So…you’re ready to start a running routine with your best friend. Maybe you are headed for a hiking trip to the mountains. Or, maybe you are just looking to improve your
evening walks with your brand new leash. If your dog is like ours, your pooch is always ready for the next big adventure. They are always happy to see you, never complain, and have a ton of energy to expend. But remember; just because your dog doesn’t complain or quit, doesn’t mean you can ignore the cues he’s giving you. Follow these tips for continued safe and healthy adventures with your dog.
Talk to your vet
Since dogs don’t complain as we do, they may have a nagging health issue that you’re unaware of. Be sure to tell your veterinarian that you plan on exercising with your dog, so he or she pays close attention to its heart, lungs and joints.
Know your breed
Certain breeds of dogs are better suited than others for different kinds of activities. Shepherds, terriers, retrievers and other working dogs are built to run long
distances, while others are not.
Build up gradually
While you may want to train like Rocky Balboa right out of the gate, that’s not a safe option for your pet. Like any person, a dog who hasn’t exercised before, needs to work his way up. The pads on a dog’s paws are very sensitive and must be toughened up with gradual increases
Watch your paws
Be aware of the type of surface you’re running on. Hot blacktop, jagged ice, glass and other debris can cause injuries. If your dog starts to limp or lick its pads, stop immediately. Try to make it a habit to inspect your dogs’ pads for cuts before and after outdoor adventures.
Good advice for you and your pooch; make sure your buddy has water before and after your workout. If you plan on running long distances, it’s smart to bring water with you. When your dog gets tired, it will look to drink water from puddles. Make sure you don’t allow this as that water is high in toxins and contaminants, which can make your dog sick.
Listen to what he’s saying
Dogs can’t talk, but foaming at the mouth, heavy panting, glazed eyes, and slowing down are sure signs that your dog is being overworked and should take a break. Don’t worry; it won’t be long before you’re the one panting and in need of a break.
Keep your paws clean
Salt and dirt from the road can get in between your dog’s toes, causing irritation and even infection. Cleaning your dog’s paws with a warm, soapy rag after your run will take care of this problem.