Do You Want Your Dog to Run With You?
22 April, 2013

As we all know, it is important to for pets and their owners to get daily exercise.  And if you are a dog owner, you might like the idea of taking your dog on a run with you.  While this seems like an easy and natural thing to do with your dog, not all dogs have an easy time running.  Some breeds are better at running and some dogs might have issues because they are out of shape.

Check with your veterinarian before you get started

It is always a good idea to see or talk to your veterinarian before you start running with your dog.  Some dogs might have hip problems or other type of issues that will make it difficult for them to run.  While Labradors love to run, they have a tendency to have issues with their hind legs so it is always best to have your dog checked out before you start your training!

Puppies have a hard time running

Puppies aren’t always the best candidates for running with you.  Even though their energy is high, it is difficult for some puppies to run since they are still growing. You can actually take your puppies on short walks or little sprints to give them a little exercise.  Once they are fully grown, you can get them up and running with you!

Make sure you have control of your dog

Before you even start running with your dog, make sure that you have control of your dog by merely walking with him or her on a leash.  You should have the ability to have your dog heal because your dog should be at your side, not pulling you down the street. Once you start out, you might be lucky and have a dog that falls into pace with you immediately.  Other dogs might have a difficult time navigating.   Not all dogs are running dogs.

If your dog does take to the running, start at only a few miles a day.  You can eventually go further with your dog if he or she is up for the task.  As we all know, our dogs will let us know by either stopping or disobeying if they aren’t up to it.  But, as in humans, our dogs need time to get in running shape.

Watch for signs from your dog when you run

The most important thing to remember is to pay attention to signs and signals that your dog is giving you. If your dog is slowing down, lagging behind, or panting heavier, it might be time to stop or take a break.  Make sure not to overextend your dog or he won’t want to run with you again!

Keep your dog hydrated as you run especially in the summer

You should always bring water with you or run on a path that has water fountains.  Make sure that your dog doesn’t overheat.  You can even throw some water on your pups to cool them since they don’t sweat like we do.  When the temperatures heat up, try to fit your runs in during the cooler morning or evening hours.   Also, take note that the asphalt can get very hot on your dog’s paws.

Once you have spent some time running with your dog, you can increase the mileage slowly.  Each dog is different and be aware of what your dog responds to and how far you can run with your pup.   

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