Doggy Care and Attention
What about weather? How hot is too hot to run with my dog?
Anything over 70 to 75 degrees is likely too hot for any serious distance running. Early morning and evening are the best times to run with your pup.
What are my dog's hydration needs while running?
Dogs don't sweat like humans; they release their body heat through panting and through the pads of their feet. They overheat much faster and with less effort than humans do. A good rule of thumb is puppies require 2 to 3 times the amount of water you need. This also can change according to the time of year and time of day.
How do I keep my dog safe from menacing dogs on the loose?
Keep a watchful eye on your run. Another great use for those yummy treats is to throw a handful on the ground in front of an oncoming un-leashed dog. Hopefully the food will distract the dog long enough to allow you and your pup time to run by without incident. Consider carrying an air horn if there is a specific dog set on causing trouble with your pooch.
What are the best pre and post-run dog care routines?
Adequate water and rest are obvious, but don't forget stretching before and after a good run. Teach your dog to allow you to extend his legs, stretch his neck and curve his spine in both directions. Hold the pose for a good 5 to 10 seconds to accomplish a good stretch. Do this before and after every run, as you would do your own stretching, and you will help keep your dog in great shape to continue running.
A good post-run massage goes a long way toward easing muscle soreness as well. Use light fingertip pressure in circular motions along the spine muscles and all four legs, even his toes. If your dog is sensitive about his feet make sure he gets a yummy treat each time you touch this area.
As with human runners, foot care is vital. Always check your pup's pads for small scratches, tears or foreign objects. Keep his feet as clean and dry as possible. You can even try using booties if your dog will accept them; at the very least use a good pad cream specifically for dogs.
Be cautious of how often your dog runs on hard surfaces. If possible, find a route that will allow your dog to run on grass at least some of the time. Keeping his joints healthy is very important in contributing to a lengthy running career. Consider giving your pup a joint supplement and/or fish oil with his food to support joint health.
Above all, enjoy. Running with your puppy can add both fitness and fun to your growing relationship.race.