Everything You Need to Run With Your Dog (2024)

Everything You Need to Run With Your Dog (1)

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We all know dogs are man's best friend, but can they also be your favorite running companion? The answer is yes—if you have the proper gear, and work to train them slowly and properly. While you can take your dog out for a jog with their basic leash and collar, it will be much easier for both of you—especially as you go on longer runs—to invest in some gear specifically designed for running. To help expedite the process, we've gathered everything you need run with your dog, as well as expert-backed tips on how to get started.

How to Start Running With Your Dog

Running with your dog can be more complex than just clipping on a leash and heading out the door. In fact, there are some key things to consider before jumping into a long run that can help prevent injury for both you and your dog, and help keep you both in tip top running shape for years to come. To help us out, we contacted veterinary surgeon and consultant Dr. Linda Simon, MVB, MRCVS.

One of the most important things to consider is the age of your dog. “It’s important to not start to run too early on with your puppy,” says Simon. “A maturing pup should not be exposed to repetitive movement, like running on pavement, because it can lead to joint disease and is not good for a developing body.” That being said, it is a great idea to begin leash training early on, as it will help to get your pup accustomed to walking—and eventually running—beside you.

When it comes to gear, Simon suggests a well-fitting, reflective harness, and a bungee leash. This helps to prevent pulling, and will allow some give so neither of you will end up being yanked along. She also urges against using neck collars. “Using neck collars can lead to neck strains, particularly if you find you have to pull the dog at any point,” states Dr. Simon. “Remember, even the best-trained dog may decide to give chase after a squirrel.”

For the owner, she suggests a belt bag or waist pack that will allow you to carry necessities like poop bags, treats, and your keys while still remaining hands-free.

Lastly, she stresses the importance of staying alert to your dog’s temperament. “Don’t overdo it and keep an eye out for any signs your dog is getting over-tired, like panting or a desire to slow down and stop. When the weather is warm, be alert for signs of heat stroke and never exercise during the hottest part of the day.” Even if it isn’t super hot, we recommend taking a water bottle or bowl for your dog to get a quick drink and stay hydrated mid- or post run.

How We Selected

To find the best gear for running with your dog, we researched the most popular products available, and looked to expert sources for firsthand testing results and product suggestions. We also contacted aforementioned veterinary surgeon Dr. Linda Simon, MVB, MRCVS, for advice on what to use and how to use it to make the running experience safe and enjoyable for both dog and owner. We then took into account price, durability, functionality, and materials of each product. Finally, we consulted reviews written by dog owners who’ve bought and loved the products you'll find below.

Looking for more great products for your pup? Check out our picks for the best dog leashes and harnesses and dog treadmills.

1

Best Bottle for Dogs

MalsiPree Dog Water Bottle

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1

Best Bottle for Dogs

MalsiPree Dog Water Bottle

Help keep your pup hydrated while you're on the go with this ingenious water bottle. This bottle's design lets you pour some water into the attached bowl for your dog to lap up, and it's easy to seal again once they have quenched their thirst.

2

Best Collapsible Bowls

SLSON Collapsible Dog Bowls

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2

Best Collapsible Bowls

SLSON Collapsible Dog Bowls

Now 14% Off

Don't feel like bringing a water bottle along for the ride? If you know you'll hit a water stop along your run, you can opt for a lighter-weight option, like this two-pack of BPA- and silicone-free collapsible bowls.

3

Best Hands-Free Leash

iYoShop Hands Free Dog Leash

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Everything You Need to Run With Your Dog (7)

3

Best Hands-Free Leash

iYoShop Hands Free Dog Leash

This hands-free leash attaches around your waist, and even has a pocket for doggy bags, treats, or your own essentials. The leash itself also has two bungee points, which help to prevent pulling.

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4

Best Hands-Free Leash for Multiple Dogs

SHINE HAI Retractable Hands Free Dog Leash

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Everything You Need to Run With Your Dog (9)

4

Best Hands-Free Leash for Multiple Dogs

SHINE HAI Retractable Hands Free Dog Leash

If you have more than one dog, you will need more than one leash. This belt attaches leashes to either side of your waist, and has a large pocket in the middle with plenty of room for your phone, as well as extra storage on the sides.

Don't forget a doggy bag! These ones are made with eco-friendly, biodegradable ingredients, and are 100 percent leakproof, ensuring there will be no stinky surprises while you're running.

6

Best Reflective Vest

SafetyPUP XD Dog Reflective Vest

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6

Best Reflective Vest

SafetyPUP XD Dog Reflective Vest

If you are running in low light with your pup, you'll want an accessory that keeps them visible. This reflective vest will make them easy to see without weighing them down.

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7

Best LED Vest

Domi LED Dog Harness & Adjustable Belt Suit

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7

Best LED Vest

Domi LED Dog Harness & Adjustable Belt Suit

For extra dark days, you may want to opt for a vest that does more than just reflect light, but actually lights up itself, like this one. It has five LED lights, and they're rechargeable, so you won't have to worry about replacing batteries.

