Running with your furry best friend can be all the change you need to find some fun this year. And, there are a ton of reasons why dogs make great companions, not just at home, but on the trail too. At Trail Roots, we love when our members bring their dogs out to trail runs with us. Dogs spark conversation, help people feel more relaxed and safe, and also can actually save your life! This month, we spoke with our Trail Roots community and found out what our runners love about running with their dogs.
What is really special about our furry friends is that they need to run just about as much as we do. Some of us tend to put our animals first, so while it may seem impossible to step outside and go for a jog solo, finding your pet at the door changes the whole situation! In simple terms, our dogs force us to get out more. One of our members, Samantha Taylor, a Veterinarian at Sunbury Vet Clinic says that taking her dog Poppy on longer runs helped her feel like she was doing something more than just for the good of herself. The run was benefiting her and her dog!
Another cool aspect of running with dogs is that they are up for just about anything. Rarely have I laced up my running shoes, grabbed a leash to have my dog run and hide from me. Usually, my dog is ready at the front door as well (rain or shine!). Peter Dennison, another one of our members, says finding a dog that can join him on his runs and mountain bike rides is the primary criteria he looks at when getting a new dog.
Kris, another TR member, says one of his favorite things about running with his dog is how he gets ready for each run. His dog, Elvis, always knows when his owner is getting ready for a run and will trot over to the front door to begin stretching out (mostly down dog). Kris says seeing this reminds him to start stretching too! He says that he and Elvis run quite a bit around Walnut Creek Park and that he has helped him keep off the COVID pounds.
Christian, a local priest and member of TR for many years says that when he runs with his dog, MacGyver, he feels more attune with nature. There is an unspoken and yet wonderfully tangible sense of joy and adventure they share exploring trails together, especially at water crossings is one of his favorite parts of running together, he says.
According to American Humane, we actually are safer with dogs. A dog that barks can help deter a violent attack. They don’t even have to necessarily be a big dog, just a barking dog! Dogs have a heightened sense of smell and hearing, so they can likely detect dangers that we may not see.
While we’ve only listed a few reasons to get a furry running partner, there are plenty more out there, and there are a plethora of benefits than just the ones on this list. We love our furry Trail Roots running partners. If you are looking to bring in a new dog we recommend checking out Austin Humane Society or Austin Pets Alive!. We hope to see you (and your dog) out running the Austin trails!
-Erik and the Trail Roots Running Group
For longer running journeys, speak with your local vet before taking them with you to get in some miles, and make sure to wait until the growth plate is closed in (which happens around 12-14 months old).