Across the globe, most people are doing exercises like running, on a daily basis. According to 2017 statistics, about 24% of people in the United States, do running, walking, and jogging for fitness purposes.
In the year 2017, the number of people above six years who do walking for fitness totaled more than 110.81 million. Besides, the Americans who did running and jogging in the same year was slightly more than 60 million. That should tell you that running and its related activities have great benefits.
If you are an avid runner, sometimes you may need to have a companion especially early in the morning or in the evening. One of the most companions is your furry friend. Sometimes, you feel the need of getting out of your lightning pokies app and other computer games to go and do real exercises like running on a very hot day. Your furry companion will always want to go with you, but what do you do to keep him/her safe?
Why should you do to keep your feline friend safe while running?
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According to a report from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, over 53% of American dogs are obese. Trying to run with this obese dog is like shortening their life span and it important to consult with your vet before straining your four-legged friend with some running.
However, if your dog is fit, ensure you keep the following in mind which will enable you to mind about your dog:
- Your dog doesn’t have skin as you do, they have fur coating. This makes them sweat faster than you.
- They don’t have the same mechanism of sweating as you. Sometimes you may have noticed some wet footprints of your dog on the floor. Well, that’s where their sweat glands are located; on their paws. Some dogs get wet around their nose in the bid of expelling the sweat.
- There are some breeds like Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers, and others that have very poor sweating and panting mechanism. That means exposing them to heat, will lead to overheating and more health hazards.
- Your dog doesn’t have shoes. You notice that the trails sometimes get extremely hot and that can be dangerous to your furry companion.
- Their dilating vessels are usually around their ears and face, and this is what they use to keep themselves cool. Besides, they do panting a lot.
Having gained that wisdom, it is prudent you know some of the tips of running with your dog in the heat because he/she will be willing to follow you. Let’s look at that.
Safety Tips to Running with Your Dog in the Heat
1: Keep your dog hydrated
Of course, you will never run 8 miles without taking some water, and definitely, you should not expect your four-legged mate to do so. If you cannot carry a collapsible bowl, you can use your hands to make a water bowl for your dog. Do this regularly depending on how hot the weather is.
2: Keep the running easy and short
Remember you are running on a hot day, where the level of humidity is very low while the heat is high. Just as you will not strain yourself under the sun, don’t strain your dog.
3: Keep monitoring the breathing pattern of your dog
If you are to run with your feline friend as your companion, then you need to leave headphones at home. Of course, it could be difficult for you to monitor and notice any abnormal breathing pattern in your dog if you are listening to music. Heat exhaustion may set in hence the need of taking shade and cooling down in the time of abnormal breathing.
4: Alternate between running and walking
You don’t have to run all through for the sake of your four-legged buddy. Give him time to relax by alternating these two exercises.
5: If possible run near some water
Well, this is not for dipping your dog into the water when he or she becomes hot; that will be a death sentence. Why? It will bring sudden cooling, which may affect somebody’s organs leading to stroke. The water cools the paws of your dog as it runs in it.
6: Use a harness instead of the normal neck collar
A collar can easily cause breathing problems to your furry buddy, especially when they are panting rigorously. It may block their air passage.
7: Ensure they are in their cooling vest
There are currently very awesome cooling vests for your dog that prevents overheating. You can get one for your furry companion.
8: Give your dog some breaks when panting excessively
Now that you have decided that your runs are easy and short, sometimes your dog may not endure even what you call easy and short running. Ensure you give a break whenever he/she is panting profusely.
9: Let him/her run on the grass
If you are not running in some water, then you will need to allow them to run on the grass because hot pavement hurts their paws.
10: Cut his/her excessive fur in the summer
If your dog is the type that has a lot of fur, you need to cut it professionally during summer. Of course, you may need to involve a vet to do that for you to avoid over-cutting, which may cause some burning effect on his/her body. This will reduce overheating when you start running with him/her.
Conclusion: Just because you are comfortable running in the heat doesn’t mean your furry pal is. Remember he is having fur coating not just some skin like you. This calls for taking good care of your dog if you are to run with him/her. Unfortunately, many dogs have died due to heatstroke hence the need to keep a close eye on your furry companion.
Whenever you notice heavy panting, sluggishness, red gums/tongue, and confusion on your dog, do all you can to cool him/her down. Immediately call a vet because those are signs of overheating. Remember to observe the above tips for the safety of your dog. Which other safety tips do you recommend dog owners who run with their feline friends in the heat?
Author bio: Joshua Sherman has an experience of over 15 years in group and personal training. His passion is to see individuals fit in their health. He enjoys most whenever he is doing some outdoor activities with his dog, Jack, by his side.