8 Tips on How to Jog with your Dog

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Our A to Z post for the letter “J” is one of our favorite fitness activities to do with our dogs – JOG. Absolutely, one of the best exercises you can do with your dog is jogging or running.  For some people, those might mean the same thing, while for others, the difference is the speed (or intensity) of the exercise. 
Today, we will focus on jogging, which to us means a slower paced run.  There are many reasons why you should jog with your dog: 1) you get fit, 2) your dog gets fit, and 3) it helps build a lasting bond between you and your dog.   Jogging is also a lot easier on the body (and mind) than running because it is performed at a more comfortable pace that keeps your heart rate and breathing steady and only slightly elevated.

If you are interested in starting to jog with your dog, consider these  tips to help you maximize the benefits and enjoyment from your new activity.


8 Tips on Jogging with your Dog

See your vet. You should check with a ‘dog doc’ before embarking on an exercise program and keep them up-to-date with any changes in your dog’s activity levels or symptoms that might indicate a health or orthopedic issue.  They can also advise you on a safe age to start if you have a puppy.  While you are thinking about it, go get a checkup yourself.

Start at the proper age. Let your puppies bone strengthen and set first before starting a jogging program.  Their muscular-skeletal systems are still forming and are not ready for the stress that jogging can put on their frames.  Six months to one year is the minimum age your puppy needs to reach before starting a jogging program.  Your vet will let you know when it is safe to start.

Start with modest time and distance.  As with people, dog’s need to build a fitness base gradually or risk over-training injuries.  Start with short distances and gradually build up each week.  Don’t increase mileage more than 10-20% from week to week.   If your dog seems extra tired or sluggish around the house during an increase in mileage phase, back off a bit and re-evaluate next week’s plan.

Cross train.  Incorporate other types of exercises into your dog’s routine on days when they are not jogging.  Try some core and balance work.

Adjust the program based on the weather.  Dogs don’t sweat in the heat nor can they wear layers of outerwear to protect them from frigid conditions.   Jog in the early morning in the summer and in the winter, watch for ice patches and wind chill effects.

Don’t over feed. Many people fall into the common trap of over feeding their dog due to over estimating how many calories the dog burns on a jog. To estimate your dog’s daily calorie needs, use the Slimdoggy app if you have an iPhone or try our new web tracker.

Make sure that your dog is well trained on the leash. I recommend that you do some leash training before starting the program.  Jogging with a dog who is not properly leash trained can result in injury to both of you.  Bonus tip: try a harness like the one from WalkinSync.  It can provide an extra level of control without risk of hurting your dog’s neck.

Stay alert. Be cognizant of exogenous factors that could influence the level of effort and safety for the activity.  If you are on the trails, scan for terrain changes, wildlife challenges, and other dogs/people/bicycles that could cause an issue and react accordingly before there is a problem.  Same holds true for urban runs.  Watch for vehicles, other dogs, people, etc. that could cause a problem.

Read our announcement of the WINNERS of our FitDog Friday Anniversary SlimDoggy FitDOG Quiz!

FitDog Friday


Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!
Remember, the fun of a Blog Hop is to share our blogs and visit the other hoppers, so please hop around and say hello to everyone!




We’re joining the A to Z Challenge and keeping our own Blog Hop of all our A to Z posts. Feel free to join the Hop with your A to Z Challenge post!


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  1. Some great tips here. Particularly the ‘starting age’ for the dogs – I see too many people running young dogs. Great that you included that in amongst your tips. Happy FitDog Friday
    Paws and Pedals (Kate & Scooter) recently posted…Disaster Planning – Pets in EmergenciesMy Profile

  2. I stopped taking my iPod on our runs. Instead we run together in silence and sometimes I chit chat with Rodrigo. I’ve found that I tend to tune everything out when on a run when I have the iPod and I don’t want to put Rodrigo’s comfort at risk. When I leave it at home, I can focus on my breathing, what’s going on around us, and making sure Rodrigo is doing okay.

