4. Water, water, water! Make sure there’s plenty of H2O for both of you. And not the nasty ditch water on the side of the road, not the questionable, stagnant stream or pothole puddle either. Those sources are full of bacteria and sometimes poisonous chemicals like antifreeze. If you wouldn’t get down on all fours and drink it, neither should he. Drink plenty of fresh, clean water. If your dog won’t drink straight from a bottle, take along one of these handy watering bottles or a fold-up water bowl and pour bottled water into it.
3. Pause for the paws. Keep an eye on the road for rocks or terrain that isn’t paw-friendly. Trails can be treacherous but so can paved streets. In some areas of the country, (not Colorado) salt is put down for snow melt in the winter and it sticks around long after the snow is gone. If it gets on his paws, your dog may lick it off and get sick so it’s a good idea to rinse his paws after a run.
2. Get social. A well-socialized, well-trained dog is the best running partner. Brush up on lessons at the Humane Society, Petsmart or Petco or hire a trainer. The Humane Society also offers puppy socialization classes for puppies from eight weeks to six months old. Here’s a reminder about basic manners from FIDOS: don’t let your dog approach strangers (human or canine) until you have their permission. No matter how wonderfully friendly your dog is, the other person may be terrified of dogs. Simply ask, “Is it okay if my dog says hello?” If they say no, respect their space.
1. Pick up the poop! There is no poop fairy. You have to do this yourself. For the love of all things canine and otherwise holy, please take plastic bags — just tie a few around the leash handle — and use them. In Boulder we have plenty of garbage cans along the street and the trails have bear-proof garbage bins located at most trailheads. If you’re mid-trail when nature calls to your dog and no garbage cans are nearby, it is acceptable doggie etiquette to bag the poo and leave it trailside as long as you pick it up on your way back. Seriously. In Boulder, the lack of diligent poo pickup is a big issue that has caused parts of Open Space trails to be closed to dogs.
For a great list of resources with more info on running with your dog, see this article at How Stuff Works
For more info on using Open Space in Boulder, go to FIDOS (Friends Interested in Dogs + Open Space. FIDOS aims to promote responsible dog guardianship while protecting natural resources of our public lands. FIDOS advocates for responsible and reasonable dog rules and access to Boulder Open Spaces.
See part one of this article here.