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!


Running Buddy of the Month – November 2011


We haven’t had a running buddy of the month for a little while. Given the achievements of this lovely black and white boy, it’s time to revive this category.

Bobbie is a Border Collie owned by Jacquie Gibson. He and his sister were surrendered to the vet surgery where Jacqui works, when they were only 6 weeks old.  Sparkles found a home on the land, and Bobbie went to live with the Gibson family in Rothwell.

Even though Bobbie was well socialised in puppy pre-school and obedience classes, he grew up to be quite anxious, and fearful of other dogs. He would snap at them because he was frightened, and would glue himself to Jacquie’s leg.

Further training didn’t help, so Bobbie started on anti-anxiety medication to help reduce his stress around other dogs.

Bobbie started running with a local Pooch to 5k group only 4 weeks ago. Since then, he has learned to get on well with the other dogs in his group, and cheerfully trots up to say hello to his canine running friends. Not only that, but he is comfortable approaching and being approached by other dogs he meets on his runs. Jacquie feels he is a much happier dog and he no longer takes his anti-anxiety  medication.

There is plenty of evidence that exercise is good for people with depression and anxiety because of the endorphins that are released. I can’t find any mention of endorphins in dogs, but I’m sure the same thing happens when they go for a run. This is a sample size of one, but it certainly appears that exercise plays a big role in easing anxiety in dogs.

NB Never stop any prescription medication unless under the guidance of your veterinarian.

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