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Simplyhealth Canine Run Back for Second Year

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If  your dog is your favourite running buddy, then there’s no need for them to feel left out any more when you head off to a race. Enter the Simplyhealth Canine Run and you can do it together!

Following the runaway success of last year’s inaugural Simplyhealth Canine Run, the unique event makes a welcome return to Portsmouth this year as part of the iconic Simplyhealth Great South Run Weekend in October.

This year’s event promises to be even bigger than ever, with 200 dogs and their owners expected to take part in the 2.5k distance.

The event takes place on Saturday 19 October. Starting and finishing on Clarence Esplanade, the route will take both four legged and two legged runners along the scenic Southsea seafront. The run takes place before the Simplyhealth Great South 5k and the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great South Run.

Furry members of the running fraternity will have their own bespoke area in the event village. And, once they cross the finish line, dogs will be rewarded with a collar tag and a treat, while their owners will receive a Simplyhealth Canine Run t-shirt.

Sally Clarke, Director of Vets at Simplyhealth, says the company is delighted to be hosting the Simplyhealth Canine Run again this year: “The Simplyhealth Great Run series promotes health and wellbeing and our Simplyhealth Canine Run offers an amazing opportunity to encourage and support the health needs of the furry members of the family too! Canine fitness is all about the right diet, exercise and of course high quality veterinary care.

Having veterinary professionals join the team of volunteers on the day to share their expertise on preventive health is a great way to ensure positive messages are heard by thousands of people who want to keep their whole family including their pets in the best health possible. It’s a fantastic way for dogs to get involved in the fun and take on a challenge of their own.”

To take part in the run, all participants – both dogs and their owners – will need to be well behaved and fit enough to run 2.5 kilometres. If this distance is longer than normal runs or walks, then a training plan should be put in place with the support of your dog’s vet.

Whilst an on-site vet will be on hand on the day to deal with any emergencies, owners should also make sure that they consult their vet ahead of the run to check through their dog’s training plan and ensure they are in great shape to take part.

Tips on how to prepare for the Simplyhealth Canine Run:

  • Consult your vet for a pet health check ahead of starting your training plan
  • Tailor your exercise to what is suitable for the breed/age/health status of your dog
  • Like humans training for a long run, a dog’s fitness also grows steadily. So build up to the distance
  • If new to running the dog should be trained to walk nicely on a lead then build up to running via brisk walking and jogging
  • Make sure your dog stays close to you and doesn’t run into the road or other people
  • Consider buying a canicross set-up: a running harness for the dog (a non-pull or walking type), harness or belt for you and a bungee lead to connect the two, if you want to run with your dog regularly. You can find more information about them HERE.
  • Owners should always make sure their dogs are hydrated
  • Avoid hot weather. Dogs still need their exercise when it is warm but they can easily overheat so plan your exercise for early morning or late evening when it cools down
  • And if it is especially hot take care of their paws and avoid tarmac.
  • Most importantly, make sure your dog is enjoying the experience!

To enter or to find out more about the Simplyhealth Canine Run 2019 visit

As a general resource for running with your dog, and to get tips on kit and training plans, take a look at the CaniCross website or Facebook page.

Written by
Kirsty Reade

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