8

Best Boots for Winter

XSY&G Dog Boots

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8

Best Boots for Winter

XSY&G Dog Boots

Now 10% Off

Whether running on hot pavement, rough gravel, or snowdrifts, these booties will help protect your dog's precious paws. They have a rubber bottom, which helps give them extra grip, and are outfitted with adjustable Velcro straps that keep them snug and secure.

9

Best for Rainy Days

HDE Dog Raincoat

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9

Best for Rainy Days

HDE Dog Raincoat

Now 27% Off

Rainy days don't have to put a full stop to your runs. This rain jacket covers most of your pup's body, and even has a hood to keep their head dry. While we can't promise it will prevent all wet dog smells, it can definitely help keep Fido comfortable.

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10

Best for Dry Noses

Natural Dog Company Snout Soother Trial Stick

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The elements can take a toll on our skin—and the same is true for our dogs. The sensitive skin on a dog's nose is especially prone to getting dry and cracking in cold weather, but this organic, vegan Snout Soother stick can help. This balm can be rubbed directly on your pup's nose, helping to hydrate, protect, and restore their skin with every application.

11

Best for Dry Paws

Musher's Secret Dog Paw Wax

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11

Best for Dry Paws

Musher's Secret Dog Paw Wax

Like their nose, your pup's paw pads are also at risk of damage when the weather gets colder and drier. And while boots are a great—and adorable—option, not all dogs will tolerate wearing them. This balm was designed to protect paws, and it's made with a combination of food-grade oils and waxes that are safe for your dog to lick.

12

Best Treat Bag

Kurgo Tactical Dog Treat Bag

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12

Best Treat Bag

Kurgo Tactical Dog Treat Bag

Have a food-motivated pup? This drawstring treat pouch is great for attaching to a bag or belt loop for convenience on a run. It holds up to 0.35 liters of treats, and has a zippered pocket on the back that can hold small essentials, like a key or credit card.

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13

Best for Quick Paw Cleaning

Earth Rated Dog Wipes

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13

Best for Quick Paw Cleaning

Earth Rated Dog Wipes

You wouldn't jump on your bed with your running shoes on—and your dog's feet are no cleaner post-run. These wipes are gentle on their skin while allowing you to quickly and efficiently clean their paws before they go back inside the house.

14

Best Pet First Aid Kit

RAYCO INTERNATIONAL, LTD. Pet First Aid Kit

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14

Best Pet First Aid Kit

RAYCO INTERNATIONAL, LTD. Pet First Aid Kit

Particularly if you plan on running in a more technical or dangerous area, it's a good idea to have a pet first aid kit on hand. This one contains everything you would need to treat minor cuts and abrasions or prevent further injury before getting them to a vet.

15

Most Durable Harness

RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness

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15

Most Durable Harness

RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness

There are tons of options when it comes to dog harnesses, but this Ruffwear model is one of the best. It has a slim design, which allows your dog to have full range of motion while also being incredibly durable, making it both reliable and long-lasting.

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16

Best Dog Backpack

Outward Hound DayPak Blue Dog Saddleback Backpack

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Everything You Need to Run With Your Dog (25)

16

Best Dog Backpack

Outward Hound DayPak Blue Dog Saddleback Backpack

Who says you should be the one to carry everything when you're on a run with your pup? This wearable, streamlined pack allows your dog to pull some of their own weight while you're out and about together. It has two zippered pouches on either side, as well as a built-in harness, helping you keep their gear streamlined.

17

For a Cleaner Car

URPOWER Dog Seat Cover

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17

For a Cleaner Car

URPOWER Dog Seat Cover

If you like to drive to your running destinations, a seat cover is a must. this one has great coverage and is water-resistant, which makes it perfect for rainy runs or a dip in the creek.

18

Most Comfortable Harness

Wild One Harness

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18

Most Comfortable Harness

Wild One Harness

Not only does this harness come in super cute colors, from basics like black and white to vibrant reds, blues, purples, and greens, but it also has super soft padding to ensure your pup's comfort when you're on the move. It also comes in sizes XS to L, which should fit the majority of dog breeds.

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19

For Post-Run Recovery

Toozey Pet Heating Pad

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Everything You Need to Run With Your Dog (30)

19

For Post-Run Recovery

Toozey Pet Heating Pad

Now 24% Off

There's nothing like a nice hot shower after a winter run, but since your dog probably doesn't bathe nearly as often as you do, this heating pad can help get them toasty again without getting wet. This is also a great option for older dogs with achy joints.

20

Best Human Accessory

Salomon Active Skin 8 Set Hydration Vest

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20

Best Human Accessory

Salomon Active Skin 8 Set Hydration Vest

Sure, this product isn't technically for your dog, but this running vest is a great way to carry hydration and small accessories for both you and your pup while running. This model can carry two bottles in front, and has a large zippered pocket in the back that's perfect for keeping a key, clicker, or treats secure.

