Exercise in the fresh air benefits us all. And of the best ways to spend your time outside? With your dog at your side.

What sort of exercise can you do? Well, running, biking, hiking and even rollerblading are all viable options (no, we’re not talking about the traditional walk in this article).

But it’s important to have a few safety measures in place. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the tips you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Avoid exercise with your dog when it’s raining – or too hot
Slippery conditions could cause your dog to slip and fall. By the same token, very hot days are also best avoided, as road surfaces can become scorching, hurting your dog’s paws in the process.

Start slow
There’s no point diving into a heavy exercise routine at the drop of a hat. Your dog will simply be unprepared for the exertion. Build the pace and the distance slowly over time. Also – consider your dog’s age. If he’s very young or very old, he’s probably not fit to join you.

Bring supplies
On a big hike, food and water are useful – for both you and your dog. Pack a few doggy biscuits and make sure he’s got plenty to drink, as dogs get hot fast and need to stay hydrated. Plus, as energy levels start to flag, a quick nibble will make the world of difference.

Invest in a hands-free jogging belt and leash
Holding the leash while you’re running is potentially dangerous, so get kitted out with a hands-free kit that’ll keep you and your dog safely tethered (without making it difficult to run).

The breed of dog matters
Not all dogs are created equal, especially when it comes to the types of exercise they enjoy. Do your research to make sure you’re not taxing him unduly.

Look out for panting
If your dog is panting hard or visibly in pain – stop. Dogs can get exhausted fast and if you suspect something is wrong, dial the pace way down and give your dog a week off.

Add in a reward
After a big session, your dog will be less hyperactive than normal. Reward his efforts with a big plate of food. This will create a positive association with the exercise routine.

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