Friday, February 5, 2010

8 Tips To Remember When Running With Your Dog

* Photo supplied by Wikimedia Commons

Running is one of the more popular methods of exercise these days. Many dogs are very popular as companions. Dogs love to run but if you tend to run long distances, it's good to remember a few things:

1. If you have a dog who's a puppy, wait until he's at a year old for shorter runs and 18 months for longer ones. It takes time for the bones and cartilage to to become fully developed.

2. Start younger or overweight dogs on a walking routine first. Walk them for 15 minutes each time and build up slowly to runs. A good measure is 1/2 mile walks every other day. Increase distance by 10% each week.

3. Don't take your dog out in hot weather! Even if your dog has short hair, they can only cool themselves by panting or through their paw pads. If you do like to go for long runs in the summer, do it before in the early morning or after dinner when it's cooler.

4. Run on soft surfaces. Generally, it's better to run on grass or dirt (like a baseball field or track). Asphalt heats up much more in the summer and the rougher surface can scrape and cut your dog's paw pads. If asphalt is a must then it may be a good idea to use booties like Bark'n Boots or Woof Hoofs.

5. Don't forget the water! Bring a collapsible water bowl or water bottle with you to keep your dog hydrated.

6. Use a short leash. A leash that's between 2 to 4 feet (.67 to 1.33 m) is good for running with your dog. They'll stay closer to you and will be less tempted to wander off course.

7. Check their paws after the walk. You never know what will stick to the bottom of their feet.

8. Know your breed. Dogs with shorter muzzles like Boxers or longer hair like German Shepherds will get hotter in the hot sun. It's a good idea to take a shorter walk.

Photo resource:Wikimedia Commons

Let's Discuss!

What are things you like to do for your dog when you go for a run? Do you prefer running or walking?

Thanks for stopping in. Be sure to come back to for the next article which will focus on the best dog breeds for running.

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The Benefits of Walking Your Dog Part I
The Benefits of Walking Your Dog Park II
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