• Safety tips for running with dogs
      Safety tips for running with dogs
      Safety tips for running with dogs
      April 01, 2014

      Just like people, dogs come in all shapes, sizes and activity levels. Some owners specifically choose to adopt a dog of a breed known for high activity levels so their kids can enjoy some spontaneous playtime or if they need some extra home security. 

      Other owners, however, prefer dogs with lots of energy as an exercise partner. Everyone has seen an owner and his or her pet jogging through city streets or a mountain trail. This can not only be a great way to stay in shape, but dogs need regular exercise just as much as people do. For especially dedicated runners, though, it is important to be aware of certain health concerns when starting an exercise routine with a dog.

      Gauge fitness levels
      A lot of advice on running with a dog applies to humans as well. The Daily Puppy explained that owners should always wait until their dogs are fully grown before beginning any exercise regimen. Puppies can sometimes be bundles of endless energy, but the muscles and endurance required to go for a 5-mile run are much different than those used to run around the backyard for 15 minutes.

      The length of time before a dog is ready to join his owner on a run usually depends on the breed. Smaller dogs may be ready to run long distances around a year. Larger dogs have more weight to support, so their skeletal structures must develop for even longer before anything other than casual play.

      Pay attention to signs of distress
      When a dog is finally ready to run, owners should be aware of several potential signs of exhaustion in their pets as they run. PetMD explained that excessive salivation, stumbling or other signs of confusion and vomiting are all markers that dogs need an extended break from exercise. Even though they may seem fine after some rest, a veterinarian should be consulted to make sure that no long-term damage as been done.

      Owners should always carry enough water for themselves and their dogs during their runs. If carrying a supply of water interrupts a regular running motion, the dog can also carry them and a collapsible bowl on packs attached to his back. Regular breaks are always a good idea as well - while humans may know when it is alright to push themselves for a harder workout, dogs cannot necessarily tell when they are approaching dangerous levels of exertion.

      This content is provided by the pet wellness experts at Hartz. We know that adopting a dog or cat is a huge commitment, so we're here to help you feel confident and become the best pet parent you can be.