Welcome to a very special edition of Fitness Friday. This week is all about how to have fun and stay safe when running with your dog. I am currently training for a 5k, and after that Brutus and I have our hearts set on conquering the 10k. Brutus is my very handsome rescue pup and we both love staying active. I love being able to do things with my pup and I wanted to make sure as we trained, that I was not only training properly for myself, but for my dog too.
For all my proud fur mama’s out there, we are also very lucky to have a giveaway hosted by Shawnda at Southern Edge Designs on Etsy. She is giving away the super cute Namast’ay At Home With My Dog tee to one lucky winner. Her shop has tons of cute tees for the whole family. You can enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Running With Your Dog
Talk to Your Vet & Know Your Breed
Just like it is important for us to get checked out before beginning a new exercise routine, it is also a good idea for your pup to get checked out by a vet to make sure they are ready for runs. Some breeds are more suited for long runs than others. Do some research on the type of physical activity best suited for your dog. Also, it is best not to run dogs younger than 18 months, puppies bones are still developing and running can have a negative impact on their bone development. So, it is best to stick to walking for puppies.
Make sure your dog is up to date on their flea and tick medicine.
Rattle Snake Awareness Training
Brutus has successfully completed rattlesnake awareness training the past two years. It make me feel so much better running on trails, that he knows to look out for them, and that they are dangerous. He has successfully alerted when a rattlesnake was close by.
Train With Your Dog
It would not be a good idea for me to go out and sign up for a half-marathon tomorrow with no training, similarly your dog needs training too before launching into long distance runs. The pads on your pups paws are sensitive and they get gradual toughened up the more they run. So start with gradual increases and see how your pup does. Try increasing 1/2 a mile per week.
Running On Hot Days
Summer is coming, so this is especially important. It is best not to run when it is super hot out, because dogs overheat more easily than people do. Dogs have heavy fur coats and do not sweat making it harder for them to cool down. So it is important to run in the shade, and avoid hot blacktop. Banfield Pet Hospital recommends that you place your palm or bare feet on the blacktop/concrete for 10 seconds, if it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your pet.
Signs that your dog is experiencing heatstroke or overexertion include: lethargy, weakness, drooling and dark gums, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and panting to the point they can’t catch their breath.
Carry Water for Your Dog
Make sure your dog has access to water before and after your run. They have some great water bottles and compact bowls that make it easy to hydrate your dog on your run. Try allowing your dog to hydrate every ten minutes. They don’t need a large amount of water, as you don’t want to risk bloat. Do not allow your dog to drink from puddles as they are highly contaminated.
The Right Leash
The correct length leash for your dog while running is 3 to 6 feet, the goal is for them to run beside you. As a dog owner of a wild child, I know this can be tough. A shorter leash will keep them closer to you during the run.
Pick Up After Your Dog
I feel like dogs get a bad rap when we don’t pick up after them. Bring along some dog bags that can easily attach to your leash, so you always have them on hand.
After the Run
It is best to wait to feed your dog or give them treats until after they have recovered from their run. After, your run inspect your dogs pads and check them for ticks, especially if they are prevalent in your area.
I hope everyone has fun running with their pups, and please share pics with my on instagram or facebook of you and your pup running. If you missed are last Fitness Friday workout, you can check it out here.