We have been waiting for what seems like forever for those longer days and lovely weather so that we can enjoy more time outside with our dogs. Everything is always better when you have your furry four-legged friend beside you. I’m the long walks around the block or downtown, maximum thirty-minutes at a time kind of person. Unless it’s raining or below twenty degrees Coconut is okay with that schedule and an occasional dog park day to run like crazy. Mele has never done winter with us so we’ll have to see if she likes the cold.
Right now it’s all about late spring and summer and that includes running. Today is National Running Day. Now, I don’t see me celebrating this day unless there was someone chasing me, but some people actually pay to run long races and drive miles to get there.
In running it’s all about the ability to breathe. Breeds with shorter muzzles have a harder time breathing and won’t be able to cool down in warmer weather. Breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers have a much harder time with breathing compared to breeds with typical, elongated muzzles. Walks around the block and a leisurely trail walk? Check. Long-distance runs? Nope.
Due to their shorter legs, breeds such as Welsh Corgis, Bassett Hounds and Dachshunds will have a harder time working and will spend much of their energy just trying to keep up.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, over 53 percent of American dogs are classified as obese. Running with an obese dog could result in the same problems an overweight human can experience. These problems can range in severity from muscle strains to heat exhaustion to death. Before you engage your dog in any running program, speak with your vet first to make sure running is a good fit.
It goes without saying that dogs with any kind of health issue should not be running nor should any puppy under one year of age.
“Wanna go for a run?” These words will likely spark joy in your dog if he is used to running. While running with your pets can be a great form of exercise, there are a few things to consider before heading out the door.
Your vet is your first call to ask about the terrain, distance, time, etc. and whether your dog is a good candidate for runs. If you live in an urban area you likely opt for a hard surface such as concrete or asphalt because those make for a faster and safer run over a grass path. However, concrete and asphalt usually are warmer on your dog’s paws than grass. When it’s hot outside why not consider a grassy trail over your urban route?
Be aware of the signs of heat distress and respond quickly if your dog is struggling. Danger signs include:
Excessive drooling and/ or foamy drooling
Limping or any change in gait Bright red tongue and gums
Lagging behind or lying down
If you see any of these signs or are at all worried about your dog’s condition, slow down, walk and assess the situation. Take water with you and be cognizant of your pet’s demeanor; cooling your dog down with cool water (particularly on the footpads and on the face) is the best way to help him/her cool down. Do not use ice water for cooling or drinking. Ice water can make the situation worse instead of better.
Running season is obviously not limited to one day. So while might be National Running Day why not come by and meet some of our dogs who might turn out to be a running buddy for you? We have dogs for runners, walkers, couch potatoes, and pretty much any kind of dog you’d like.
Wonderful dogs looking for a great family. Maybe it’s you?