Jogging and running are ever more popular activities for people as a way to keep fit and healthy. For people with dogs, working them into a daily routine can be a great way for them to keep fit the same way that you do. If you don't have a running partner, a dog can make a great companion to keep you motivated on the run and help you get into your gym shoes and outside in the early mornings and evenings.
1. When to Jog
Owners will know that dogs do not sweat. They have a very different and less effective method of reducing their body temperature. When running, therefore, allow your dog to run through puddles or standing water – they are doing it to cool down. If you are running on a hot day, be sure to allow for regular drinking stops, as your canine friend will need to consume more water than you do.
2. What Type of Dog and What Age?
Not all types of dog are suited to jogging. Owners of high energy breeds will have the best dogs for jogging. These would include greyhounds and retrievers among others. Dog breeds with short nasal tracks are less suited, such as bulldogs, as they are less able to cool themselves effectively.
You should wait for your dog to be fully grown before jogging with him as this will ensure his bones have matured enough. Don't run with older dogs (7-10 years).
3. Choose Your Path Carefully
Humans can deal with a great range of terrain, especially when we have a pair of running shoes on our feet. Be aware that your dog will be less capable; rough terrain may damage his joints and paths that are littered may hurt his paws. It is a good idea, therefore, to stick to trails; softer surfaces are better for a dog's body and being in the shade will help with the dog's cooling.
4. Start Slow
When you first started jogging you didn't run a marathon so when you take your dog out jogging for the first time go easy on them. Remember they are your jogging partner so make sure you run at a pace that will suit you both. Dogs will also need for their paws to get used to running. If you notice any tenderness on the paws, this is a sign of overrunning, so leave your dogs to heal for a few days.