What You Need to Know About Running with Your Dog
If you’re a runner, and you have a dog, combining the two may seem like a no-brainer. You and your dog both get the benefits of a good workout, and the time spent together can strengthen your relationship. Because running with your dog carries certain risks, and not all dogs are good candidates for that type of exercise, it’s important to make sure you cover your bases as far as safety precautions, and The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center are here to help!
But First, Come See Us
Just like humans, pets should have a wellness exam prior to beginning any new exercise program. Your veterinarian will make sure your pet is healthy enough for strenuous exercise and up-to-date on their vaccines and parasite protection.
Get the Gear
The right collar and leash is essential to a safe and smooth running experience. Stay away from retractable leashes, which allow your dog to pull too much and may pose a risk of tripping or entanglement. Stick with a standard collar or harness (no Martingales, choke, or prong collars), and consider a specialized running harness to avoid chafing if you plan on doing a lot of running with your dog.
Start Out Slow
Just like you wouldn’t go from couch potato to running a half-marathon in one day, your pet should not begin a running regimen with a long and tiring run. Starting off with too much, too soon puts your dog at risk of injury, and may turn them off to running altogether. Start off with short distances at a slower pace, and work your way up until you and your dog are running at a level that is comfortable for you both.
And, of Course, Safety First Before Running with Your Dog
You probably knew we weren’t going to skip over discussing your pet’s safety, which is one of our top priorities here at Springbrook. Keep the following tips in mind:
- Brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds, such as pugs and bulldogs, can have difficulty getting enough air, especially in warmer weather. These breeds are probably better suited for a walk rather than a run.
- Puppies should not run until they are at least 1 year old (older for some breeds) to avoid injury to still-developing bones and joints.
- Watch your pet for signs of heat stroke or dehydration, such as excessive panting, drooling, pale gums, or collapse. Whenever possible, exercise your dog in the early morning or evening hours, when temperatures are cooler.
- Your dog’s paw pads may look tough, but they are a lot more delicate than they seem. Avoid pavement and asphalt during the warmest days, as they can heat up enough to burn paw pads, and be on the lookout for grass, sticks, and other debris that may injure your pet.
Be sure to check out our community involvement page to see if we are hosting a dog run or walk in your area. Don’t hesitate to contact us at Springbrook Animal Care Center If you have any further questions about running with your dog, or need to make an appointment, we would love to see you.
We accept walk-ins during our Doctor’s Hours to meet your busy lifestyle. If you’d prefer to make an appointment, we offer those too!
News & Events
Halloween Party & Adoption Event!
Join us on Saturday, October 13th from 11AM - 2PM for a Halloween Party & Adoption Event! Meet local rescues with pets available for adoption while you enjoy treats & raffles! Dress to impress, we'll be taking $5 pet photos that benefit our rescue partners and also host a pet costume contest at 12:30PM! Check out the Facebook event HERE.
Save the Date! Join Us at the Magnificent Mutts & Meows Run4Paws 5K!
Join us and rescue partners Magnificent Mutts & Meows Rescue for their 4th annual Run4Paws 5K & 2K Puppy Path! The event takes place Saturday, October 6th at McCollum Park (6801 Main St.) in Downers Grove with the race starting promptly at 9AM. The best part: attendees are welcome to race with their dog! Medals are awarded for males and females in each age category.
For additional information and to register, please click HERE.
Keep Your Pet Healthy All Year Round!
We offer plans for puppies, kittens, adult dogs & cats. With affordable monthly payments and our convenient hours, it's the best value in helping your pet live a longer & healthier life! Call us at 630-428-0500 for details!