We all know the importance of keeping our dogs fit and healthy. Topped with keeping ourselves active, this can all be very time consuming. If only dogs could join us at the gym! So does a fun, exciting option exist out there? I have the answer for you…Canicross!! Before you grab your running shoes & your four-legged friend, take a look at my round-up about this exciting sport and my top tips so you can get started with your dog!
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS CANICROSS?
Canicross is where you and your dog go on adventures, working together in partnership, connected by harnesses and a bungee line as you jog or run. Sound amazing?! Keep reading…
Historically, Canicross is a sled-dog sport designed to keep both ‘musher’ and canines fit throughout the summer months before the snow comes. Across Europe and the world, Canicross is classed as a Dryland Sled-dog sport. It’s a huge sport, with a very active community, just like any other dog sport.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CANICROSS?
There are plenty of benefits of starting Canicross with your dog. Not only does the sport help you and your dog’s fitness but the sport of Canicross has strengthened my bond with both my dogs to a level I didn’t think was possible! Who wouldn’t want to spend some extra time with their dog, exploring new places and being in the fresh air? There’s also a really great Canicross community, so you and your dog could even make some new friends too.
IS CANICROSS SUITABLE FOR ALL DOGS & FITNESS LEVELS?
If you and your dog are just starting out on your Canicross quest or if you’re not quite as fit as you’d like to be, this isn’t a problem. You can do any distance you fancy! You don’t have to be a runner or have a ‘fast’ dog to give Canicross a try. However a sense of humour is highly recommended! It’s all about getting out and enjoying the beautiful countryside with your dog in a safe way.
Your dog can be any shape, size and breed but they will need to be 12+ months old. Don’t worry if your dog is a playful type or even sometimes reactive. As your dog starts to understand their job of runner in front, giving you a tow, they soon shift their focus and crack on with the job.
In my team we have a few reactive dogs that after 2mins on the trail will happily share the space next to them with another canine. It’s amazing to see and one of the main reasons Canicross is a very fast-growing sport, everyone benefits!
WHAT WILL WE NEED TO START?
We started with DogFit, a company dedicated to getting you and your dog into the sport with 1:1 sessions and group runs organised all around the country. If you have any questions, these are the guys to ask! To start with, you will need correctly fitted harnesses for both you and your partner in crime. Next a fun environment is a must, keep your routes mainly off road, meeting up with other like-minded adventurers is beneficial for both you and your dog.
WHAT ELSE MIGHT MY DOG NEED FOR CANICROSS?
Your dog will need to build up to a set distance just like us as humans. Keep in mind that dogs rarely say ‘no thanks’ to more time outside. Instead, keep to a brief training plan that involves rest days and walking only days. This helps keep you dog injury free but also excited for the next Canicross day!
Nutrition is key for any athlete, even your own canine athlete, especially if you decide to increase speed and distances. Keeping your pulling partner healthy is key to a successful run, so you might want to look into supplements to keep them in tip top condition! We swear by Omega star and keepers mix for an all-round boost. Feeding should be done 3-5 hours before any run with post run snacks kept small, every dog is different these are just guidelines I have always worked off
WHY DO I LOVE CANICROSS?
To wrap up this blog I would just like to say how much we love Canicross. The sport is part of us. The community that surrounds the sport is very supportive and we all have the same objective; to enjoy time with our dogs while keeping them happy and healthy.
Find out more about Dorwest Herbs and our herbal remedies for dogs to improve their general health. If you have any questions about your dog’s diet, one of our experienced advisors would be happy to help. Please get in touch on 01308 897272 or use our contact form. Plus, get free UK delivery on orders over £50.
Please remember, you should always consult a vet if you are concerned about your pet’s health