Dogs are referred to as man’s best friend for a legit reason, they are amazing, and they make you better at everything, they are also incredibly cute. The benefits of exercise are not restricted to man alone; your cute little dog also has tons to gain from a morning jog or a walk around the block. Running with your dog is a good time to bond and keep fit.
It may be surprising to learn that dogs too can become obese, but it is true, if you overfeed your pet and let it sit home all day, it will get fat. Luckily, having a dog makes it far easier and way more fun to get some exercise because you can do it together. If your dog is too naughty to stay in line while you both exercise, a bit of training will put it on the straight and narrow.
Not every dog was made to run, but all dogs love a bit of fun, if you own an adorable chihuahua, jogging with it may not be the best idea, at least not without taking proper precautions. So what do you before you start exercising with your dog?
Schedule a trip to the Vet
Before you start any form of exercise, the ideal thing to do is to check with your doctor that it is safe, the same goes for your canine friend. Running with your dog is not the easiest form of exercise to get into especially if you are starting out, it can get ugly.
There is a lot of cardiovascular activity, and it is a high-impact exercise, running with your dog regularly without a proper health check could lead to injuries and problems like arthritis, hip dysplasia, luxating patellas and joint issues. And when these problems crop up, your dog may not enjoy any form of exercise anymore and sit put.
Another thing to keep in mind is the age of your pet, older dogs don’t like to move much, and it is just as well because they may get injured quickly. Be careful when you are running with an old dog, it is quite hard to teach them new tricks.
If your dog is already obese, you may also want to start slow because a fat dog won’t run as well as a slim one. Don’t put too much pressure on the big fellow to run as fast as its counterparts as this may lead to problems for the dog; it is a good idea to start training it with a proper diet as well as an exercise just like you would any human.
Some species of canines may not take to running as well as others, not because they are not fit to do so but because of the way they are built. Examples are dogs like pugs and bulldogs with deep-set noses, they may have difficulty breathing during intense exercise, and it will be worse in hot weather. In situations like this, you may have to settle for a light jog, a quick walk or a stroll.
Pad up your Canine
Running for humans is one of the best exercises as it does not require a lot of gear or preparation, you don’t have to spend money or go to the gym, you can do it anywhere. But there are safe spaces for running with your dog, and there are not-so-ideal places to run, the same principle applies to your pet.
Streets and curbs are made of hard granite, and they can be pretty hot when the sun comes up, you may not notice with your feet securely fastened in a neat pair of Nikes, but it is not the same for your dog. Except your dog wears doggy trainers which are highly unlikely. To make it easier for your, choose soft spots to do your exercise, cool grassy areas are a good idea but beware of sharp objects and hidden holes.
However, if you prefer to do running with your dog on a cool evening or before the sun comes up, a pavement or street may not be such a bad idea.
When you prep for a run, your water bottle is probably never far away, and that is because you may get dehydrated or thirsty during your run. It is also quite possible for your dog to get thirsty and dehydrated, especially on a hot day. You can take an extra bottle of water for your dog and teach it to drink water from the bottle as it may be too much work to carry a drinking bowl as well as bottles of water while running.
If you don’t know how much water to give your dog, you should confirm with your vet so that the dog does not get bloated from excess water intake.
Distance is also an important factor to keep in mind when you are running with your dog. Some species or breeds of dogs are made for running and can probably outrun you, but some others have more stamina than speed.
This is another detail to confirm with your vet before you start running with your dog, make sure you know the type of exercise that is suitable for the pet. Bulldogs, pugs, Daschunds are not the ideal long-distance partners because of their build, but other small dogs like chihuahuas can run long distance as long as you keep them in line.
Bigger dogs are less likely to enjoy long distance runs because of overheating, so you may want to take your big dog for a short sprint instead.
Overall, when you are running with your dog, consider the same things you would if you are running with a child, it will make exercise much more exciting and hassle-free for both of you.