With November coming to a close, that means our tips for running safely are also ending. Throughout National Running Safety Month we've heard from experts about ways to keep your body safe from a personal safety and a nutritional aspect. For today's last post, we're going to hear from Amanda Shannon-Verrengia of RunIntended - again! Today Amanda talk about how to keep yourself and your pets safe on the run. "Any time I get to run with my two dogs, Wellesley and Franny, it's a great run. When I'm out there with those two and am witnessing the joy on their faces and the liveliness of their strong bodies, it seems impossible that anything could go wrong. But too often in running with pups, it unfortunately does.
When I run with my dogs, we like to run on the trails as much as we can. I feel like it's more peaceful and a lot less distracting for them. Plus, it takes cars out of the equation which can result in a devastating accident if your pup was to get away from you. I don't know what the park rules are like in your city, but here in Pittsburgh dogs are supposed to stay on their leashes.
Now, before I say anything else, I'll tell you this: I too have let my dogs off leash in the parks. It's awesome. It allows them to sprint, sniff, run up and down hills and splash through the water all while allowing me to keep my pace. Sounds perfect right? It sure does. Until it's not. There are a million things that could go wrong. Your dog could run into the woods and lose his or her way back to you, they could cross a street and be hit by a car and, among so many other things, they could attack a person or dog or be attacked by another dog.
I love my dogs. I want them to enjoy running, but not at the cost of their safety or another person's. Sadly, if you do a quick search of your favorite park or trail with the words "dog attack" after it, you will likely find an unfortunate story or two. I'm not going to get into a conversation about leashing your dogs, and you'll be hard pressed to get your whole community on board with keeping their pups on a leash. But there are still things you can do to keep your fur family intact while you log miles together. Don't have dogs? When you're running on your own, it is so important to be alert and know your surroundings. There have been plenty of times when I have been out on a run and have had a dog run toward me very aggressively. It's impossible to know how that dog is going to react. Sure, he may just run by and be on his way, but too often this hasn't been the case.
Before you end up in a situation where either you or your dog is unable to get away from an aggressive dog, consider carrying something to protect yourself such as the SABRE Protector Dog Attack Deterrent. When I was first introduced to this product, I was skeptical. I in no way would want to hurt an animal and I worried that this spray would do just that. But, when I read a story of a dog attack, it's clear that a product like this could have made all the difference. And here's the bets part: the spray is all-natural, making it a humane way to deter a dog without causing any long-term pain or injury. The canister also fits nicely right in the palm of your hand or attaches easily to your keys, pants or belt so you easily access the spray if a problem arises.
What do you do to protect yourself or your dogs from other dogs while you're out on a run or walk? Would you consider carrying a deterrent to ensure your run is a safe one?
Bio: Amanda Shannon-Verrengia is the creator and voice behind the RUN INTENDED site and blog. In addition to being a certified ACE personal trainer and USATF Track and Field Coach, Amanda has been a runner since childhood, earning experience both personally and professionally in the running industry. Amanda lives with her husband, Anthony, and her four cats and two dogs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.