I have two rescue dogs. One could run all day long and the other prefers a leisurely stroll. So sometimes I’ll take the Toodle (Terrier/Poodle) with me when I head out on a longer trip. Dogs can make great running buddies. If you’re thinking of running with your dog, there are some things to consider:
- Know their limits- Just like with people, some dogs have to be eased into a running routine. Start them out with a walk, then build up to a jog, and finally a run. Dogs love to please, so they may just keep going, unaware of any pain. So, watch for signs that they may be struggling or getting tired. If they’re slowing down and panting heavily, they are probably already dehydrated and have gone too far. Just like with people, let them cool down at the end with a walk and don’t push them beyond their limits. Check their paws to make sure they aren’t raw and swollen.
- Be careful of the heat- Dogs aren’t able to tolerate the heat as well, and unlike people aren’t able to cool off through sweating. They cool off through panting. Make sure you bring enough water for you and your dog. I often see people in the park filling up cups from a water fountain. Don’t count on the fact that there will be one and bring your own water. If you notice your dog is overheating, stop and give him some room temperature water, not cold.
- Make sure you always keep them on a leash- Dogs can easily get distracted by another dog or a squirrel running by. Here is a cool hands-free dog leash product called Cardio Canine a leash for runners and dogs.
Running with your dog is a great way to bond. Make sure you are both safe and hydrated.