Can dogs really run marathons? With some caveats, yes. It’s important to have the right kind of breed, the proper vet check-ups, and some serious training first.
Running a marathon with your dog can be possible. Here’s how to successfully run a marathon with your four-legged friend.
Which Dog Breeds are Best to Run Long Distance?
Before we begin, it’s important to recognize that some dogs are better suited to marathon running. Others may prefer shorter runs or may only like to go on quick walks to the shops and back. It’s important to know the basic build of your dog’s breed to have a good idea of what your dog can handle.
Certain dogs like pugs or other flat-faced breeds are not ideally suited to running for longer periods of time. They are very likely to end up overheating during a run and may struggle to breathe properly. Other dogs such as Pitbulls and Golden Retrievers would prefer for you to take them on shorter, much faster runs.
Dogs that were primarily bred for work, on the other hand, are far more inclined to run marathons. Some good examples are German shepherds, German shorthaired pointers, Weimaraners and Dalmatians.
(Note: DO NOT TAKE DOGS out for runs before they are a year or eighteen months old. Otherwise, this can have serious consequences for the puppy later in life.)
How to Prepare Your Dog for a Marathon
Regardless of the breed, you should take your dog to the vet to ensure that they are able to handle a marathon with you.
Before you begin marathon training, make sure your dog is at the top of his game: he should not be in recovery from any injuries or operations, be excessively overweight, or on heavy medications. (And the same probably goes for you, heh heh.)
When going out running with your dog, make sure he knows basic commands so he can cope in any environment. He should not pull on his leash because that can seriously injure you both.
When planning the ideal pace for you and your dog, try to gauge his natural pace during a trot. That should be the speed you run together during a marathon, with no sprints or very fast running speeds.
Otherwise make sure to pack treats, food for your dog and clean drinkable water. Always be vigilant of your dog’s condition during runs. This might mean taking more frequent breaks than you normally would.
If you take the proper precautions and care, both you and your dog will thoroughly enjoy the experiences you have out on the open road.
Bio: Sarah Jones writes for Crazy Pet Guy. She adores pets and loves spending time with them. For that reason, she started her blog to share what she knows and what others have taught her.
Updated 2/11/2020: Here’s a helpful tool to calculate how much exercise your dog needs in a day.
“As the largest network of pet sitters & dog walkers in the country we wanted to build a robust tool which helps walkers get personalized exercise advice for their breed.”
-Courtesy of Rover.com