoy more benefits when you prepare him well for jogging and also when you properly take care of him during and after the exercise. Your canine friend will stop bad behaviors, build confidence, and start enjoying better sleeps with the help of exercises that are accompanied by adequate preparation and proper care. And above all, he will gain good health and fitness.


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Have you been preparing and taking good care of your dog when working out with him?

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If yes, how is his behavior, confidence, health, and fitness?

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© 2015 Januaris Saint Fores


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