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For those who actually like to exercise, outdoor workouts are pretty fun. But do you know what can make them even better? Having an adorable, energetic pup at your side while you log those miles.
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If your dog is trained and in good running shape, the right products can make for even better runs, walks, and hikes for both the dogs and their humans. When you take your pooch out for exercise, it’s important to think of some key things: a reliable leash that will keep your pup secure, water, treats, and visibility—especially when it's dark or foggy.
These products will help you have a safe and rewarding run with your dog. You’ll both get a workout, fresh air, and a chance to spend a little more time with your best friend in the whole world.
1. A leash with hand-held or waist-worn options
A dependable hand-held leash is a good option during a run, but it’s nice to be able to switch to wearing it at the waist if that feels better for you and your dog. This Amazon best-seller features tough material, shock-absorbing bungee cord sections, and two handles. There are also several fun colors and patterns to choose from, so you can match your leash to your other gear.
2. A sturdy harness that’s comfortable for your dog
A trustworthy harness is another must for your running buddy. The Dogline Unimax Multi-Purpose Vest is the best option we have tested and offers a streamlined happy medium between an all-enveloping shell and a tangle of straps. The vest-shaped harness is breathable, water-resistant neoprene (which scores extra credit for being washing machine safe), and is padded for comfort with a removable breastplate.
3. A set of lights so you and your canine companion can be more visible
For those evening runs or even a quick walk around the block, it’s imperative to be visible to cars and passersby. You can easily attach one of these lights to your dog’s collar, providing LED light that can be easily seen from a distance. Plus, the lights are weatherproof, so they should work even if your dog is prone to impromptu dips along the way.
4. A bottle that comes with a water bowl
If you always bring a water on your runs, why not bring a bowl for your furry friend too? This inventive water bottle comes with a foldaway water bowl for your dog to get some refreshment. Now both of you can get the H2O you need during your workouts.
5. A fluorescent, see-me-in-the-dark vest for your dog
There's no such thing as being too easy to see at night, so you may want to invest in a reflective, brightly colored vest in addition to the collar light. This one, available in yellow or orange, comes in three sizes and is made of a breathable, lightweight material to keep your dog cool and comfortable on your runs. You’ll both be a lot more visible with this vest.
6. A bag of energizing treats for your little runner
During your long runs, you’ve likely stopped to have some nutrition along the way, nibbling on a PowerBar or Bloks or something similar. If you're hungry and need more energy, chances are your dog could use a snack too. Stock up on the canine equivalent for your dog, Zuke’s dog treats, a cult favorite among those who run with their dogs. They’re packed with protein and superfoods that will keep his stamina up and serve as a tasty reward when he's an extra good boy.
7. A set of dog boots to protect sensitive paws
Although barefoot running is a trend among humans, your dog shouldn’t go “bare-pawed” on especially chilly or hot days or on rough surfaces. These paw-protecting boots are easy to put on thanks to Velcro straps that are also reflective, and they’ll shield your dog’s pads from extreme temperatures and injury-causing objects.
8. A warm jacket for winter adventures
When the temperatures drop and rain is in the forecast, don’t skip your run with Fido—outfit him in a warm jacket instead. It keeps the elements out and warmth in with water-resistant fabric.
9. A dog backpack for treats and other essentials
For any outdoor exercise, there are always those extras you need to bring: treats, water, sunblock (for you), a backup pair of socks, etc. Your dog can carry those must-have items in his very own backpack. This adjustable pack is lightweight, comfortable, and has four expandable storage compartments.
10. A poop bag holder that snaps onto a leash
Bags can be difficult to bring on runs, but they’re also necessary if you want to bring your dog along. You’ll no doubt want to do your part to keep the parks, trails, and neighborhoods where you run clean. This attachment for your leash makes it effortless to take along the bags you need without the hassle of figuring out where to store them.
11. A life jacket to help your pup swim
Not all dogs can swim on their own easily, which is why having a life jacket can be helpful. If you’re running along the beach or hiking near a river this doggy life jacket will provide some much-needed peace of mind. Built with dual handles and an adjustable side release buckle, your pup will stay comfortable and can easily be grabbed in case of an emergency.
According to more than 600 reviewers, this one from Outward Hound is great for the pool or beach and relieves their worries about their pup in the water. It comes in a bright orange color so it will be easy to spot your pup.
12. A durable toy designed for playing in the water
If you’re exercising on a scorching day it might be worth encouraging your dog to take a cooling dip now and then. Kong toys are a favorite among many pet parents, thanks to their durable design, and this particular toy is designed for playing in the water. The Kong Aqua features a rubber Kong with an attached rope, allowing you to launch it into the water for your dog to retrieve. The toy floats so your dog can easily spot it, and they’re sure to want to bring this toy along every time you go to the beach, pond, pool, or river.
13. A human backpack for tired pooches
As much as your dog may want to join you while you're out and about, this can be challenging in some cases due to their age, anxiety, or disability. If your dog struggles with mobility or tends to get dog-tired in the middle of a walk, run, or hike, a sturdy carrier might be worth a look. Our tester loves the K9 SportSack and how easy it makes traveling with your pup. Essentially a Baby Bjorn for dogs, the pack puts the dog facing your body in the begging position, front paws free to rest on your back (or front, if worn that way). This allows you to carry your dog while keeping your hands free and gives them a chance to get some downtime.
14. Sunscreen to protect your pet
With all the time you're about to spend outdoors, it’s imperative that you apply some SPF on yourself and your furry friend. Although not commonly known, dogs can get sunburn and sun rashes on their exposed skin, such as their noses, paws, and bellies.
This sunscreen from Epi-Pet has SPF 30, is waterproof, and is made with nontoxic ingredients, so you can ensure it’s safe for your pet. Reviewers claim that it has made a major difference in particular for their hairless pups or those with lighter fur or skin.
15. A ball launcher to elevate games of fetch
Some dogs like to go, go, go, and if you’re wiped after your workout but your pooch never seems to run out of energy, you can tire them out a little better with the help of this ball launch. Chuckit! is known for its awesome dog toys, and this launcher will help you send your dog’s ball soaring further with every throw, and its easy pick-up head saves you from having to touch a slobber-covered tennis ball.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Exercising with your dog: 15 ways to make it easier