Run this town

Run, don’t walk, to DogRun­nin’s new Agri­cola Street lo­ca­tion.

The Coast - Pets Halifax - - Contents - BY JA­COB BOON

Chubby pup­pies might look cute, but ca­nine obe­sity re­mains a se­ri­ous health prob­lem for North Amer­i­can dogs. For many pet own­ers, a walk or two around the block ev­ery day isn’t al­ways enough to keep your dog healthy in body, mind and spirit.

That’s why DogRun­nin wants to take a hike with your pet. The “bou­tique ca­nine care busi­ness” helps busy own­ers by step­ping in to step out with your dog for ev­ery­thing from a quick bath­room let-out in the yard to reg­u­lar walk­ing and even off-leash run­ning pack­ages.

Busi­ness owner Sarah War­ford says walk­ing can be great, but of­ten isn’t al­ways enough to pre­vent longterm ill­ness and keep dogs in op­ti­mal health. To put it sim­ply—these pup­pies are made to run. Jogging along­side the DogRun­nin train­ers helps dogs ex­pe­ri­ence both men­tal and phys­i­cal ex­er­cise.

“The dog is en­gag­ing with the en­vi­ron­ment and en­gag­ing with us,” says War­ford. “As a re­sult, when the dog goes home they’re not just phys­i­cally tired—they’ve also been men­tally stim­u­lated.”

DogRun­nin run­ners can take pooches on their own in­di­vid­u­ally or in packs. In­di­vid­ual DogRun­nin ser­vice can start as low as $17, and run up to $60 for a one-time let-out. War­ford says they han­dle about 60 dogs a month on av­er­age, and on a typ­i­cal week­end are busy from 7am to 11pm—vis­it­ing homes, tak­ing the dogs out and coach­ing own­ers in sports like cani­cross.

The busi­ness started just over three years ago, and re­cently moved into its first brick-and-mor­tar shop space on Agri­cola Street.

“I have seven peo­ple who work for me, and op­er­at­ing out of my house wasn’t work­ing any­more,” says War­ford. “We needed to have some sep­ara- tion in terms of my per­sonal life and the busi­ness.”

It’s also al­lowed DogRun­nin to of­fer more re­tail prod­ucts to cus­tomers— things like dog-run­ning equip­ment, bike leashes and gear for be­ing out­side and ac­tive with your pet.

Those in­clude har­nesses for mush­ing and other ca­nine sports like cani­cross or bike­jor­ing—a com­bi­na­tion sport of cross-coun­try moun­tain bik­ing and tra­di­tional dogsled­ding where a leashed ca­nine runs along out in front of the cy­clist.

That all sounds well and good, but for sheer dog joy noth­ing seems to beat the off-leash hikes DogRun­nin run­ners will lead in parks and groomed trails out­side of the ur­ban core. With a nor­mal ra­tio of six dogs for ev­ery hu­man, the pups get to bound, jump, splash and ex­plore na­ture while run­ning along with their trainer. It all sounds over­whelm­ing for the hu­man, but don’t worry, the dogs are keen to keep up with their per­son while ex­plor­ing the tail-wag­ging, tongue-pant­ing joys of na­ture.

“They’re mo­ti­vated to be out­side,” says War­ford. “They’re do­ing some­thing they love, so we don’t need to con­vince them of any­thing. They want to go for a run, so they’re ready to roll.”

PA­TRICK FUL­GEN­CIO

DogRun­nin owner Sarah War­ford is ready to hit the trails.

DOGRUN­NIN

Noth­ing like a run in the great out­doors to cool off your tongue.

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