Many runners like to go out for their runs with their dogs. They make great companions for you out on your runs. There are even races for humans and their dogs that you can run. However, your dog needs to be trained just as human runners do. Here are some tips for getting your dog ready to be your training partner.
First of all, don't run with a puppy. Your puppies' bones and joints are growing when they are young - just as humans do. So, you want your dogs to be mature enough when they start running so that they don't get injured. Smaller dogs can finish growing in 8 - 10 months, while longer breeds may take 16 - 18 months to mature.
In addition, you don't want to run with your dog if he is too mature. You should not run with a dog that is 7 years or older. Remember dog years are more than human years.
Start running with your dog easily. Just as humans need to ease into a running program - so does your dog. Your first runs with your dog should be slow and easy and then gradually increase your mileage. And, as your feet toughen up to running - so does your dog's feet - or his pads. They will toughen up - but you need to start easy. Keep an eye on his feet after your runs together to make sure they are not tender or bleeding.
Just as you need to stay hydrated, so does our dog. Make sure that you make arrangement for water stops for your dog as well as for you. It is extremely important for your dog to get water on his runs.
Make sure that you have your dog on a leash when you run. It is so tempting for a dog to run off when he sees another animal. For his safely, please keep him on that leash.
Have something with you to dispose of any waste. You know how annoying it can be to "step into something" when you are out on a run. Don't be the person who leaves something for someone else to step in.
Make sure that you are keeping an eye on your dog that he doesn't become overly tired. Watch to see that he isn't overly panting, slowing down or his down. If he shows any of these signs, stop and try to cool him off immediately. You can water him down and get him inside. He may have gone too far on the run or too quickly. If he still acts funny after working with him for 10-15 minutes, you need to take him to see a vet.
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