What is Tail Wag to 5K?

It’s been proven that having a healthy exercise routine is easier to stick to when you do it with a friend. Well, there’s no better friend than your dog! 

Walking and running with your canine companion is a great way to build that special bond, as well as keeping each other mentally and physically fit. That’s why Burns Pet Nutrition and Dog Furiendly have teamed up to create a two health and fitness challenges, sure to get your tails wagging.

Both programmes aim to have you running or walking 5K. 

1. Pick your fitness challenge


 The first is our original Tail Wag to 5K running programme. A 10 week fitness challenge, which aims to improve your overall level of fitness so that you can run a 5K with your pooch! 


NEW for 2023, a 10-week walking and mindfulness challenge. This programme aims to help you increase your level of fitness while developing good mental health habits to be more present with your pups. Walk your 5K, and enjoy every minute of it.


Fill out the form below to recieve our FREE fitness activity packs.


Tail Wag to 5K: Get Moving is a 10-week fitness challenge, which aims to improve your overall level of fitness so that you can run a 5K with your pooch. Think Couch to 5K, but with your dog!

Tail Wag to 5K: Be More Present is a 10-week walking and mindfulness challenge, which aims to help you increase your level of fitness while developing good mental health habits to be more present with your pups. Unlike the previous challenge, you will walk your 5K, while using your reflective practice to make it an enjoyable and satisfying experience for your mental wellbeing. 

Sign up using the form above to receive your FREE activity packs. Both activity packs contains all you need to know about Tail Wag to 5K. Whether you want to get moving or be more present in 2023, these packs will equip you with the tools you need to reach your goals. 

The running programme is a workout program that builds up over a period of time. It’s designed for beginners using elements of Couch to 5K, but created at a much slower pace than Couch to 5K to allow your dogs to get used to the activity too. The activity itself will require your full commitment in order to reap its benefits. It is recommended that you consult your GP before beginning the programme.

Our Be More Present challenge is less about fitness and more about mental health. This challenge gives you the tools you need to enjoy your walks, and using them as an opportunity to focus on your mental wellbeing. You will require some level of fitness for this programme as the final challenge is to go on a 1 hour mindful walk (equivalent of a 5K). 

For both challenges you’ll need to commit up to three days a week for 10 weeks in order to reap the rewards! However, the activity should be taken at your own individual pace. You may need to repeat a week in order to feel more comfortable with the pace and that’s okay. “You don’t have to go fast… you just have to go!”

Hey, we’re all human, so don’t fret. Just do the planned activity at your next convenience.

With the running challenge, we recommend you don’t run two days in a row. It’s important for you to rest, even if you have missed some workouts in-between. If you miss more than a week, you might want to try repeating the week before. This can remind your body of what it’s capable of!

No. The running programme states that you need to run 3 days per week, but you can choose which 3 days suit you best. Rest days are critical to not only reduce your chance of injury but to make you a stronger, better runner.

The Be More Present programme states that you have to do a certain number of minutes on your ‘Mindful Walks’ per dog walk. However, it’s completely up to interpretation and you can do ‘Mindful Walking’ as often or as little as you like. 

Yes! Both you and your dog need to take the activity at your own pace. If there is a particular week or day that was too challenging, then listen to your body and repeat the day or week before progressing to the next. Remember to be patient with yourself as well as your dog – you’re learning together.

You will need to do a slight bit of training during prep week in order to ensure your dog feels comfortable running by your side. More information is available in the Tail Wag to 5K Activity Pack and resource area. After your warm-up, get your dog to heel. When you’re ready, choose a command such as ‘Start’ or ‘Go’ to tell your dog that you’re both going to run! If they run too fast, tell them to stop. Bring them back to your side, walk a little and try again. Start slow and build your pace together. Once your dog knows to stay by your side, jog for 20-30 seconds, then tell them to ‘slow’ and ‘stop’. Once they’ve stopped, give them a treat and lots of praise!

Don’t force your dog to run if they’re not feeling very well or if they’re injured. You can still do the weekly activity with or without your dog.

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