Top Ten Benefits of Running With Your Dog

By Rick Morris

According to a recent survey by the Humane Society of the United States there are around 78 million canine companions in the US, with nearly 40 percent of the households in the US having at least one canine family member. That’s a lot of furry friends that need and deserve both our care and respect.

You already know the many ways that running benefits your human body. Running improves your cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, skeletal strength, endurance and power. Running also benefits you emotionally and mentally by reducing stress and giving your an outlet for the frustrations that can build up in daily life.

Well guess what? – Your canine companion reaps those same benefits from running and exercise. You wouldn’t think of giving up your daily run, would you? Give your best friend the same respect. Take your dog on a daily run to keep them fit and healthy. Here are just a few of the benefits of running with your dog.

Another Reason to Run

One of the benefits of running with your dog is a no brainer. There are many reasons to run, but it’s always nice to have one more good one. Committing to run with your best friend every day provides another motivator to get out and run.

Keep Your Best Friend Physically Fit

One of the most important benefits of running with your dog is keeping your dog fit and healthy. As a distance runner, you always take care of your own body. Your best friend depends upon you to provide the exercise and nutrition to keep their body healthy. Your dog needs exercise just as much as you do. A daily run will improve your canine companions fitness, endurance, strength, muscle tone and injury resistance. It will also keep your dog at their ideal weight. They will be healthier and happier.

Improve Your Fitness and Running Performance

You dog isn’t the only one that will benefit from your daily runs. The extra miles you put in running your dog will burn additional calories, improve your endurance level and give you even more opportunities to reduce stress in your life. You’ll become a better and happier runner.

Improve Your Canine Companion’s Quality of Life

Dog’s love to run. I think they are born to run. Just look at the joyous look on their face when they are sprinting around the dog park or running next to you on your daily jaunt. Give them the opportunity to experience that kind of joy every day. The enjoyment they get from running, spending time with their human companion and the physical benefits will give them the quality of life they deserve.

Increase Your Dog’s Life Span

Another of the most important benefits of running with your dog is keeping them with you for a long time Running keeps your human body working at peak efficiency. It keeps you at your ideal weight and improves the health of your cardiovascular system. It helps ward off many life threatening diseases. In short, it extends your life span. Your canine companion is biologically very similar to you. You both have similar organs that perform similar functions. So running also increases your dog’s life span. Keep your best friends around as long as possible; take them running.

Great Dog Training Method

Your daily runs with your canine companion are not just fun and healthy; they are also productive. Your exercise session with your dog is a great time to work on training commands. Running all those miles teaches your best friend to stay right at your side. Passing other human and canine runners will help keep them focused and in control. Teaching your dog to sit and wait at all traffic intersections will help keep them safe and focused. Running is a great time to get in some fun and functional training for you and your best friend.

Stop Destructive Habits

Dogs have a lot of energy. Without an outlet for that energy, your dog could develop some destructive habits such as digging, excessive or inappropriate chewing, aggression or even depression. Consistent exercise will give your best friend an healthy outlet for that energy and help avoid the more negative consequences of under-exercise.

Bond With Your Best Friend

Some of your best friends are probably your running friends. You can create some great bonds while running.  In the same sense, running with your dog provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen the bond with your best friend. Your canine companion appreciates and loves your daily runs. Your bond with your best friend will become stronger than ever.

Reclaim the Joy of Running

You wouldn’t run if you didn’t like it, but you must admit that there are times when you just don’t feel like running. There are times when the joy just isn’t there. Sometimes running is more of a chore. Look at your canine companion. They always love to run. Dog running is the purest form of running. Your dog runs for one reason only – they love it. The get a lot of joy out of it. When running doesn’t seem fun anymore, go for a run with your dog and do what they do. Smile, laugh and run for the pure joy of running. Forget your training program, upcoming races or performance requirements. Soon you will reclaim the pure joy of running and will become a better, more holistic runner – thanks to your best friend.

Make New Friends

Eligible bachelors and bachelorettes have known this for years. Having a dog is one of the best way to meet people and make new friends. Just sit on a park bench with your dog and see how many people just walk up to you and start a conversation. An even better way to make new friends is to take your best friend for a run. Nearly every other dog runner will at least nod if not start a conversation. Even those without a canine companion will want to see your best friend. Running with your canine companion is a fool proof way to make new friends.