Doing a parkrun with your dog can be great fun and very good exercise for both of you. However, it is important that you keep your dog’s health and safety in mind. Parkruns, where dogs are allowed, have strict rules that regulate the event and you should adhere to these to avoid being kicked out. We also have a few tips or guidelines to help you have a fun and successful parkrun with your dog.
Run at the pace your dog sets. It is important to stick to your dog’s pace and limits. If you try to force him to run faster or further than he can, you may cause exhaustion, dehydration, and injury. He will most likely want to please you and will keep going to do so. Look for signs that he is tired and needs a break or water.
Be aware of your dog’s behavior. Your dog will tell you what he likes and doesn’t like. Keep an eye on his behavior to see whether he wants to run or not. Look out for signs that he needs to rest or that something is wrong. Your dog will tell you what he needs but you need to monitor his behavior to know what he needs.
Train them for a parkrun. Running and walking for longer than they are used to is not necessarily the best idea. Do some preparation and endurance training by playing with them or going for a walk or a run for 30 to 60 minutes. Once they can comfortably do this, you can consider taking them to a parkrun.
Communicate with your dog. Tell your dog that you are going for a walk so they can do their preparations like stretching or drinking water. This will also get them to mentally prepare. It is important to keep talking to your dog while running or walking at the parkrun because the big crowds, people passing them, and other dogs may make them anxious.
If you keep these things in mind, you and your dog should have many fun and successful parkruns together.