Why Run With Your Dog?

Personal training for dogs. You’re kidding, right? Actually, no, we’re not. Research suggests up to 40% of our dogs are overweight, and they suffer from the same health complications that overweight people do. Veterinarians (including myself) are becoming more and more concerned about the increase in joint pain, heart disease and other obesity related illnesses in dogs. Hence, Pooch to 5k. Dogs can’t lift weights, or use the gym. If you’re going to increase their fat burning, you need to increase the intensity of their exercise. This means that a daily stroll just won’t cut it any more, it’s too laid back. The Pooch to 5k program will help you get your dog from doing nothing much to comfortably running 5km, over a period of 12 weeks.

Because you’ll be running with your dog, you’ll also get a great workout three times a week, as you train yourself to run 5km. Why not subscribe to our dog health and fitness newsletter and grab your dog, and you’re ready to go!


5 Things My Dog Taught Me About Running


This is a guest post by Vanessa Rodriguez from San Diego, USA. Vanessa is a keen ultrarunner and she is often accompanied by her dog on her training runs. Here she shares what she has learned about running from Ginger, and there’s a lesson there for all of us.

My dog Ginger is more than my running buddy. She’s my teacher. She never lets me down on a long run, and she constantly reminds me how to run with a pure heart and happy spirit. These are her lessons:

1. Always greet strangers.

No matter how far or fast we are running, Ginger will always stop to greet another dog. Sometimes the other dog is friendly and sometimes they are not, but that doesn’t stop Ginger from approaching. And so I have learned to warmly greet other humans. You never know when a stranger might turn into a friend.

2. Exploring is better than not exploring.

When given a choice, Ginger always chooses to explore. She finds the way least travelled, and charges through the bushes. Sometimes she’s surprised with unexpected terrain, but that doesn’t deter her. She has taught me that the destination doesn’t matter. Only the journey.

3. It’s never too early for a snack.

Food is awesome, anytime and anywhere. Don’t be afraid to eat during or after a hard run. Nutrition is important. And so is carrying snacks at all times.

4. Always sniff the roses.

Or a rock. Or some dirt. Bottom line: there’s always time to stop and appreciate your surroundings. Pause to watch the sunset. Or spot some wildlife. Or pet your dog. Remember how much you love being outdoors and be willing to linger there.

5. There’s always time for a run.

Day or night, if I pick up the leash, I know that Ginger will jump up excitedly. Whether we’re running for five minutes or five hours, she’s up for it anytime. Her attitude reminds me that running is not a complicated activity that I need to always plan in depth. There’s always time for a quick jaunt on the trials.

Running with a dog is rewarding on so many levels. You will never find a more loyal and eager companion. See you out there!

Read more from Vanessa on her blog at Vanessa Runs.



I found this blog very interesting and gives me some useful information. I have bad knees and can’t run with my dog anymore but our walks can be just as enjoyable. We certainly notice more along our route than we would if we were running the whole way.


I agree with you, I think I see more when we’re out trail running because I’m much slower than the other runners. There’s a lot to be said for not sprinting. Thanks for commenting 🙂


I am with you there. Running with a dog is most rewarding. In weekends I drive up to my mother in law to take her Beagle out for my long runs (15 – 20 km). His joy and excitement are reward number one. We run partially in urbanised areas. The other reward is that having the jolly beagle running with me triggers a lot of greetings and compliments from other people, runners and non-runners. This made that since I started to run with the beagle I have hardly skipped an endurance training anymore(= reward number 3).


I feel the same. I often go for a run when I don’t really want to, because my dog wants to! When we did the half marathon with the dogs last month, they got more attention than we did at the water stops 🙂 Thanks for commenting.


I love this post, especially the last bullet point – there’s always time for a run. I’m always thinking that it’s too early, too late, too cold, too hot… but Nico thinks otherwise! There’s so much to learn from our furry companions 🙂


[…] browsed through our site at all, you may have already met Vanessa Runs. She wrote a guest post on 5 Things My Dog Taught Me About Running. The Summit Seeker is her first book, but hopefully not the […]

Leave a Comment