Get Running with your dog

 

This morning was a perfect morning for a run near Kirstenbosch. The  Arum Lillies, Watsonia and Snowdrops are out. The view was a lost on Asics and Siam but they loved the mud!!!

Dogs make the best running partners! They are always in the mood for a run, never oversleep, are never grumpy and as a bonus…they are great protection. Before you take your dog running with you, make sure that he or she is properly prepared. Just like you would ensure that you have a good pair of running shoes, your dog needs to be equipped for the road.

  • Your dog needs to be a minimum of 1 year old to start running. NEVER run with a puppy. In fact you pup should not run free on the beach or go hiking until he is at least a year old
  • Is your dog overweight? Ask your vet to recommend a suitable diet to tie in with your exercise programme and increase your dog’s exercise very slowly.
  • Have a dog checked for possible joint problems like hip displasia. Some breeds are not designed for running and could face injury if over-exercised. e.g. St Bernards, Boerboels, Pugs and Bulldogs.
  • Always run your dog on the lead. Even if your dog is obedient, he might be tempted to chase a squirrel or a cat.
  • If pulling is a problem, take your dog to obedience training classes or fit him with a dog halter/head collar or a purpose made “no-pull” harness. (Not to be confused with a regular harness which actually encourage pulling.)
  • Never run in the heat of the day. Early morning or evening is best. Your dog could overheat or damage his pads on hot tarmac.
  • Feed your dog for the job. Like any athlete your dogs needs the correct nutrition. A diet of table scraps is not adequate; invest in a good complete diet.
  • Always warm up and cool down with a walk before and after running.
  • Never run your dog on a full stomach. Offer water after the run and feed only after he has cooled down.
  • Increase the length of the runs gradually as you see your dog’s fitness increase. Don’t start with 5km

Dogs are the best alarm clock. Once you have got into a regular routine of running with your dog in the morning, he’ll make sure you never miss a day!  Go on……Start your running programme today

 

Drop me a line if you  need any info or advice about running with your dog. info@capeprovincedogclub.co.za

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