Many runners enjoy having the company of another fellow runner. Taking your dog out on your next jog not only provides the best companionship but also the satisfaction of having a healthy pup! Follow these tips by the American Kennel Club on starting a running program for your dog!
1.) Consult your Vet. Get an expert’s approval of your dog beginning a running program. Some dogs may be too old to begin such a routine and others may suffer from health problems that hinder their running capabilities.
2.) Know the Breed. Some breeds may be known for their speed but can only handle short sprints, like Whippets and Greyhounds. Dalmatians, Siberians, and other sporting breeds have more stamina to handle longer distances. Also, certain breeds with brachycephalic faces, such as Pugs, Bulldogs, and, Boxers can’t handle a lot of physical exertion.
3.) Create a Plan. Ease your dog into their running routine. Its important to condition your dog slowly. About half a mile a day is a good starting point and build-up from there!
4.) Know the Signs. Now that you’ve started your running routine, be aware of the warning signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration in dogs and the proper treatments. Its a good idea to always keep a collapsible bowl and some water with you in case of emergencies.
5.) Timing. Remember to run during the coolest parts of the day as dogs can overheat sooner than humans. Also, pavement can get very hot and hurt your dog’s feet. The best times to run with your dog are during the early morning and evening.
6.) Leash-Training. Make sure your dog is properly trained on a loose-leash. Its dangerous to have your dog lunging or crossing in front of you while running. Also, using a different leashes for runs and walks will help them understand whether their going on a park or a potty-walk or a run.