Many avid runners appreciate the company and support of a fellow runner. Taking your dog for a run not only gives you the advantage of companionship but also the satisfaction of keeping your dog healthy.
What better way for you and your dog to stay trim and fit than to run together on a regular basis. There are a few things to keep in mind before beginning such a regiment:
- Make sure your dog is a breed that can physically handle the demands of a run. Weimaraners thrive on a long run. French Bulldogs can overheat with a lot of physical exertion. Do your research.
- Ask your veterinarian whether your dog is capable of being your running partner and what pace and distance he might recommend. Your dog’s age is a factor, of course.
- Ease your dog into a running routine. You didn’t run a half-marathon the first time you slipped on running shoes. Don’t expect your dog to be in tip-top condition for a long run.
- Keep your dog on a leash while running. An unleashed dog could pose a threat to other runners. Besides, your dog has little chance of being distracted and stopping if he is forced to keep pace with you.
- Be cognizant of the running surface. You’re wearing running shoes. Your dog is braving the elements. Hot summer pavement or salted snowy roads pose health problems for your running partner. Keep an eye on him. Stop if he starts to limp.
- Don’t let your dog overheat. Ensure that he gets water when needed. Consider leaving your dog home on very hot, humid days.
- Make sure your dog is properly socialized before you take him on runs and make sure you’re prepared to stop and clean up after him if necessary.