Runners always show enthusiasm when it comes to getting up in the morning and go for a jog. And, when a runner has a dog, a dog’s walk session generally is turned into a running session. We just put a leash around pet’s neck and think he is ready to run. But, no! You may be forcing running to your dog and making your dog fall sick. We advise you to first examine and review your pet dog before you get started with running with your dog. Here are 8 review tips:
1) Dog’s breed and age: It is very important that you consult your doctor that if muscles of your pet are developed enough to go running. Generally one should wait for at least two years. As running with pet may sound a good bonding activity but may stress him if he is not fully developed. The development process is different from breed to breed, so consult your vet at first hand. Secondly, you need to check your pet’s running training levels in mind. Before you start running with your dog, make sure that your pet is comfortable with leash. Thirdly, make sure that your dog is trained enough to response to his name when called.
Not all dogs are interested in running.
Breeds good for running : Retrievers, shepherds, terriers, vizslas
Not up for running breeds: Really big breeds -such as mastiffs and Great Danes or really small breeds such as Chihuahuas, pugs, and French bulldogs
2) Buy right leash for running: The leash you buy for your dog while you go for running with your pet should be of an apt size. A short or a long leash both would create hurdles for your dog and you while running. A leash should maintain two –three feet distance between you and your dog.
3) Plan your route: Though your dog’s paws are made in a way that they can walk outside and do not require shoes like we do. But still consider the harmful obstacles- such as broken glass on the road or may be hot asphalt near the beach. We would suggest to take your dog to well maintained public parks for running. Soft surfaces such as grass are your dog paws’ friendly than concrete hard surface. Also avoid gravels; it may cause pain and irritation between your pet’s paws. Also, choose a route which is closer to your home and also not very much crowded.
4) Build your dog’s stamina gradually : Remember, when you had started, you built up your stamina gradually bit by bit. You may run 10k today like it’s nothing, but it’s not the case with your pet . So start with short distances and make a note of your pet’s stamina. Go slow and easy with your pet. Pay attention if your pet is out of breath and trying to lie down. Build your dog’s stamina slowly and steadily to avoid injuries to your pet.
5) Mind the Weather: You should start sticking to a fair weather when you start running with your pet. Avoid rains or extreme hot weathers for running with your pet purpose, because your dog won’t be able to tell that if your pet is feeling too hot or cold. Take time and get to know about the weather conditions your doctor prefers. Once you are in alignment with your pet’s weather preference, you can slip your pet into sweaters if it is cold for your pet outside. You may avoid rainy season as it creates slippery surfaces.
6) Check your pet’s paw for ticks, stones and wounds : Post running, examine your dog for ticks, stone and wounds and in case you find a tick, use a tweezer to remove it. Try not to do it with your hands. Be in sync with running timings also as some pets are active at dawn and some at dusk.
7) Keep your dog hydrated : If you are out for run more than 30 minutes, then take short water breaks and also carry water bowl along. Hot day run may call for addition hydration. Also, make sure that your pet does not drink water one hour prior to running as it may upset your pet’s stomach while running. Choose a route with water fountains or try to stick to shaded areas as much as possible to avoid overheating.
8) Rest and Recover : Give yourself and your pet a 5-10 minutes of cool down session to get your heart rate back on track. Also if it is a hot day , you can also use a damp towel to cool down your dog.
Running with your dog should be a fun activity and should be great bonding exercise for both of you! Keep in mind these tips before you start running with your dog