Ten Tips for Running with Your Dog (So You’ll Want to Again)
It’s finally here. You have waited through months of freezing, icy weather to get out and start running again. And now, you want to run with your dog. This is a great way to get both of you some good exercise, explore the area and spend quality time together. Here are ten tips to help make that time as rewarding as possible.
1. Check with your vet – You should visit your physician before starting a new exercise regimen, and it’s no different for your dog. Have her checked out to make sure she’s healthy enough for that level of activity. Your veterinarian can also give you some useful information on running with your particular breed.
2. Start slow – New workouts can be exciting, but work up to your goals. If your dog is new to running, start off with shorter, easier runs to build up endurance while also working out the kinks of a new routine.
3. Warm up – Give you dog, and yourself, a chance to warm up before you start running. Walk the first portion of the trip to loosen up. Then walk the home stretch as well for a good cool down.
4. Hydrate – Make sure your dog gets plenty of water during and after your workout. Give him some of your water when you take a drink, or plan your route around streams or other places he can grab a drink.
5. Watch the temperature – Before you head out, check the temperature and the weather forecast. Be mindful of possible dehydration as well as how hot the ground is. You don’t want any paws to get burned on scorching summer cement.
6. Watch out for paws – Speaking of paws, keep an eye out for them when you run. Use your shorter practice runs early on to get accustomed to running together. This can help you avoid stepping on her paws.
7. Take the lead – Remember who’s in charge. You walk or run your dog, not the other way around. Don’t let your dog pull you with the leash. He should be running next to you (but not under you, either).
8. Explore – Take advantage of this great opportunity to see the community and countryside around you. Explore with your dog all that your area has to offer.
9. Be prepared (for poop) – Make sure you grab a baggy or two before heading out the door.
10. Have fun – Once you’ve taken all the precautions and established a routine, running with your dog can be incredibly rewarding. It’s a great habit and a true pleasure. Enjoy!
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Nature is starting to bloom all around us, and to celebrate all things natural, let’s take a look at your pet’s nature. The sweet little dog, cat, hamster or bird you have at home is wild at heart. Humans have domesticated many kinds of animals, but before that, they lived on their own in the wild. That means, there is usually a good reason for some of their peculiar behaviors. While spinning around before lying down in bed may look strange, for example, there is method behind their wildness.
Dogs are a great example. Our best friends have been around humans for thousands of years. But before that, they were wolves living in the wild. Many of their behaviors were programmed long before we knew them so well. Your veterinarian can help explain some of these traits and let you know if there is anything unusual going on. In the meantime, here are some fun facts:
Let’s start with an easy one. Dogs bury their toys and bones because, in the wild, they would have to protect the food they want to save for later from other animals. Old habits die hard.
If they value those toys so much, why do they thrash them around in their mouths? Gruesomely enough, that’s how wolves kill small animals.
Your recently groomed dog runs outside and rolls in who knows what. Why, you ask? Because wolves would use that offensive material to cover up their own scent. This would help protect them from other animals that might track them down.
We have all seen how dogs say hello, and let’s say it’s a bit more personal than a handshake. Dogs can tell a lot by smelling another pooch’s rear. They can learn the sex of the other animal, their reproductive state, and their health. “Do I want to get to know this dog? Let’s see (or smell).”
Spinning before bed
Now back to that spinning around in bed. Well, wolves didn’t have nice fluffy beds or a pile of laundry to relax in. To smooth out the ground and to get rid of pesky bugs or objects, they trampled down the earth beneath them.
The animals in your home are fascinating creatures. Talk with your vet next time you stop by to learn more.