If you "Jog with your Dog" Summer is a time for Caution!
Dogs can be great running companions! They never tell you, "Not this morning....I want to sleep-in" or, "Can't do it tonight...I had a ruff day at work."
You want to run faster? Your Dane thinks that's Great! Need to slow it down? That gives dog noses time to stop and smell the roses (and trees and light poles).
Good running partners encourage AND watch out for each other.
Particularly during the "dog days" of summer, it's important to keep a close eye on your four-pawed personal trainer.
Wait Until Your Dog is Full-Grown.
Don't run with your puppy. You can start taking smaller breeds out at six months, but you should wait a year for large breed dogs' bones to mature. They're babies. Don't Run with Older Dogs.
Many experts believe that large dogs should not run past the age of 7.
Smaller dogs can run up to age 10. Then...it's the time to cut back.
Take it easy when you start Running.
You didn't start by running a marathon....and neither should your dog.
Start out slowly.
If your dog likes it....gradually increase the distance and frequency.
Paw pads are kinda like running shoes.
Your dog's paw pads will toughen up...cutting down on injuries.
As you add mileage....check your dog's paws for wear and tear.
Cuts, nicks, tender spots, and dryness.
If your running partner is limping....stop and find out why!
Keep Your Dog Hydrated.
Carry enough water for both of you.
And make sure you have something for your dog to drink from.
Many dogs learn how to drink from a water bottle.
Stop and feel the pavement.
Sidewalks, parking lots, and asphalt heat up fast. If you can feel the heat through your running shoes...it's a lot worse for your dog.
You can try the paw covers....but remember that they're not made for distance.
Stick to Trails.
It's easier on the feet, ankles, knees, and hips if we run on grass or a trail instead of a hard surface.
You're also more likely to have some shade on a trail or path.
Keep Your Dog on a Leash.
Even a well-trained dog may want to chase another dog, squirrel, cat, bicycle, motorcycle, skateboards, birds, butterflies, etc.
Watch for Overheating.
Dogs are so stoic. They NEVER want to disappoint us.
They will literally run until they drop from heat exhaustion.
Watch for panting, slowing down, foaming at the mouth, weakness, inability to stand, uncontrolled movement, agitation and glazed eyes.
If you notice any of these signs, cool your dog immediately by thoroughly wetting him with cold water and getting him into the shade or an air-conditioned area.
Even a dog that runs on a regular basis is at greater risk on hot days, during the hotter parts of the day, when it's dry, or when you're running longer distances.
Let's all take care of our 4-footed running partners.
They're worth it.