Can I take my dog running with me?
So you are a keen runner and also a dog owner? Do you need to find time for both running and walking the dog? Do you often find running solo a lonely experience? Have you ever thought about combining the two or asked yourself “Can I take my dog running with me?”. Well the answer is an emphatic “Yes”. It’s called Canicross and Inside Welsh Sport is here to explain why, where and how?
Ever pick your dog lead up and your furry comrade goes into a frenzy? I suspect the answer is yes. Dogs basically like to be outside, they love walking and regard a long run as a day in paradise, it’s what they’ve been bred to do. Giving your dog a chance to open out it’s legs and get into full sprint mode improves muscle tone, overall cardiovascular health and allows them to burn off that destructive excess energy. For you the benefits are numerous, companionship and having your own furry pacesetter being two of the most obvious.
WHERE? THE TOP DOG WALKING ROUTES IN WALES
Within Wales we are blessed with a plentiful and diverse range of running landscapes to suit any age and ability. The Inside Welsh Sport team have come up with the top dog walking and running routes in Wales;
- Ty Mawr Country Park – Cefn Mawr, Wrexham. Experience fantastic views which include a panoramic of the Clwydian Range and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the banks of the River Dee. When running in this area be sure not to miss the dramatic Cefn Viaduct and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which is a designated world heritage site.
- Newborough Beach – Anglesey. Get the best of both world’s here with a lengthy run through the majestic forest then onto a vast stretch of wild Welsh beach, enough to tire out any dog. Throw in some mountain views and this could be the perfect day out.
- Penllergare Valley Woods – Swansea. If its a good safe forest trek with surfaced paths you are after, with plenty of opportunities for your dog to socialise then look no further. With various trails to suit any level this has to be on the list. There is also the bonus of a nice dog friendly cafe to relax in!!
- Llyn Padarn – Llanberis. This is a superb circular route around the lake taking in spectacular views of the Snowdonia mountains, slate quarries and the odd mountain goat.
- Three Cliffs Bay – Gower. Where better to spend a summers day running than at the gem of the Gower, with dogs allowed all year, this is a wet ‘n wild experience you or you dog shouldn’t miss.
- The Preseli Hills – Pembrokeshire. Endless pasture land, rolling hills and ancient monuments await you. Excellent to get away from noise and people and just run for miles and miles with uninterrupted views of Ireland, Pembrokeshire and Snowdonia your reward for reaching one of the many peaks.
- Firstly make sure that your dog is out of the puppy phase and has stopped growing as young bones can still be brittle and can damage during the development stage.
- If your dog isn’t accustomed to long runs start off with shorter distances while your dog builds up stamina, this shouldn’t take long.
- It’s also wise not to run in extreme summer heat as some breeds can easily overheat to a dangerous level, consider early morning or evening runs.
- Look for signs of exhaustion or overheating, during the first phase of your run your dog will be eager and enthusiastic and you will probably have trouble keeping up and be continually reigning in, if your dog shows signs of lagging behind and excessive breathing then call a halt to the run immediately.
- Make sure you are aware of the track surface before you go out as certain concrete and rocky surfaces can cause problems for your dog, try to avoid these areas and keep to grass, sand and loose dirt.
- Have the right gear before you start (see below). The essentials are a good comfortable fitting harness, which is suitable for high speeds. A bungee line/lead and a waist/hip belt for the runner.
- Establish good commands that your dog understands in case you need to stop immediately.
From @pandapointer — 🐶🐾🏃🏼♀️Running with my dog…words I never thought I’d say! Prior to taking the Intro to Canicross class with @dogrunnin I had never run in my life! I’ve always biked with Panda, but felt that I was barely br… https://t.co/AEGlJt6Xs9 pic.twitter.com/mgOu13zyDl
— NoiseNB (@NoiseNb) January 26, 2018
Below is a list of TRIED and TESTED gear that you will need to go running with your dog through some unpredictable Welsh terrain!
Hands Free Running Dog Lead – Highly Recommended
The Barkswell Handsfree dog lead was created for active dog owners. The leash provides the ultimate experience when running, jogging, walking, or hiking with your dog.
Cadrim Hands Free Dog Walking Belt Adjustable Dog Leash Waist Belt
This dog training leash allows you freedom to exercise at your pace and for your dog to have fun too. It’s also very handy because it’s very easy to clip and unclip the belt, it’s easy to adjust and hand off to someone else.
Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe
The Salomon Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe can conquer any challenging Welsh terrain.
Regatta Women’s Packlt Waterproof Jacket
A Regatta classic. The women’s pack-it jacket uses tried and tested technologies with a fuss-free design that works. Waterproof/breathable isolate 5, 000 polyamide fabric with sealed seams delivers lightweight protection from the famous Welsh elements.
Tuopuda Portable Dog Water Bottle
Portable dog water bottle makes it easy to quench your dog’s thirst during long walks, car travel, at the dog park or anywhere you and your furry friend go.
Canicross starting very soon in #Bexley get #DogFit with your four legged friend 🙌🏻 #canicross #fitnessinbexley #changinglives #rescuedbyrunners #rescuedog https://t.co/MLqQevi3Ma pic.twitter.com/20xKJ08PMH
— Belvedere Plodders (@ibuildrunners) January 25, 2018
— Charles Rodmell (@Gearselected) February 27, 2018