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The Challenge


Tracking Your Distance

Running with your dog

The Challenge

What is Pound for Paws?

Pound for Paws is a virtual running challenge where you aim to run a minimum of 30km throughout August while raising funds for Scotland’s animals. The funds you raise will help ensure animals in Scotland can continue to receive the care they need from the Scottish SPCA. During the challenge, Olympic athlete, Laura Muir, will provide lots of encouragement and top tips to get you over the finish line.

How does the government guidance on social distancing affect my challenge?

Pound for Paws is a virtual challenge, meaning you can take part in the challenge any time and anywhere that suits you while being able to stay safe within current social distancing guidelines. You can find the government’s current guidance here.

Is it free to sign up?

Yes, it’s free to sign up. Everyone who signs up is being encouraged to fundraise for the Scottish SPCA.

When does Pound for Paws start and finish?

Pound for Paws will run for from 1 August to 31 August. Sign up before 1 August to get your fundraising started and practice your running so you are ready for the challenge when it starts.

How do I get the Scottish SPCA sunglasses and running t-shirt? 

Anyone who raises £50 or more on their personal fundraising page by midnight on 3 August will get the option to receive a free pair of sunglasses*. Anyone who raises £100 or more by midnight on 31 August will get the option to recieve a free running t-shirt*.

*Please note that stock will be limited on items so aim to reach your target as soon as possible. Eco friendly sunglasses are made from 45% bamboo fibres and 55% recyclable polypropylene plastic. These sunglasses offer UV400 protection. T-shirts are made from lightweight wicking and will be available in adult sizes only (S, M, L and XL).

Can I do it as a group with family, friends or colleagues?

Yes, but always do this within the current government guidance on social distancing.

You can create a virtual team and take on the challenge as a group. As it's a virtual challenge, you don't all need to live in the same home or do your runs at the same time. Just link your pages together to create a team when you sign up and you'll have a goal you can all work towards together.

You can also join the wider Pound for Paws community in a dedicated Facebook group where you can share your achievements and your running selfies.

Can children take part?

Children can take part with supervision from a parent or guardian. Anyone under the age of 18 won’t be able to sign up for the challenge, however a parent or guardian can sign up on behalf of their child to take part in the challenge.

Can I walk instead of running?

Yes, you can walk the full distance if you like or even mix walking and running together to reach your goal. It’s your challenge so take things at your own pace. If it’s your first time taking on a running challenge, start by doing some short runs while out walking and build up your ability each time. Throughout the challenge, Olympic athlete, Laura Muir will be providing useful tips to help you. You can also find some great resources on how to start running with the NHS Couch to 5k running plan for beginners here.

Do I have to run every day in August?

No, you don’t have to run every day. Break your challenge down into several runs each week to fit your schedule. If you run 2.5km three times a week, you’ll reach the goal of 30km within 30 days. It’s your challenge so take things at your own pace, have a rest day when you need to.

Can I run further than 30km?

Yes, if you are able to run further than 30km, then please do. Pound for Paws is your challenge so aim for a longer distance if you wish. You could aim for 50km, 100km or even 200km.

Can I start running before the challenge starts?

Yes, you can start running before Pound for Paws starts on 1 August. Use anytime you have before this to build up your running ability, this will help you complete the challenge.


How much do I need to fundraise?

We’re asking you to aim to raise £100 to help care for Scotland’s animals. If you raise £3.50 each day, you’ll reach your target. Be bold and aim high, the more you raise, the more animals that can be cared for by the Scottish SPCA.

  • £5 could help feed a dog for one week
  • £50 could help care for a hedgehog for one month
  • £100 could help towards keeping Scottish SPCA animal rescue officers on the road all year round 

Every day, the Scottish SPCA responds to over 140 reports of animals in need. By raising vital funds, you’ll be helping ensure animals get the care they need and you’ll also become an animal champion.

How can I raise funds?

Setup your fundraising page (it takes less than 1 minute) and share it with friends and family to let them know that you're taking part in the challenge. Share with them how important it is to you and tell them the difference their support could make. You’ll also find fundraising tips to help you in the Tips and Resources page.

When can I start fundraising?

You can start fundraising as soon as you sign up. Raise as much as you can before the challenge starts. Everyone who raises £50 or more on their fundraising page by midnight 3 August will get the option to receive a free pair of sunglasses. 

Everyone who raises £100 or more by midnight on 31 August will get the option to recieve a free running t-shirt. 

How do my funds reach the charity?

All the money you raise on your fundraising page is transferred automatically to the Scottish SPCA.

I'm taking part as a team with a group of people, how much do I need to raise?

We’re asking each team member to raise £100 or you can set a collective fundraising target for the team. Coming together with friends, family or colleagues is a great way to fundraise. Be bold and aim high, the more you raise, the more animals that can be cared for by the Scottish SPCA.

Tracking Your Distance

How can I track my distance?

You can track your distance manually or by using the fitness tracking app MapMyFitness, which you can download for free on a smartphone. Connect the app with your fundraising page and your page will automatically update at the end of each day with any distance you have recorded.

I don't have a fitness app, how else can I track my distance?

If you know the distance you have run, you can manually update the distance that you have covered on your fundraising page.

How do I manually record distances on my fundraising page?

  1. Login to your fundraising page
  2. Go to your 'Dashboard' and click 'My Fitness Activity'
  3. Click on ‘Add Activity’ and add the distance you ran, then click ‘Save Changes’
  4. All done, your run will be recorded
  5. Repeat the above steps after each run

How do I use my MapMyFitness to record distances on my fundraising page?

  1. Download MapMyFitness to your smartphone
  2. Login to your fundraising page
  3. Go to your 'Dashboard' and click 'My Fitness Activity'
  4. Choose to connect MapMyFitness to your fundraising page
  5. Follow the prompts to connect your account
  6. All done! When you next run, select ‘start your workout’ in the app on your phone. Once you end your run, save your run in the app and your distance will be published to the tally on your page the following day
NOTE: If you have synced your fitness app already with your fundraising page but it is not working, please log in and re-connect the app.

Running with your dog

Can I take part with my dog?

Yes, you can get your dog involved. Before doing so, please read the following advice on running with your dog.

  • Always consult a vet ahead of beginning running with your dog. They will be able to advise on what is suitable depending on age, breed and health of your pet.
  • Take water and a collapsible bowl on every run and owners should ensure their dogs are well hydrated.
  • Run with your dog at the beginning or end of the day when it is cooler. Avoid the middle of the day when the sun is hottest. If the ground is too hot for your hand, then it’s going to be too hot for your dog’s paws.
  • Remember that dogs cannot sweat and they only cool down through panting.
  • Introduce your dog gently to running, build up from walking to running gradually.
  • Avoid taking your dog for a run two hours before or after a meal. Do not feed any dog, especially a large breed or giant breed dog, too soon after exercise as this can cause serious health issues.
  • Use a proper lead for running with your dog and avoid using flexi leads (also known as retractable leads).
  • If your dog appears faint, wobbly or is struggling for breath at all during a run, stop, find shade and allow your dog to rest before walking gently home.
  • Consult a vet if you see anything that causes concern.