12 Safety Tips for Running With Your Dog in the Heat

  1. Run near water. Your dog will be able to cool off in the water; even just dipping their paws in will help.
  2. Run with your dog in a harness instead of a collar. If your dog pulls, consider a front harness or gentle leader. The collar will put strain on your dog's neck and may cut off his or her airway.
  3. Bring plenty of water for drinking, and cooling off if necessary, or run near water fountains or other water sources. Remember to take a collapsible bowl if your dog will not drink from your Camelback or water bottle. Take frequent water breaks, as your dog can't tell you when he is thirsty.
  4. If your dog overheats quickly, you may want to consider buying a cooling vest. Ruffwear makes a good one.
  5. Allow your dog to run on the grass or other soft surface. If the pavement or trail hurts your dog's paws, you can purchase booties, but give Fido ample time to get used to them; most dogs don't really like them.
  6. Always remember your poop bags. There's nothing worse than dog poop on the sidewalk!

More: 3 Tips for Running With Your Dog

It's VERY important to give your dog a break if he/she is slowing down or panting excessively. A sign of heat stroke is heavy panting, confusion, acting sluggish and very red gums and tongue. If this occurs, you need to get your dog water and help him cool down, and get him to a vet immediately. You can use cool towels or spray water on your dog to help him or her cool off. This is especially effective on your dog's paws.

Dogs have died from heat stroke just from taking a walk around the neighborhood in the middle of the day, so please do not take these conditions lightly.

Just because you're not overheating doesn't mean your dog isn't. You don't have fur insulating your body.

If your dog has a lot of fur, you can get his/her hair cut shorter in the summer. If you do this be cautious because dogs can burn, so make sure to not cut your dog's hair too short.

Watch for warning signs, and use these overheating prevention and care tips to keep your dog healthy and happy.

More: Do's and Don't's for Running With Your Pooch

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About the Author

Dawn Celapino

Dawn Celapino, founder of Leash Your Fitness, has over 15 years of experience in personal and group training. She enjoys anything outdoors as long as her dog Jack is by her side.
Dawn Celapino, founder of Leash Your Fitness, has over 15 years of experience in personal and group training. She enjoys anything outdoors as long as her dog Jack is by her side.

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