Do you run with your dog? Before you and Fido hit the trails, we’ve got some excellent tips here in a guest post by Dr. Brian Zanghi to help you and your dog enjoy a fun, safe run:
Before you begin running with your dog on a regular basis, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
- Consult Your Vet – Before you begin running with your dog, check with your vet to make sure they are in the proper physical condition for this type and level of activity.
- Pick the Right Conditions – When possible, always choose to run on grass or a soft path, rather than pavement. This is not only easier on the pads of your dog’s feet, but it’s also less pressure on their joints and bones. If you have to run on pavement, make sure to check the pads on your dog’s feet both before AND after your run, for cuts or abrasions.
- Heel Command is Crucial – It’s important that your dog has mastered the heel command before you begin running together. This makes your run much more enjoyable, but it’s also helpful when encountering other dogs or crossing busy streets or intersections. (You can find step-by-step tutorial videos for how to master the Heel command via the P5 App.)
- Observe the Weather – Always be mindful of the temperature outside; if it’s too hot for you, it’s likely too hot for your dog.
- Monitor Your Dog – Regardless of the distance you run or the temperature outside, constantly monitor your dog for signs of exhaustion or dehydration. Carry a collapsible dog water bowl with you at all times, and make sure you’re taking breaks if it looks like your dog needs them
About the Author:
Dr. Brian Zanghi earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Canine Nutritional Physiology from the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky in 2004. He continued his training at the University of Kentucky, as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist working on nutrient metabolism in aging animals. While living in Lexington, Kentucky, Dr. Zanghi co-founded a local Hunting Retriever Club, the Central Kentucky Hunting Retriever Association, in 2001 and was active at the club level for 5 years. Dr. Zanghi joined Purina in 2005 where he currently serves as a Research Scientist in the Molecular Biology Group at the Nestlé Research Center in St. Louis. He currently maintains a research program in molecular nutrition and cellular nutrition focused on gut health, aging, and physical performance. He and his family live in Hillsboro, Missouri and owns three dogs.