Gear for Running with your dog

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Do you run with your dog regularly? Or maybe you wish you did but just aren’t sure where to start? Either way, this article gives you some great ideas on gear you’ll want to consider using when running with your dog.

  • A GOOD Hands Free Leash
  • Poop Bag Carrier and a Place for Poop
  • Dog Shoes
  • A Great Heel
  • Water for Fido
  • Cooling Vest
  • Dog Rain Coat
  • Car Blanket

A GOOD Hands Free Leash

What do I mean by a good one? Well, there are many hands free leashes available, especially through Amazon. However, having tested many of these leashes, I can tell you that they are abundant in flaws. A few of the issues I’ve run into with these leashes include:

  • Leash length is too long and either drags on the ground or gets hung up on your leg or the dog’s leg.
  • Not adjustable enough to fit properly on your waist and falls off or moves around too much.
  • Only made for dogs that are on-leash the whole time (aka, you have to hold the leash in your hand if your dog is ever allowed off leash).
  • The buckles are free floating and spin around on our waist which is both an annoying feeling and causes placement issues with your dog.

The leash I now use is from Pimped Out Pup; it’s made of biothane and is very customizable to fit all of my needs.


Poop Bag Carrier (and a place for the poo)

As responsible dog owners we know it is our duty to clean up the doody, so even though you are out running, you’ll need to bring some poop bags and a way to bring that poop along with you until the next garbage can.

There are several options when it comes to poop bag carriers; if you are looking to run with as little gear as possible, the leash attachment poop bags are a great option. If you’re running with a hydration pack, vest, or belt of some kind already anyway, then adding a few bags to this pack is a simple task.

The complicated part comes after your dog has done his business and you now need to carry the filled poop bag with you to the next garbage can. This is where I suggest running with some kind of backpack or vest so that you can place it in there and not have to worry about a swinging bag o’ poo

I know what you’re thinking…I have to smell this stinky mess the rest of my run. NO! I found a solution for that too. You may find it to be a bit of a funny solution…but it totally works. A stash bag (yes the kind made for pot) keeps the smell of poop inside the bag! I bring a stash bag with me inside my running vest so that when my dog does a number two I can pick up the poo with a normal poo bag, tie it up, place it in the stash bag, and put the stash bag in my vest. 

No poo bounce, no poo stink!


Dog Shoes

Are dog shoes necessary? 


  • You want to run on hot surfaces with your dog (Think mid-summer past about 9am).
  • You want to run through the winter and will be on surfaces that have been salted.

If you don’t plan on bringing Fido out when the surfaces are too hot or when surfaces have been salted then you can move past this section. If you do, then a pair of dog shoes is a great way to keep your doggo’s pads safe. There are many different types of shoes available, so do your research and don’t forget to take accurate measurements. 

In case you are curious, I got Joey Ruffwear boots and we have loved them. And don’t worry, while most dogs don’t love the feeling of boots on their feet, they’ll forget they even have them on once you get them out on a fun run!


A Great Heel

This may not sound like a “product” you need for running with your dogs, but I’m telling you right now, if your dog does not have a GREAT heel, you’re going to want to pay for a trainer to help you get there.

When your dog can run alongside you for hours, no pulling, no pushing pace, then you’ve got a partner that you will WANT to take with you every day. 


Summer Running Gear

Water for Fido

Don’t forget that your pup needs water too! If it’s hot outside, he might even need it more than you do! There are only a few ways that dogs can release heat and keep their body temperature regulated, and giving them cool water to drink is one of them. So if you’re taking your pup out during the warmer months, be sure to pack them some water too.

If you don’t want to add the extra weight of a few quarts of water to your running backpack/vest, then let your pupper carry their own water! There are some great vests and harnesses out there that allow dogs to haul their own water and water bowl with them on runs and adventures. 

Joey carries his own water and collapsible bowl in the Ruffwear Singletrak Dog Hydration Pack.


Cooling Vest

If your summertime runs include locations that are not near water (creeks, rivers, reservoirs etc.) then you may want to consider a cooling vest for that hot pup.

If you run near bodies of water where your dog can take a quick break to get a drink and put his paws in to cool down then you won’t need to worry about a cooling vest. But if you are somewhere that Fido doesn’t have a chance to cool off, a vest can give them that extra bit of refreshment that allows them to go with you longer.

We run with the Ruffwear Swampcooler, but have also heard great things about the Kurgo Cooling Vest.


Winter Running Gear

Doggy Rain Coat

If you’ve got a pup with low body fat and little hair (short haired dogs without a double coat) you may want to consider a jacket or rain coat. These coats will help keep your dog dry on rainy day runs (which are a blast I promise) and warm on cold or snowy runs. 

We use the Kurgo Loft Jacket, it’s a combination of water resistant material and an insulating layer for colder days.


Light Up Dog Collar

Winter days are much much shorter, so if you’re running in the early morning or late evening, you’ll want a light up dog collar to ensure you and everyone else on the roads can see Fido. 

You may even want to use a light up dog collar on especially dark and overcast days.

We use a rechargeable light up collar that can be trimmed to the perfect size for your pup.


Car Blanket

If you are destination running – in other words, you’re driving to a spot to run with you pup and it is cold outside, or snowy, or your pup is going to be bounding through snow mounds left on the ground, I highly suggest keeping a blanket and/or towel in your car to help Fido warm up again after the run.

Even if your pup has a double coat or doesn’t need the extra jacket mentioned previously, it’s still a good idea to have something that will help them stay warm in the car when they’ve stopped exercising and their heart rate is going down.

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Post Author

Nicole Hillstead-Jones

RRCA Certified Coach & Nutrition Minor