National Running Day is June 3rd! Our canine pals can make great jogging buddies. However, there are some definite do’s and don’ts to consider when it comes to taking Fido running. A Louisville, KY vet lists a few key ones below.
Running isn’t going to be suitable for all dogs. If Fido is a puppy, a senior, a very small dog, or brachycephalic, or if he has any medical issues, he’ll be better off staying home and taking a nap. Even if you think your furry buddy is a good candidate, check with your vet first.
You’ll need to take time to build your pet’s endurance. At first, alternate walking and running. Initially, you should be mostly walking Fido, and just jogging with him for short intervals. As your four-legged friend gets stronger, you can increase the time you spend running.
Always bring water along for your furry bff. You may want to get a fanny pack. You can keep water bottles for both you and Fido in it, along with other necessities, like your phone, waste baggies, keys, and earbuds.
Fido’s paw pads are quite delicate. Your pooch can get painful burns or blisters from running on hot or harsh surfaces. Use paw balm to protect his cute toe beans, and stick to soft ground as much as you can.
Overheating is a huge health and safety risk for dogs. Don’t take Fido out with you on really hot days. If you know it’s going to be a scorcher, run in the early morning or evening, when it’s cooler out.
Keep a close eye out for signs that Fido is getting tired, such as panting heavily or lagging behind. As soon as your furry pal seems the least bit fatigued, stop to give him some water and let him catch his breath. Then, head for home.
When going down the side of the road, keep your pup to the outside, and go facing oncoming traffic. If you’re running after dark, stick to safe, well-lit areas. You’ll also need to put a reflective leash on your canine companion. Also, don’t let Fido get ahead of you when crossing driveways or intersections.
Please reach out with any questions or concerns about caring for your canine buddy. As your Louisville, KY veterinary clinic, we’re here to help!