The Best Time for Running with Your Dog: Mornings or Evenings?
This post will explore two options for running – mornings and evenings – and describe the benefits of each.
Running is good workout for your dog. It keeps our dogs exercised, helps to maintain an ideal weight and improves overall health. And, most importantly, it keeps our dogs happy.
Many dogs suffer from boredom and lack of activity, from being left alone all day while their owners are at work.
A groundbreaking study from leading dog scientist Dr. Rachel Casey, described in the “Dogs: Their Secret Lives” documentary, examined what dogs do while their owners are out. They found that only 12.5 percent of dogs in the study were relaxed and comfortable while their owners were at work, while the majority showed active and passive signs of separation anxiety and boredom, including howling and barking.
Running in the early morning can help your dog to release any nervous energy. An early run also exercises your dog’s mind and natural instinct to explore – there are so many new smells, people, dogs and trails around.
An early morning run makes a day spent alone at home easier to handle. Your dog will be resting and relaxing, rather than anxiously waiting for you to come back.
My dog, Jodie, sleeps from 9am to 4pm after a morning run. No barking, pacing around, chewing, or anything like that. When I return, she will greet me looking all sleepy, relaxed and calm.
If you think that your dog is a night owl and handles staying home alone well, however, running in the evenings might actually be a good idea!
Apart from companionship, dogs offer protection. Any dog, large or small, helps deter trouble.
Although I prefer to run in the morning, I do run in the evening on weekends. I don’t enjoy it as much, because my dog’s guarding instincts are much stronger in the evening, particularly during the winter months, when it gets dark very early.
She will alert me about any suspicious shadow and sound, making the run more of a mental exercise. I frequently have to instruct her to leave it and heel. She always responds to my commands willingly, and I release her with a couple of “good dogs” as we continue our run. However, I would probably feel more thankful if we lived in a difficult neighborhood!