Top Ten Tips for Safely Running With Your Dog

By Rick Morris

Running with your canine companion is a fun and healthy activity for both you and your best friend. Make sure you keep your favorite running partner safe with these top ten tips for safely running with your dog.

Leash Law

This method of safely running with your dog is very important. Most areas have a leash law that requires your dog to be on a leash. Protect your best friend from both the doggy police and traffic dangers by following this leash law. Not only will you protect your dog from danger, you will also be able to do a better job of controlling both gait and speed.

Left is Right

Staying away from road traffic is one of the best ways for safely running with your dog. If you absolutely must run near traffic with your dog be very cautious and follow some basic safely guidelines. When running on a road with automobile traffic, run against the traffic flow and keep your best friend on your left side where he or she will be shielded from dangerous automobile traffic and debris.

Stay Tight

Running safely with your dog means you musts be diligent even when road traffic is not nearby. When you come upon other dogs, joggers, cyclists, walkers or horseback riders, pull your canine companion closer to you and keep a tighter leash. You will avoid any risky collisions or encounters.


Both you and your dog will enjoy some off leash free running time in leash free dog parks or in safe, non-congested areas. If your best friend is running off leash, keep a close eye on them and always be sure they under full control. Don’t allow your dog to run off leash if you cannot recall them quickly with voice commands.

Early is Excellent

The best time to run with your canine companion is usually very early in the morning. There is normally much less automobile traffic and fewer trail users during very early morning hours. In the summertime, the cool early morning temperatures eliminate the significant risk of heat stress to your best friend. Don’t forget, your dog is wearing a fur coat!

Pack it In

Your best friend is going to get thirsty when you run. If you are running any distance in moderate or high temperatures or are running more than 30 minutes in any conditions, be sure to carry water for your dog. Don’t forget to also bring a portable bowl. Your canine companion has a hard time drinking out of a bottle. Pet stores and outdoor shops carry collapsible dog bowls as well as canine water bottles that include a drinking trough.

Trick or Treat

Keep a good supply of training treats in your pocket when you are running with your dog. Sometimes it can be a case of trick or treat. A tempting treat can work wonders if your canine companion loses focus and plays tricks on you.

Eyes Peeled

When running with your best friend, you need to keep your eyes peeled and your mind focused. If you are running on trails watch out for hidden dangers such as snakes, insects, burrs, thorns and trail hazards. Steer your dog away from any potential dangers. If running in more tame, urban areas, watch out for traffic, other dogs and people.

Watch the Head

Your best friends senses are much more finely tuned than yours. They will smell, hear and see things that you don’t. Many times, your canine companion will sense something and may react to it suddenly. In doing so they may suddenly stop in front of you, cut you off or run under your legs. Keep an eye on your dogs head. If it suddenly drops or turns, keep alert. You will avoid trips and falls that will be painful for both you and your best friend.

Sit and Stay

Make it a habit to tell your best friend to sit and stay at all intersections and then proceed when it’s safe. Do this at all intersections, even if there is no traffic. Your canine companion will “learn” to stop and be cautious at all intersections. It will make your run easier and safer for you and your dog.