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How Much Running is Too Much for a Dog?

Wondering how much running is too much for a dog? The answer depends upon a lot of different factors such as the breed of your dog, their age and overall fitness level. Most dogs love to run, but it is possible to overdo it if you aren’t careful.

If you over-exercise your dog, it can result in numerous health problems. These range from soreness and pad abrasions to more serious issues such as heat stroke. Keep in mind that not all dogs will be able to run long distances, and how far they can run will also be determined by their age.

To ensure you and your dog enjoy a healthy, enjoyable run, it is important to do your research. You will also want to start out with short runs, building up to longer ones if your dog is capable. There are so many benefits to running with your dog, but it’s important to do it safely.

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How Much Running Is Too Much for A Dog?

How much running your dog can safely do will depend upon their breed, health, and general fitness. The weather can also play a role, alongside the type of ground you are running on. According to the Whole Dog Journal, some dogs can run up to 25 to 30 miles each week with their owners.

The distance your dog can run safely is largely determined by their breed. Some of the best long-distance running breeds include Labradors, Weimaraner’s, Border Collies, Beagles, and Dalmatians. Breeds that are best suited to jogging and short distance runs include Corgi’s, Great Dane’s, Jack Russel’s, and Greyhounds.   

There are ways to tell if your dog is running too much. Some of the main signs your dog is getting too much exercise include signs of wear and tear on their pads, heat sickness, and joint injury. You may also notice a change in their behavior. For example, they may usually love going for a run, but they suddenly start to stop and refuse to carry on, or they may be less enthusiastic about going out in the first place.  

How Many Miles Can I Run with My Dog?

How many miles you can run with your dog is determined by multiple factors. For most dogs, running one to three miles at a time is a good guideline to follow. However, you should always take into account their age, breed, health, and fitness level.

According to the American Kennel Club, Sporting breeds such as Labradors and Siberian Huskies, are perfect long-distance runners. Breeds such as Greyhounds on the other hand, are better suited for running shorter distances. Ask your veterinarian how many miles they recommend you run with your dog in accordance with their breed.

While it helps to look for signs your dog has had enough of running, unfortunately they might not let it show. Many dogs will run even after they have developed an injury such as torn paw pads. Therefore, it helps to do your research into the breed you own to determine the number of miles you can comfortably run together.

How Often Should You Run with Your Dog?

There are no set rules over how often you should run with your dog. It will ultimately depend upon your dog and their individual fitness level. Generally, it is recommended you run with your dog three or four times each week.

According to the Whole Dog Journal, you should begin by alternating walking and jogging for a period of no more than 20 minutes. You can then build up to running for 20 minutes around three times a week. Make sure you have rest days in-between runs to allow your dog’s muscles and joints to recover.

Once your dog is used to running comfortably with you, they may be able to start doing more frequent exercise. For example, some dogs run up to 100 miles a week with their athletic owners. You will need to determine how much exercise your dog can comfortably handle by watching out for signs they are overexercising.

Do Dogs Need to Warm up Before Running?

Like humans, dogs do need to warm up before undertaking any form of vigorous exercise. Ensuring they warm up properly before a run will help to protect them against injury. Similarly, it is important to ensure your dog cools down after a run.

Letting your dog walk loosely on a leash prior to running is a great warm up exercise. You can do this indoors before you set off by tying the leash around your waist and letting your dog follow you around as you do some chores. Alternatively, you can get them to follow some basic commands such as “sit”, “stand”, and “down”. By alternating their positions, it effectively warms up the joints and muscles.

After running, a cool down session will also help to prevent injury. It enables your dog’s breathing, heart rate, and temperature to return to normal gradually. Stretching exercises are highly effective, and you can learn how to do them online or by asking your vet for effective techniques. The Canine Arthritis organization has some great tips on warming up and cooling down exercises for dogs.


Most dogs love to run with their owners, but the amount of running they can do will depend upon a lot of different factors. Like us, they need to warm up and cool down after a run to prevent soreness and injury. So how much running is too much for a dog? Watch out for signs of fatigue and changes in your canine’s behavior to tell when they have had enough. You can also ask your vet for advice before you start taking your dog on long runs.

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About the author

Jeffrey lives in Denver, CO and loves the outdoors. He is an avid exerciser who loves to run, lift weights, and explore the Rocky Mountains with a backpack on his back and sunscreen on his ears. His other passion, clearly, is writing quality content for several online publications.