Thursday, September 4, 2014
Dog running accessories
Harness: Since all of my dogs start out pulling when we start running, I prefer to start them out in a harness, specifically a Y harness. My last two running dogs, stella and deuce have stayed in harnesses even after they learned not to pull. The harness I prefer is the Hurrta padded Y harness. I have let them run in comfort flex harnesses before hut I really like the way the Y harness gives them freedom of extension in their shoulders. Plus the padded Y harnesses have reflectiveness on them already. The only problem is that my dogs have a ton of hair so you may or may not be able to see the harness or the reflectiveness. I have not noticed any rubbing or hair loss with the padded versions. I like the bright colors though and miss stella does look pretty in pink. They are very easy to get on and off with one very sturdy snap on the side/back and one D ring on the back where I attach the running leash. Note to those who use harnesses, this harness does not have any other rings on it, just in the back so you cannot attach your leash to the front to use as a no pull type of harness. This harness has been through mud, snow, sleet, hail and rain and still is very bright and pretty. I was lucky and found a local dealer that I bought my harness from but if you don't have anyone local, you can order from amazon for very reasonable prices.
Cooling coats: I started using Cool Coats carried by clean run many many years ago when outdoor agility trials were popular.
This one has been handed down from miller, to deuce to stella and is still in perfect condition. I love the fit and I love the belly band plus the purple trim is perfect for at KSU fan like me. You simply dip the coat in cold water (i have a specific thermos cooler for cool coat water LOL), wring it out and then put the coat on the dog. I love the fact that when you put your hand under the coat after they have had it on, that they feel cool and comfortable. This coat has been all over the country with miller and I, and now it travels to all of the runs stella and I do, and the agility camps that deuce and I do. There a more options out there than ever for cooling coats, but this one is so simple and affordable and carried on the clean run site. Just make sure you measure according to their instructions to get proper fit. I am sure you can get them on Amazon and they are made by Saratoga Horseworks and are carried on the Clean run website. I have not tried running her with this on so I use it post run and am currently on the hunt for something we can use mid run. Will get back to you on what I find.
Other gear: I am still on the hunt for some good boots for snow running. Last year was our first full year to train in the winter, as we usually hibernate and go into strength training mode. I had too many spring halfs to do that, so we braved the winter weather and ran in all sorts of winter conditions. I did notice that after 4 or so miles in snow, the snow would start to ball up on stella's feet and cause her some discomfort. This winter, we are going to try some different options and report back on what we liked. I never felt like she needed a coat for warmth as she has a nice moderate under coat already in place.
So those are my favorite products for running with your dogs! Feel free to leave a comment on what your favorites are and why.