For the most part running is a relatively safe sport, but there can be a few things to be aware of. If your like me most of your running is done alone. I am usually running with my dogs but not always another human. Over the past 20 years of running I can honestly say I have only had a few scary things happen but it only takes one bad situation to put you in danger. Most of my scary situations involved off leashed dogs rather than people. In either case carrying a few essentials could save your life or the life of your pet if your dog is running with you. A few years back I was out early with my dogs and several off leash dogs attacked my dogs. My dog that wasn't friendly with other dogs (except my other dog, she loved him) fought back and didn't get hurt but my other dog Tigger wasn't a fighter and they attacked him. I was helpless and couldn't get the dogs off him for what seemed like forever but I'm sure was only seconds. If I would have had my stun gun I think I could have kept them back because many dogs are terrified just from the sound of it. Needless to say I carry one now along with mace.
Here are some safety tips for you when you are running:
- Carry mace or pepper spray.
- Carry stun gun and/or whistle/noise maker.
- Use a leash that goes around your waist so your hands are free if you run with your dogs. Always keep your dog on leash, you never know if other dogs may not be friendly and don't want your dog running up to another dog or chasing after a rabbit or chipmunk.
- Carry your phone for emergencies. I use a small hydration pack that my phone fits in.
- Keep music turned down so you are more aware of your surroundings and if its dark don't use headphones.
- Wear reflective gear if you're running in the dark and make sure your dog has it too.
- If its dark outside try and stay on busier well lit streets.
- If you encounter an off leash dog most times a loud foot stomp and NO will keep them away but always stop running if you see one because they may want to chase you.
- Change up your running routine by running at different times and taking different routes.
- Always let someone know when you're headed out for a run.
- Run with Fido, strangers don't know if your dog is friendly or not so you may be less of a target if you have a dog with you. My dog doesn't like strangers and will bark if someone comes too close. Most people stay far away from me if she's barking!