If your little Pookie is sporting a pooch or your Lady is getting lazier by the minute, maybe it is time to introduce your pup to a running routine. Here is some insight on how regular exercise helps your dog, plus some safety tips on keeping your puppy fit and happy.
On the other hand, lithe, long-legged dogs like labs, dalmatians and most retrievers will have the stamina and energy to keep up with you on any run. If you are thinking about getting a dog or just wondering if your pet is a runner, the Dog Breed Info Center has a complete list of ideal running dogs.
To keep your pup safe while exercising, consider these tips from Run the Planet:
1. Start younger, middle-aged and overweight dogs on a moderate program of walking 10 to 15 minutes once or twice a day.
2. Be careful and watch for traffic. If you are on a street, have the dog by your left side and move against the traffic.
3. Keep in mind the type of surface you are jogging on. In the summer, asphalt and concrete become very hot, while grass and dirt stay relatively cool. To ensure your her longevity, be sure to keep your dog safe from the heat. Also, harder surfaces such as concrete could cause damage to the pads of a dog's feet if you do a lot of heavy running, so grass might be better for jogging. In addition, if you enjoy running in the snow and cold, consider that Fido's pads are directly exposed to the frigid terrain. You may need to invest in some dog booties to prevent frostbite.
4. Avoid jogging if your dog has any pre-existing health problems, such as a heart murmur or heartworms. Also, some dogs can overdo it, particularly older dogs, so take notice if your pooch appears to be getting tired.
5. During hot summer days, take water along, or jog by places where drinkable water is available.
6. Go out early in the morning or late evening when it is cooler, rather than in the afternoon heat of the sun. Dogs do not get rid of heat as well as humans do. They primarily eliminate heat through panting, and they sweat only through the pads of their feet, so they can get overheated very easily.
7. Take safety precautions if you plan to jog at night. Wear clothing that can be noticed in the dark, and attach illuminated strips to your dog's collar.
For more details on exercising with your dog, visit the The Partnership for Animal Welfare
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