There’s no question (or barks) about it. If you’re looking for a running buddy your dog might just be the best candidate out there. Just think—they don’t chat your ear off or ask questions, and best of all, they’re always so excited to get out the door!

Before you lace and leash up, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind for you and your favorite four-legged runner.

1. Make Sure They’re Up For It!

While some dogs make for great running partners, toy or large breeds might be better suited for a fast-paced walk. Also make sure your dog is fully grown (usually this means they are at least 1 year of age). If you’re unsure, definitely schedule a health check with your vet.

2. Be Patient With Them

Sometimes it takes some time to get in sync with your dog. Don’t hold the leash too tight—about three feet of space between you and your dog is a good target. The right leash can also make a difference! A leash with an internal bungee allows for some additional stretch for unpredictable pulls or direction changes.

3. Hydration is Key

Hydration is a no-brainer for you and should be for your running bud as well! Don’t forget to bring along some extra H2O to stay hydrated on-the-go. 

4. Location, Location, Location

Location is everything. Start with shorter and slower runs before working up to more challenging distances and paces and keep your eyes peeled for traffic hazards and fellow runners that might cause distractions.

5. Go Easy On Them

Remember your dog can’t tell you when they’re pushing it a little too hard! Be sure to listen to their breathing for signs of exertion. And just like you, they might be a little sore after a run. Make sure they’re looking good and acting like their normally spunky self before heading out on your next jaunt.