CONSIDER THESE TIPS BEFORE RUNNING WITH YOUR DOG
If you’re thinking about running with your dog in the upcoming Doggy 5K at Castle Island or in any other running event, it’s important to start training now. Even if your dog appears healthy and fit, they still need to train, just like any athlete. We’ve included some helpful tips from Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, Interim President at the Animal Rescue League of Boston for you to consider before you start running with your dog.
1. Check with your veterinarian:
A checkup with your veterinarian can help you determine how healthy your dog is for running and help you develop a sound training program. Even healthy looking dogs can have hidden problems that might emerge during training.
2. Wait Until Your Dog is Full-Grown:
Don’t run with your puppy. You can start taking smaller breeds out as early as six months of age, but you should wait a year for large breed dogs’ bones and joints to mature.
3. Ease Your Dog in to Running:
Start your dog out slowly, just like you would if you were new to running. If you gradually increase the miles, your dog will become more fit and their pads will toughen up and make him or her less susceptible to injury. Check your dog’s feet after each run, and watch for limping or lameness. If you notice tenderness, raw spots or bleeding on the pads, give your pooch a few days off from running. Three times per week, 15 to 20 minutes at a moderate pace, is a good place to start. If your pet is overweight, start with walks. If your dog is moving slowly the next day, take that as a sign you went too far, and back off the intensity the next few times you train.