If you want to involve your pet in sports, first make sure you know where to start. Indeed, for dogs, as well as for people, running is useful only if you follow all the rules and recommendations, otherwise, you can harm your health, and not strengthen it.
To begin with, it will not be superfluous to say that not all dog breeds are, in principle, disposed to run. Decorative breeds are definitely not suitable for the role of companions in this sport, as well as, for example, short-legged corgi or brachycephalic dogs, which have difficulty breathing due to the structure of the muzzle.
But terriers, greyhounds, setters, huskies, retrievers, labradors, shepherds, dalmatians, and beagles love to run.
But if you have a puppy, then you shouldn’t run with him at all, as this can negatively affect his health. Wait until the dog is one and a half years old.
Before taking your dog for the first run, take him to the vet: it is better to check the health of the pet to be sure that running is not contraindicated for him.
If the breed, age, and health of the dog allow it to run, then pay attention to the tips below.
Buy a shorter harness and leash. This will make both you and the dog more comfortable – the harness will not press on the dog’s neck, and a short leash will allow you to better control it.
Do not feed your pet before or immediately after running. At least an hour should pass between meals and running, that is, you cannot feed the dog less than an hour before running and another hour after.
Take water and treats with you. And don’t forget to make stops to give your pet a drink. Treats can help you reward and motivate your dog.
Warm-up before jogging. Joint short play will help warm up the muscles for both you and your pet.
Start running short distances. It is better not to load the pet with long runs at once – 2-3 km at a calm pace will be enough for a start. And remember that dogs are not marathon runners, but sprinters. Of course, if you wish, you can accustom your pet to long distances, but this should be done gradually.
Check your pet’s paws after running. While running, there is a risk of cutting the paw pads or burning them on the hot asphalt.
Remember variety. Change routes, distances, pace – don’t let your pet get bored of repetitive activities.
And most importantly: pay attention to the condition and mood of the dog! If she gets tired quickly, does not want to run, or does not feel well after your workouts, do not force her, it is better to go to the clinic and check her health.