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Before you step a paw out the door



You’ve discovered Canicross and can’t wait to get started with your dog! Before you head out on your first run together, here’s some top tips on things you should do before even stepping a paw out the door.


Arrange A Health Check For Your Dog

It’s super important to make sure your dog is in good health and that they are fully grown to avoid risk of injury. This is typically around 1 year-18month dependant on breed size, sometimes even nearer the 2 year old mark for giant breeds. You’re vet can advise on this at a health check and ensure they are in tip top shape to get started.


Check You’re Run Ready With Our Quiz

It’s important to look after your own health just as much as your dogs! This quiz will talk you through a few health questions to let you know if you should consult your doctor before heading out on your first run together.

Download the quiz here - Run Ready Quiz.pdf


Get the right running kit for you and your dog It’s important to have the correct kit for you and your dog running together for maximum running efficiency and comfort and to prevent injury to you and your dog. The correct Canicross kit consists of a Canicross specific waist belt for hands free running, a sport harness for your dog and a bungee line to attach you both together. You can CLICK HERE to fill in a form for the Sporty Paws team where they can help you choose the right Canicross harness for your dog.


Plan Your Dogs Mealtimes

When planning a run, it is recommended to allow 2 hours before and after your run before feeding your dog. This allows time for their food to digest, avoids them feeling uncomfortable and/or being sick and helps minimise the risk of bloat.


Buy A Running Bag Or Vest

I’d recommend buying a running bag or vest so you can carry supplies and water for you and your dog on your runs. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking there will always be water available on your running route, your regular water stops may dry up or become unsafe to drink. Always take water with you for you and your dog.


Get Some Appropriate Running Shoes

Speak to a running shoe retail specialist about finding the correct running shoe for your needs. Different running shoes have different grip for the type of terrain you will be running on as well as having different features to support your individual running style. Having the correct running shoe will help minimise risk of injury and increase your running confidence on the trail.


Download The What3Words App

This free app helps you pinpoint your exact location with a corresponding reference in case of an emergency so that you can be found. Emergency services use this app, so it’s a great tool to have ready and downloaded just in case you need it whilst out on your runs.


Download the app  HERE

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