Running with Your Dog

Running with Your Dog

Dec 12

An energetic dog can be a great motivation to have when you want to go running. Running with your dog not only keeps you in proper shape, but your dog can also get the health benefits. However, since dogs can’t complain, quit, and can’t really communicate with you properly you may have to know more about your dog before taking them to run.

First, it should be important to talk with your veterinarian before going off to run. Nagging health issues such as those from the heart, lungs, and joints could be dangerous to your dog, therefore taking them to the vet and having him certified as healthy and fit for running is vital. Also, it helps to know the age of your dog: too young could alter the dog’s bone development, while too old (or too big) can cause fractures and other health complications.

Knowing your dog’s breed can affect your running exercise as well. There are certain dog breeds that can go for long-distance running, while smaller breeds can’t. Also, make sure that you don’t shock your dog with a sudden long-distance run. Dog’s paws are quite sensitive and could become irritated if the animal is made to run long distances without having its paws toughened up for the job. Likewise, be aware of the type of roads you are running on: since dogs don’t wear shoes like you do, their paws can become injured while running. Make sure to check the condition of your dog’s paws before and after running, and clean them to make sure they are free from salt or dirt (particularly in between toes).

When running with your dog, make sure to check your dog’s condition: heavy panting, foaming at the mouth, and slowing down could mean your pet is tired and needs a rest. Make sure you and your pet get enough breaks during a run. Most importantly, bring enough water for two to keep you and your dog well hydrated. Stop your dog from drinking from puddles as these may contain toxins and contaminants that could lead to a sick dog.

Even during running, it is still recommended to have your dog on a leash. This is to keep you and your dog under control (he can run next to you) and stop your pet from running off when he sees something of his interest. Choose a 3-6 foot leash rather than a retractable one to avoid giving your pet too much distance from you or from being tangled with him.