Should I Run Or Walk My Dog?

Well, that is a question that can only be answered once all factors are considered about the dog in question, therefore I’ll use Alex and her canine buddies as examples.


Until early last year, I used to get Alex to run once or twice a week, but I stopped because the walks we take every day seem to be enough for her, and because a couple of months ago she started to limp while we were walking.  I took her to the vet and she was given medication she has to take every day plus a lot of rest for a couple of weeks.  Now she is back to her usual self, but she’ll go for a follow-up with the vet next week.  What I do, since a lot of dogs have never run next to a bike, is get Alex to jog next to the bike I am riding for 1 minute or less.  Why?  I want the other dogs to see what she is doing and mimic that behavior.  Now, should Alex run or walk?  She should walk because she is a senior dog and she was already limping while walking with me.  By the way, this is how Alex and Dexter looked on Saturday, after a good run early in the morning.


Sarris, unlike Alex, can run without a problem, but Sarris is also a younger dog.  I got her to run/jog for about 10 minutes, and after that we walked home.  She did not have a problem with the bike.  Actually, she seemed to enjoy running alongside me.  Should you run or walk Sarris?  Well, I think she should run 2 to 3 times a week and walk the rest of the week because she is an active young dog.


Of course, they need a comfortable bed to rest after exercising so here they are, L – R, Dexter, Alex, and Sarris.  They were all ready for a nap.


Dexter, the handsome boy all the way to the right, is about 2 1/2 years old and he is full of energy, therefore he can easily run every other day without a problem.  His mom told me that he did not like bikes, so I was really surprised when after walking with him for 5 minutes he had no problem at all running alongside my bike.  I was so happy and after a couple of minutes he tried to run fast, but I had to slow down because he is very strong and I did not want him to over do it.  We kept up a pretty nice pace, but we did not go fast.  Yes, Dexter should definitely run a few times a week.

Every dog is different and if you decide to try going for a run with your dog, please make sure to consider the following:

  • Age, weight, breed, and health of the dog – If unsure, talk to the vet
  • Weather – I go for a run early in the morning, 6am during the Summer
  • Distance – Do not make your dog run for more than 5 – 10 minutes at the beginning and increase the time little by little
  • At the beginning, try walking your dog next to the bike – Some dogs hate bikes
  • Always, after every run, check his pads to make sure they are not damaged

These are just a few suggestions to consider before taking your dog for a run.  Remember that going for a run with your dog is supposed to be enjoyable and good for both, you and your dog.  What do you do with your dog to help him burn some energy?

16 responses to “Should I Run Or Walk My Dog?

  1. My yellow lab, maui, is the reason I started running! Walks just didn’t seem sufficient for her to burn off any energy. So we got in shape together – mind you she started off in better shape than me lol. She can still outrun me any day and the pace I run is really just a light jog for her but it is better for her than just walking. I am too afraid to run her beside a bike though – she still pulls from time to time and I sense that would just be an accident waiting to happen. I have much more control when I have both feet on the ground 😉

    • Lol. You are an excellent pet parent. Way to go. Maui will keep you fit and you’ll make her happy. You don’t have to use a bike, running seems to work out better for you and Maui so keep it up:)

  2. Jack Henry loves to run–a friend will take him on occasion-otherwise he is good to go at walks-and he is a good walker-Hubble is a disaster which is why he has a big fenced yard to run and jump in-Anna, a walker as well-interesting to learn how dogs–like us–have their preferences as well-love that bottom picture-that is a good lookin’ pack you have there!

  3. We have always had Dachshunds so running with them was out of the question…but to stay in fit, we have a nice fenced in yard and would play with them a game called “mad dog” which would encourage them to run around like a mad dog chasing after us. Say those words and they are off even in the house. 😉 But going for walks to get them to stretch their little legs is always important too.

  4. My boys love the frisbee, they are labs after all. And structured walks! Great tips 🙂

  5. Currently we only walk, because it is too hot for running. They look great together in a row :o)

  6. I run with my dogs everyday. Is that alright? I don’t really know for sure but that’s how we’ve always done things.

    • Wow! You and your dogs must be in amazing shape, and they must be extremely happy:) Way to go. If you notice that they are starting to slow down, limp, pant too hard, etc., you need to stop, but if you do not see any signs of distress they are probably ok., but if you are not sure, your vet is the best person to ask:)

      • Yeah, I’d like to think so 🙂 my 4yr old poodle is a runner. He can run straight for 6-7 km and I’m the one being dragged already hehehe but my other asthmatic dog just got into running and I don’t let him run over 20mins. That’s the routine. So far all’s good. But your post really did get me thinking. Thanks!

      • Keep up the good work you are doing with your dogs. You see? You have to tailored the runs depending on the dog. Great.

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