Tips Running With Dogs

Dogs are an excellent choice for a workout partner, but here are some tips to maximize your pet’s health, safety and fun.

  • Take your dog’s breed, size, and age into account.
    • Smaller breeds and brachycephalic breeds (those with flat faces such as a Pug) get tired more quickly than larger dogs and those that are natural hunters and herders
    • Puppies should not run long distances while they are still growing. Not only will they tire quicker, but this could stress their joints and damage bones.
    • Be cognizant of heat.
      • Familiarize yourself with the signs of overheating in your dog:
        • heavy panting,
        • difficult breathing,
        • bright red tongue and mucus membranes,
        • thick and tenacious saliva, reduced balance
        • see embedded post at the bottom of this article for more information . . .
  • Avoid running your dog when the weather is too hot. Humans have vastly superior heat regulation and capacity for distance travel, so canine exercise partners can overheat before you know it. On warm days, look for grassy, shaded paths. The New River Trail is an excellent choice. Remember pavement’s capacity to burn your pet’s paws in some geographic areas or on particularly sunny days.
  • Always take along water for your pup.
  • Keep your dog close by with a regular five or six-foot leash.
    • Make sure your dog has an ID tag with your contact information and consider microchipping your pet in case you get separated.
    • Take your dog to the vet for a checkup to make sure he or she is healthy and fit to run. Senior dogs may face physical limitations that make running painful or unsafe.


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