Avoid that last-minute phone call and that feeble excuse from your running partner. Just accept that people are unreliable. But dogs aren’t.

Dogs never complain – unless there is something really badly wrong with them – and you won’t find a more eager running mate. He won’t complain that it’s a bit chilly or that there’s live football on TV or that he’s got a hot date. Once he has an inkling that a walk or run is on the agenda, he’ll be bouncing off the walls with excitement. And that excitement is contagious.

Dogs are creatures of habit and will even remind you when it’s time to brave the elements. And they won’t accept excuses. Who can resist those eyes and that wagging tail?

And they never complain if their harness doesn’t match their collar and they never embarrass you if you are called short in the woods.

Researchers discovered that the average dog owner gets more exercise walking with their pet than someone who is a member of a gym. Fitness experts reckon that fast walking for 30 minutes can burn off around 200 calories. But aside from the health benefits, exercising together also strengthens the bond between the pair of you.

Canicross

Remember that dogs don’t sweat like humans but get rid of heat by panting. So try to avoid the hot sun and humidity. Early in the morning and or in the evening are the best times for walks or runs during the summer months.

Worried that you are holding your dog back? Have you tried cycling, known as bikejoring, or dog scootering? A bikejoring kit for 1 to 2 dogs, which includes a harness for the dog connected via a bungee line to your bike, is available from Snowpaw Store, as are scootering kits.

Plenty of exercise also helps with behavioural issues. Studies show that exercise elevates serotonin levels, which helps dogs relax and reduces stress.

So what's stopping you....get out there and have fun together!