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!


A Drink for Your Dog


Sinner and Guinness drinking from a collapsible bowlWe keep cool when we’re running by sweating (perspiring if you’re a lady) which, by the process of evaporation, uses heat from the surface of our body to turn liquid water into water vapour.  We have a surface area of between 1.5m² and 2m² depending on various factors such as height, weight, gender and body composition.  When we sweat to cool down, we can easily lose a large amount of heat if we have a large surface area.

Dogs cool themselves by panting, and because they have a hair coat they tend not to lose as much body heat through the skin as we do.  Most of the heat they lose is because of evaporation of water from their saliva.  Because they are almost incapable of losing heat by convection, conduction, and radiation, it is vital to their well-being that their evaporative cooling system works as well as possible, and is fully replenished with water.

But when and how should you get your dog to drink?

Dog Drinking Fountain

Dog-ON-It-Parks doggie drinking fountain

Dogs are generally good judges of their own water needs.  They should be given access to plenty of water all day.  However this can be difficult to achieve when you’re out running with your pet.  The answer?  On a longer run, choose a route where there are plenty of places your dog may drink safely, or take water with you. Many parks feature dog drinking fountains that allow your dog to replenish vital water.

But what if you’re not near drinking fountains?  On a recent long trail run we did with Guinness and Cinnabar, I wore a Camelbak backpack full of electrolyte drink for the humans, and shared it with our dogs using a folding water bowl. The dogs relished the dilute sports drink for the taste and were easily encouraged to drink early and often.

I regularly carry a water bottle on my 10k runs with Sinner.  When it’s time to offer him a drink, I remove a clean baggie from my pick-up kit, fold the rim down a few times, and Voilà – instant dog bowl.

It is always a good idea to allow your dog to drink small amounts and often, rather than ingest a large quantity all at once, even after a run.  This helps to avoid serious complications such as gastric torsion where a full stomach can twist and cause life threatening problems for your dog.

Categories : Dog Health



What a wonderful idea to have a fountain just for the four-legged athletes! I’m always sure to bring water for my pup when we exercise together. He gets tuckered out pretty fast. Just as you suggest, I try to give him small sips at a time so he won’t have any tummy problems.

Thanks for the post.



[…] thing that shouldn’t be forgotten on a very long run is that dogs need to drink! Around half way through the run (or several times throughout) you should offer […]

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