It’s now two days to go before It’s a Dog’s Life: A Presidio Dog Marathon. This Sunday, dog-lovers and dogs alike will come together at Presidio Lakefront in Sucat for the much-awaited dog + human tandem run. But as much as we all just want to have fun, it’s still best to come to the rest prepared!
Here are a few reminders I came up with so we can all have an enjoyable dog-human running experience…
Bring your dog’s vaccination record. I think this is already a standard for pet owners who frequently go out with their pets. Bringing your dog’s vaccination record is very important in case of accidents. You need to be able to have proof with you that your pet is vaccinated should your pet be involved in an untoward incident with another dog or worse, bite a human.
Make sure your dog is on a leash. This is a requirement for dog fun runs so that all participants will have an enjoyable experience. This will ensure that you will be able to immediately restrain your dog in case fights break out, as well as ensure you don’t lose your pet should he decide to wander about. Even if you think your dog is well-trained and well-behaved off-leash, other owners might feel unsafe around you and your untethered dog, afraid that your dog will snap any moment and attack their pet. So, it’s best for everyone’s welfare and comfort that you keep your dog tethered no matter how disciplined you think he is.
Carry around old newspapers, plastic bags, and/or rags in your bag. It is your responsibility to clean up after your dog. Use old newspapers, plastic bags, or rags to pick up your dog’s poop and dispose of it properly. Be considerate of others. Do not just leave the poop/vomit.
Have hydration for you and your dog ready. Just like in typical road races, it’s best to still bring your own hydration even if this is already provided for by the organizers. Water and carbonated sports drinks don’t sit well with me during a run, so I bring my own sports drink. If you feel your pet has sensitive stomach, or don’t like the idea of him sharing water with other dogs, best to just bring your own. There are portable pet water dispensers that will allow you to conveniently bring water for your dog. Remember, hydration is very important for both you and your dog during a run!
If your dog has a strict schedule for meal times, bring your dog’s food and treats. Just make sure not to feed him too much, especially if you don’t live within the area. A dog with a full stomach and a long car ride don’t usually go well together — unless you’re ok going home in a car smelling like puke
It’s ok to bring your dog’s favorite toy if you think attending the fun run and the car ride will be overwhelming for him. It’s best to have around something that he’s familiar and comfortable with. However, do not play catch with the toy or anything that may cause envy among other dogs because of the toy — that’s a dog fight waiting to happen. You do not know the temperament of the other dogs. Some could be very territorial, possessive, and even dominant — the dog toy could do more harm than good. If you really need to bring the toy to make your dog more comfortable, be sure that it’s out of sight when other dogs are around.
Dress your dog appropriately for the run. Make sure that it’s comfortable enough for your dog to run in. Don’t overdress your dog. A bandana or a scarf is ok already. It’s comfy, but at the same time, you’ll have something to pin on your dog’s race bib.
Do not to feed your dog too much before the car ride going to and from the race venue. Some dogs aren’t used to car rides, and having their stomachs full right before could cause discomfort and may even make them puke in the car. My dogs are used to going on long rides (their farthest trip was probably from our home here in Cainta to Batangas). But I still don’t feed them much when we’re going on the road. Some treats and a bit of water usually does the trick already. Aside from that, we also make sure they’ve already peed and pooped before riding the car. My dogs are typically able to hold their pee when inside the car. They would just whine incessantly (or in Shantee’s case, bark incessantly) until we stop the car for them to pee.
Remember, these are just a few guidelines when joining a doggy fun run that I can think of at the moment. If you have more, please feel free to comment! We’d love to learn more to-do’s and what-not’s so the dog fun runs will as enjoyable for us (both humans and dogs) as possible.