Why your dog should be out running right now


Running with dog

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Thanks to running, Tricia Dunn, founder/owner of Trailblazing Tails, sees positive changes in her furry clients.

Sometimes there are days when we can’t fit everything into our schedule so we put our workout on hold. Horrible, right? What about the days when your dog’s exercise time gets pushed to the sidelines because we’re too busy? It may be more often than Fido likes. For days like these, a dog runner can save the day.

Dog running services like Trailblazing Tails — serving Los Angeles and Portland — cater to people who can’t provide the necessary exercise for their energy-filled canines, and they are sprouting up everywhere. Tricia Dunn, founder/owner of the dog running service, said she chose this profession after running a former roommate’s two dogs for many months.

“There was a direct correlation between our days running and their behavior. Running helped curb some of their bad habits, like barking and their boundless amounts of unharnessed energy. It was clear there was a need for this in a society as busy as ours and in a city as urban as Los Angeles,” Dunn said. “It made sense; and since dog walkers were getting paid to take Fido around the block to sniff and pee, dog running would benefit many pooches who needed the vigorous exercise due to their breed and/or temperament.”


Running versus walking your dog

Dunn explained that running helps stimulate the dog’s mind and body. It gives them a job to do. And when a dog doesn’t have a job, they will self-employee. Running allows them to do what they are naturally born to do. Dog running is more like personal training for dogs. Sniffing and pee-mailing are permitted during the warmup and cool-down, though we let them eliminate when necessary during the run. There’s the old adage: “A tired dog is a happy dog.”

If you want to start running with your dog, remember to check with your veterinarian. The ASPCA lists some size, breed and age considerations:

  • Breeds with short or flat noses (brachycephalic breeds) can have trouble breathing when exercised vigorously, especially in warmer climates.
  • Exercise is great for energetic young dogs, but sustained jogging or running is not recommended for young dogs (under 18 months) whose bones haven’t finished growing.
  • Because large dogs are more prone to cruciate ligament injuries, arthritis and hip dysplasia, sustained jogging can be hard on their joints and bones, too. If you’ve got a large dog, make sure she’s well-conditioned before you start jogging together.
  • Once a dog reaches her golden years, osteoarthritis can cause pain and lameness after strenuous exercise. It’s much better to discover that your once-sprightly dog’s joints can no longer handle long hikes, for example, before you head out the door.


Hit the trails

What do dogs love equally as much as running? Nature! And Dunn combines both worlds by taking her four-legged clients to local trails, which means no road obstacles and fewer distractions. She has seen major transformations are clear for most of her furry clients.

“They exude a calmness after our run. An exercised dog exhibits fewer bad habits, like barking and chewing,” Dunn explained. “Many parents send photos of their dog taking a snooze hours later or messages thanking us for their calm and happy dog when they return from work. There are some younger pooches who could handle upward of 10+ miles, though; they still benefit from our 4- to 6-mile runs.”

Dunn grew up running track and cross country and was an avid trail runner for about a year prior to founding Trailblazing Tails.

“The best thing about being a dog runner is the relationships you create with each sweet client, both canine and human,” Dunn said. “Each dog has a distinct personality and so many wonderful characteristics, as do their parents. Parents allow us to take a member of their family out into a crazy city with much stimuli. They also hand over a key to their home. This makes our service a service unlike most. We become a part of their family, too.”