    He loves it. I don’t like it, but admit that it’s doing the job of taking off the extra weight I gained over the past year.
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…Inconsistencies Drove Me to Raw Dog Food #PawNaturalMy Profile

    • Jogging with tunes is much easier, but I don’t when I have the dogs…you’re right, need to be more aware. Glad your still getting out there. The pups will love it too when they are old enough!
      mkob recently posted…8 Tips on How to Jog with your DogMy Profile

  3. Heading out for a run with Eko is absolutely one of my favorite things to do. Jogging along the lake together is bliss. Great tips for anyone interested in getting started.

  4. You won’t find me running unless I’m being chased. Even then, I’m probably more liable to face into it than run. But I’ll send little dog out to run with the duck. 😉
    Flea recently posted…J is for Jones, A to Z ChallengeMy Profile

  5. We don’t run, but instead we practice little sprints for agility. It’s too tough for the tzus to run or jog a lot, since their pace on a walk is pretty fast. But I love all these tips!!
    Christine and Riley recently posted…A to Z Challenge: J is for Judging, My Love of Teacup Dog Agility AssociationMy Profile

  6. I love this! As you know, I love to run with my dog. Like Kim said, I never wear headphones while running. This is for safety reasons, but I also just appreciate the quiet time with my dog.
    Lindsay recently posted…The Del Mar Dog BeachMy Profile

  7. We have a closed in area near our house that we use to jog in. I let Niles off leash and we jog around the fence. Even though we’re both not the best joggers it’s a lot of fun! We are slowly working to increase how long we can go for. 🙂
    Nailah Bone recently posted…FitDog Friday – Using a Dog Backpack to Tire out a Crazy Australian ShepherdMy Profile

  8. This was almost our “J” too! We love jogging (and written about it a few times on DOGthusiast) – our new spot is out in Guadalupe slough where there is a staggering number of rodents and birds and things to SEE along the way. But the jogging keeps the dogs distracted enough and in stride that the animal needs to be pretty daring and close before I’m nearly knocked over by two dogs in pursuit. Few days ago I swear it was a groundhog that took a chance and dashed across our path about 15 feet away – but I’m not sure those are here. It was something cat-sized though!

    Trail looks so, so familiar. Is Slimdoggy also in the Bay Area CA?
    Jen recently posted…Stylish Canine’s The A to Z of Things Dogs Love: Jobs #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  9. According to Mom’s experience, staying alert is the most important. She has forgotten to pay attention and suffered injury with every dog she has jogged with. We will see what Bailie does to her this summer when she starts running with Mom! Just a squirrel we see first can mean an trip up for Mom, so know your dog and pay attention. It helps keep the human mind of the run too which is a plus!
    Emma recently posted…Beauty Through The Eye |GBGV | {This Moment} See BeautifulMy Profile

  10. So nice to be able to jog outdoors again!

  11. Excellent tips, I was between a jog and a drag today on our walk. That Glory sure likes to pull and go like a bull when we walk. Hard to believe that gman is the best walker. I would like to jog more but it hurts my knees.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…FitDog Friday~Open Water With See Beautiful~Glory GirlMy Profile

  12. Excellent tips. I think being well behaved on leash can make the difference between having fun and getting frustrated.
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Hamburger HillMy Profile

  13. I’ve got a ways to go beforeI start running. When I envision myself running I also see paramedics, ambulances, etc… We are however walking longer and will start riding our bikes with the Boys once our Wood Cycle Bike Trotters arrive. Super excited about that! And of course I will video and blog about it:)

  14. Great advice. Since we haven’t jogged all winter I feel like we are pretty much starting from scratch, so it’s great to be reminded of all this. I had figured we probably wouldn’t run with Luke until he was at least a year old, but of course plan to check with our vet. I am looking forward to getting out there again as soon as we can!
    Jan K recently posted…Sepia Saturday – Silly ShebaMy Profile

  15. I have a golden retriever who whines every time I go for a run. After reading your article, I’m going to try to bring her with me. It’ll be fun. Thanks for the really good post!
    Beckster recently posted…What Is Somanabolic Muscle Maximizer?My Profile

  16. Great tips!
    weliveinaflat recently posted…Back up or Walking backwardsMy Profile

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