Why Run With Your Dog?

Personal training for dogs. You’re kidding, right? Actually, no, we’re not. Research suggests up to 40% of our dogs are overweight, and they suffer from the same health complications that overweight people do. Veterinarians (including myself) are becoming more and more concerned about the increase in joint pain, heart disease and other obesity related illnesses in dogs. Hence, Pooch to 5k. Dogs can’t lift weights, or use the gym. If you’re going to increase their fat burning, you need to increase the intensity of their exercise. This means that a daily stroll just won’t cut it any more, it’s too laid back. The Pooch to 5k program will help you get your dog from doing nothing much to comfortably running 5km, over a period of 12 weeks.

Because you’ll be running with your dog, you’ll also get a great workout three times a week, as you train yourself to run 5km. Why not subscribe to our dog health and fitness newsletter and grab your dog, and you’re ready to go!

Apr
17

Do Dogs Get a Runner’s High?

By

Endorphin Rush. Runner’s High. If you’ve ever done any intensive exercise, you’d be familiar with the feeling of relaxation and well being that follows a good workout.

I’ve often thought that my dog seems to feel just as good as I do after a run, but I’ve been unable to find any scientific proof, until now.

Researchers at the University of Arizona put dogs, humans and ferrets on a treadmill, and measured the amount of endocannabinoids that were produced after exercise. Endo – produced inside the body, cannabinoids – chemicals that activate cannabinoid receptors in the brain that cause a euphoric feeling.

Ferrets aren’t a species that evolved to run, so it’s not too surprising that they didn’t show any response to running. However, both dogs and humans showed much higher levels of endocannabinoids after a session on the treadmill. This means that our dogs do indeed get that runner’s high.

One thing to take note of is that this research found that dogs didn’t get those good feelings after a low intensity walk. What does this mean for you? It means that walking your dog is certainly nice, it gives him the opportunity to sniff and explore and, if he’s anything like my Guinness, to pee on any vertical object. But, it isn’t likely to have any effect on his behaviour. If you’re looking to make your dog calmer, happier and more chilled, then you need to get him out for a run.

That’s not hard, even if you’ve never run before. Grab our training program – it’s free – and make a start. You and your dog will both feel good,  and you can both spend the rest of the day enjoying your runner’s high.

You can read the abstract from the Journal of Experimental Biology here.

3 Comments

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Thanks Peter. The NPR post links to the same Journal of Experimental Biology research article as above, but the reinforcement from the Surgeon’s perspective adds a level of confidence. After all, she’s a runner!

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[…] that exercise is a good remedy for depression and anxiety in people. Dogs have been shown to get an endorphin rush from people so could we use running as a way of helping those dogs that are unsettled when alone? […]

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