20 Must-Have Gadgets for Exercising With Your Dog
Whether you’re walking, running, or playing fetch with your four-legged friend, getting outside and breaking a sweat (or, in your dog’s case, a pant) is a great way to keep you both healthy and happy. “Dogs need exercise just as much exercise as people, if not more,” says Angi Aramburu, a group fitness instructor and founder of Go Fetch Run, a bootcamp for dogs and their owners. “If you can combine your dog’s exercise time with your own, you can save time and kill two birds with one stone.”
With fitness gear made just for pet-and-human workouts, getting fit with your dog has never been easier or more fun. We asked dog behavior and health experts for their favorite products, and tips on how to use them.
A short leash or waist leash
Want to start bringing your dog on runs? Aramburu recommends using a four- to six-foot lightweight nylon or leather leash. "Retractable or long, flexi leashes are not ideal because they can easily get tangled around legsthe person's and the dog's," she says. Once you've got it down, consider a hands-free leash that's worn around your waist.
Try: Stunt Runner ($38; amazon.com) or Runner's Choice Hands-Free Dog Leash ($33; amazon.com) Â
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Aramburu also suggests putting your dog in a martingale collar for running, exercising, or training. This type of collar is designed to sit loosely around a dog's neck, but to tighten when the dog tries to pull on the leash. It gives you more control over your pooch without choking him like a slip collar. "Never use a prong collar or choke chain during exercise," she warns.
Try: Coastal Pet No-Slip Dog Collar ($7; amazon.com) or TopPaw Martingale Collar ($9.99; petsmart.com)
Collapsible water dish
Just as you should sip water throughout your workout, so should your dog. "I've found that a lightweight, travel dog bowl is the easiest thing to run with," says Aramburu. "You can fill it up with your water bottle or, if you prefer not to carry one, a water fountain."
Try: Nomad Travel Bowl ($21; amazon.com) or Kurgo Collaps A Bowl ($9; amazon.com)
Convertible water bottle
If you don't want to carry a water bottle and a separate dish, go for a bottle that you and your dog can share (without sharing germs, of course). You can either buy a special bottle that comes with a removable plastic bowl, or buy an attachment for bottles you already have.
Try: OllyBottle ($10; amazon.com) or Gulpy Jr. Water Dispenser for Pets ($8; amazon.com)
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Lights or reflectors
"Use reflective collars and vests on your dog when running at night for safety," says veterinarian Susan Nelson, clinical assistant professor at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. Even better: clip an LED light to your dog's collar so you can spot him in the dark, even if he wanders off.
Try: OllyDog Nightlife II Collar ($20; amazon.com) or Dublin Dog Multi-Purpose Light ($21; amazon.com)
Having a few basic medical supplies stored in your car or medicine cabinet can be helpful if your dog gets hurt while you're out exercising. Stock yours with ointments, bandages, eyewash, and antihistamine, as well as important phone numbers and paperwork for your dog if you need to go to the vet.
Try: ASPCA Emergency Ready Deluxe Pet First Aid Kit ($40; amazon.com)
Dogs can overheat quickly in warm weather, especially in the middle of the day when the sun is overhead. Try to exercise in the morning or the evening, but if you do have to be out in the heat with your dog, consider getting her a cooling vest that reflects the sun and uses evaporation to help regulate temperature.
Try: SwampCooler ($60, amazon.com) or Cool Vest ($37, amazon.com)
Car seat cover
If you drive to and from the park or the trail with your dog, you know that getting home after a particularly muddy romp can be disastrous for your car's upholstery. A cover or "hammock" in your back seat can keep it clean from dirt and dog hair, and provide a comfy place for your pooped pup to rest his head.
Try: Wander Hammock ($46, amazon.com) or Fitted Seat Covers (prices vary, drsfostersmith.com)
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