Jogging With Your Dog – A Runner’s Guide

dog harnesses

In this guide, we will give you tips and information so you can make the best choice when buying a jogging harness for your dog.

We are big fans of harnesses for dogs just for everyday use, but even more so if you want to go running with the dog. You have much more control over your dog if it is wearing a dog harness than a collar. Also, the dog is much less likely to pull and choke on a harness.

Table of Contents

Why Does Your Dog Need a Harness When You Go Running?

Why is it a good idea to use dog harnesses when taking your dog out for a run?

Here are some of the reasons we think why a harness of the best choice, especially if you are taking the dog on trails out into the wilderness.

  1. Harnesses do not choke the dog, like collars can.
  2. You have much more control over a dog when using harnesses.
  3. Most dog harnesses come with a chest plate leash attachment that stops the dog from pulling on the leash.
  4. Outdoor/running harnesses come with a back handle that is great for lifting the dog over obstacles you find along the trail. The handles are also great if you need extra control over the dog if you bump into some wildlife, for example.
  5. It should have breathable, padded material so that it is a comfortable harness that doesn’t rub or chafe on the dog’s chest or belly areas.
  6. Very few of the best harnesses are machine washable, but if they are hand washable, this is good enough.
On the Trail

Buyers Guide for Finding the Best Dog Harnesses for Running

You know you want to go running with your dog, you know you need a harness, but what features should you consider when looking at the various brands and products available to buy?

Sadly many dog harnesses are poorly designed and made, so use this quick list to help you separate the good from the bad.

  • The harness should have two leash attachment points on the chest and back for casual and no-pull walking.
  • It should have multiple adjustment points to ensure a secure and comfortable fit for the dog.
  • The best dog harnesses all come with a strong back handle so you can lift and control the dog more easily.
  • Multiple size options are great as it gives you more chance of finding a perfect fit for your dog no matter what the chest girth.
  • Reflective material is essential for a dog running harness that is going to be used at night.

Hopefully, by paying attention to these features when looking for a harness for your dog, you will find the perfect product and can quickly get out on the trails!

12 Tips for Running with a Dog

Some simple and easy to follow tips to help you run with your canine running partners.

Hopefully, if you follow them, they should help keep your dog (and you) out of too much trouble!

Always Use a Running Harness and Always Have a Leash Handy

No matter how much you trust your dog, if you are running with them off the leash, you should have the dog run with a harness on and have a leash with you just in case.

As we mentioned above, a harness with a handle on the back is great for grabbing and controlling the dog if you really need to.

You might also need to put the dog on a leash, it takes less than a minute to clip the leash on the harness, and a leash is very easy to carry when you are out for a run.

No matter if you are trail running on in a city or urban area, as a responsible pet owner, you should always have the ability to put your dog under leash control just in case.

Don’t Take Too Many Risks (Especially at First)

If you are new to running with your dog, do not take risks on traffic, people, other dogs, terrain, distance, weather, wildlife in the area, etc.

You can start in a local park or a short trail close to your home, or if you are in a city, pick a safe route that is less likely to throw you any unexpected dangers.

As you and the dog get more used to running together, as you learn how you want to behave, as you learn how the dog reacts in certain situations, you can start pushing into newer and more adventurous runs.

But to start with, it is always better to be safe than sorry to stick to routes you are confident will be safe for both of you.

Don’t Start Them Too Young.

Too much exercise too early can be bad for dogs and cause them issues later in life. If you are in any doubt about this, please consult your vet and take their advice seriously.

The last thing you want is to start the dog running too young and cause disability later in their life.

Start off Gently if Your Dog is Fat or Unfit

Just like humans, if a dog is not used to intense levels of exercise, you need to start them off slowly and build up the difficulty over time.

It is easy to get excited, run too far, the dog gets tired or even worse injured, and then you have to deal with a difficult and unnecessary situation.

Head for the Trails

If you have access to any wild running trails, there are perfect for your dog.

Running on mud and grass is much more healthy for the dog, especially if you are doing longer distances.

Check for Local Wildlife and Regulations

If you do hit the running trails, please check for any local rules and regulations, especially if you are in a national park.

Also, double-check what wildlife is in the area that might be a threat to you or your dog.

Do Not Let Them Pull on the Leash

A dog pulling on a lead is unhealthy. A dog should not spend its exercise time being choked or fighting against its owner!

So, always use a harness to eliminate choking and then train your dog to run without pulling.

Many dog harnesses have the no-choke feature as standard, so it will be easy to find one suitable.

Remember to Stop for Water

Dogs need to drink regularly, do not assume just because they haven’t stopped for a drink in a stream or puddle that they are not thirsty.

You need to make sure you need to take time out from the run and encourage them to drink if the area is dry, take water bottles and a bowl for them.

Be Careful in Hot Weather

Dogs are not as good at keeping cool as we are, especially if they have a long thick coat.

So you need to keep an eye on them if the weather is warm, make sure they plenty of rest and water, and stop the run if you think they are overheating.

Keep an Eye on the Dog’s Paws

Running on trails or roads should be fine for the dog’s paws, but it can cause issues, especially if the weather is hot and/or you are doing very long-distance runs.

Keeping an eye on the paws and trying to spot trouble before it gets too bad can prevent a small issue from becoming more serious.

Think About Their Poop

No matter if you are running on the streets, in a park, or on a trail, you need a plan for dealing with their poop.

A poop bag is great for the streets or a park. If you are out in the wilds, it might be fine to just leave the poop, but if it is in the middle of the trail or at a place where people stop to rest, you should get rid of it if the trail gets regular use.

Check for Ticks After the Run

If you have taken the dog into the wilds, it is important to check for ticks once you have finished.

Run your hands along the dog’s legs, belly, and chest to see if any little critters are hanging on in there.

If you are confident, you can remove the tick yourself, but if you are in any doubt, take it to your veterinarian and get them to do it safely.

Some Inspiration to Get You Pumped

The last thing we wanted to post in the review is some inspiration to get you excited about running with your dog.

You can see how awesome it is; this very fit young man running in the mountains with his two gorgeous dogs.

To be clear, we would prefer it if he had dog harnesses for running on his two pet dogs, but it is still a really cool video, and we are sure he is a responsible and loving dog owner.