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Gabrielle Hondorp

Before joining Runner's World, Gabrielle Hondorp spent 6 years in running retail (she has tested top gear from shoes, to watches, to rain jackets which has expanded her expertise—and her closets); she specializes in health and wellness, and is an expert on running gear from head-to-toe. Gabi began her journalism career as a Digital Editorial Fellow for Runner’s World and Bicycling Magazine, and has since advanced to a Runner's World Editor specializing in commerce. She has a double degree in English and Media and Communication from Muhlenberg College where she also ran cross country and track.

Everything You Need to Run With Your Dog (2024)

FAQs

How should I start running with my dog? ›

Even if you have an energetic dog, running for a long distance may not be easy for them at first. Follow these general steps to start running with your dog: Start by giving a verbal cue before the run, such as “Let's run!” Begin at a light pace and run a short distance, 100 yards or so, to see how your dog handles it.

How many miles can I run with my dog? ›

How far a dog can safely run depends so much on the unique dog. If the dog is in top physical condition and the weather conditions are also perfect, some dogs can easily run further than a marathon, even taking on distances of 50 miles+.

Do you need a harness to run with a dog? ›

We recommend a harness for running. You have more connection options, the leash is less likely to get tangled up in your dog's legs, and it's less pressure on their neck, especially if they pull or run with tension on the leash.

Can I run a 5K with my dog? ›

Tips for Running With Your Dog

Check with your vet before you run with your dog to make sure they are healthy enough to run a 5k. Puppies should not run with you until their growth plates have closed. Be mindful of the temperature. Dogs overheat more easily than humans.

At what age can I jog with my dog? ›

According to Adelaide based Vet, Andrew Spanner (2020), dogs of a small breed can begin extended running from the age of 9 months, medium breeds 10-11 months, large breeds 12-14 months and giant breeds 18-24 months. This of course does not mean you can't get outdoors and explore with your new puppy.

Is running in the backyard enough for a dog? ›

While backyard playtime may provide some exercise, it probably isn't enough. Below is a list of the recommended daily exercise needs of cats and dogs depending on their age, breed and lifestyle. Nearly all pets benefit from two daily sessions, splitting the total daily time needed into a morning and evening session.

Is 7 miles too far for a dog? ›

Most dogs can handle 5 km (3 miles) without extra training but need at least a month to get up to 20 km. Walks above 5 km should always be followed by a light rest day. If you go too far too quickly you could cause all sorts of muscle, tendon, ligament, joint or bone problems.

Is it better to run with a dog collar or harness? ›

Harnesses are generally considered safer for running because they reduce the risk of neck injuries, especially if your dog abruptly lunges or changes direction. They also minimize the chance of a collar slipping off or becoming too tight during vigorous activity.

Is it better to run with a dog in a harness or collar? ›

When it comes to gear, Simon suggests a well-fitting, reflective harness, and a bungee leash. This helps to prevent pulling, and will allow some give so neither of you will end up being yanked along. She also urges against using neck collars.

What is too much running for a dog? ›

Staying on Track. Exercise is certainly necessary for all healthy canines. But each pet's exercise needs are personal to them. As a rule, no more than an hour of playtime or exercise, including walks, should be given to your pet each day.

Can you run 10K with a dog? ›

Labs, beagles and English setters are good for distances up to 10K, but if you want to spend more quality time with your pet, huskies, Goldendoodles, Weimaraners and Vizslas enjoy 10-mile-plus distances.

How to train your dog to run with you on a leash? ›

Start by adding small stretches of running into your walks. Then, on each subsequent walk, gradually increase the portion of your time spent running and decrease the portion spent walking. After several weeks, your dog will have adapted to running long distances.

How many times a week should I run with my dog? ›

Start small: do 2-5km with your dog a few times a week and see how he or she gets on. Your mileage will vary — literally — since some dogs will naturally want to go further, just as some runners can do more.

How do you handle a dog while running? ›

10 ways to manage unwanted attention from dogs when running
  1. Take control. Use a deep, firm voice to convey a sense of calm.
  2. Turn sideways on. Fold your arms across your body and neck and stand still. ...
  3. Move slowly away. ...
  4. Curl up if you fall. ...
  5. Don't keep going. ...
  6. Don't shriek. ...
  7. Don't make eye contact. ...
  8. Don't behave aggressively.
Aug 8, 2018

Do dogs like to run with their owners? ›

Plus, running together can be a great bonding experience and an easy way to get both of your workouts in at once. Keep in mind, however, dogs are driven to please their humans; they'll stay by your side loyally even if they don't enjoy jogging laps around the park.

Is it easier to run with a dog? ›

While running with a dog may not necessarily make everyone faster, it certainly has the potential to do so through increased motivation, enhanced endurance, and improved speed thanks to the concept of canicross. Plus, it's an excellent way to bond with your furry friend while enjoying the great outdoors together!

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