Some tips for running with dogs!
Dogs need to get in shape just like people do. I’ve known several well-meaning runners, who offered to take a friend’s somewhat out of shape dog, out for a run who was not able to keep up! If you can run 15 km’s, don’t assume your neighbor’s hyper but overweight labrador is ready for that sort of activity. Dogs can injure themselves or, worse, end up with potentially fatal heat stroke, when over-exercised. Build up a dog’s stamina gradually and consult your vet if you have any questions about your dog as a suitable running partner.
Keep an eye on your dog’s paws. If you normally run on dirt and decide to run on asphalt, make sure your dogs feet are up to it. Dogs with pink pads on their feet are not as tough as dogs with black pads. Be extra mindful if your dog has white toenails and light colored skin; stop and check your dogs feet periodically for even a slight tear or the top layer of skin being rubbed off.
DO NOT RUN WITH PUPPIES. Young dogs, under a year and a half, should not run for long periods. They may want to gallop with you for hours, but this is not good for growing bones, especially in larger breeds. Dogs who are over-exercised when young, can develop hip and elbow troubles later. A good rule of thumb is to exercise your dog 5 minutes for each month of his age. 3 months = 15 minutes, 4 months = 20 minutes and so on. Wait until dogs are fully developed, before you start a serious running program with them.
“If you want a good dog you need to be a great owner.”
Karis – aka Rogz Wranger
(c) Karis Nafte 2014