Running is a popular past time and excellent exercise for people who love to push their limits, live a healthy lifestyle, and get fresh air.
Going for a jog sounds similar to what dogs love to do! Exploring new neighborhoods, smelling pawesome scents, and lapping up everything about the great outdoors are activities the average canine lives for.
Many pet parents love to bring their dogs running and “dogging”! But before you invite Hank along to hit the trail, there are a few important factors to know.
Is running or "dogging" safe for dogs? Read on for information to help you make the decision about whether to bring your pooch along for a run.
*Runner’s tip: Always bring along enough water for both you and your dog. Hydration is extremely essential!
Not all dogs are cut out for the wonderful world of running and "dogging." Right away, it is crucial to rule out any brachycephalic breed. These dogs have nasal passages and respiratory tracts that are not built for extended periods of physical exercise. With their smushed-in noses, they overheat quickly. Pugs, Pekingese, Bulldogs, and even Boxers should not be taken on long runs. Running just isn’t safe for these breeds.
Dogs cut out for running include Border Collies, Dalmatians, Siberian Huskies, and Australian Shepherds. Take a look at our guide for some of the best dog breeds for running.
Determining whether running or "dogging" is safe for dogs, also comes down to age.
- Young dogs should not be taken along on your daily jog because their bones and joints have not fully formed. Starting them off in the world of running can be detrimental, with life-long effects. Have your veterinarian give you the A-okay before you start training your dog to run.
- Remember, if your dog is a large to giant breed, they develop more slowly. Don’t rush the running with dogs like Great Danes, for example.
- Senior dogs will need special consideration as running partners, too. If your furry jogging partner has been your running sidekick for years, they may be in fine shape. But remember, with age, conditions like arthritis become a factor. Stamina is key, too. If your faithful dog is slowing down, it may be time to make the outings walks instead of runs.
Physical checkup: The first thing to start with is a trip to the veterinarian to make sure your dog is ready to run. Get your dog the “all clear” to ensure that they are in fine form for running. Often, joint issues or hip problems are not apparent. The veterinarian will rule health conditions like that out, giving you the okay to bring your dog along.
Total training: Just as humans do, dogs need to build up their stamina when it comes to "dogging" and running. You may be a seasoned runner, but if your friendly four-legger is not, training is in order before any long runs are taken. Start with short runs and work towards a longer distance each time.
Weather watch: Always be mindful of the weather when running. If you are finding the heat a lot to handle, your dog is most likely minding it even more. Don’t run with your dog on hot pavement, or you risk burning their paw pads. Don’t take your dog for a run on a hot day. Instead, go for an early morning jog on a shady trail. As for winter running, remember to protect their feet from the ice, salt, and road de-icers by using a musher’s wax or booties.
Location, location: Running on a sandy beach is fun, but be mindful of the hot sand on your pupster’s paws. The same can be said for pavement, as mentioned above. Pavement can also be impactful on your dog’s entire body. A nice trail run or a jog through a field are ideal spots.
Socialization is safe: To keep your dog and others around you safe, make sure that socialization is a regular part of their day. Dog training is essential for every pooch, as are meet and greet sessions at the park so that Hank is a happy hound in every environment.
Mealtime matters: Don’t feed your pupster right before a run. A meal a couple of hours before the exercise session is ideal. Your dog’s stomach needs to settle or discomfort, and even vomiting may be in the picture.
Ready to take your pupster "dogging"? It’s a safe and enjoyable activity for dogs built for the sport as long as you remember a few important points!
Keep your dog’s safety at the forefront of your run and always be aware of their body language. If they start lagging behind, want to sit, or look fatigued, it’s time to stop for a rest. Your dog will have limits, after all, and it is never safe to push them beyond their abilities.
That's all for now!