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Safety Tips for Exercising with Dogs

One of the best exercise companions can be our dogs. They won’t sit and talk your ear off the entire time or judge you for being out of breath in ten minutes. They even need the exercise themselves, so it’s a win-win activity for both of you. However, it is important to be careful and remember that our dogs are built differently than we are. Here are some safety tips for exercising with dogs.

Start small

Before taking your dog our for a mile run or on a big hike, start small. Start with a quick 5-minute walk around the block each day to see what they can handle. Another important thing you can do is talk to your vet for opinions on what they believe your dog is capable of handling.

Keep them leash trained

For the safety of both your dog and others around you, you should always keep your dog on a leash when in public places. In many places, it is even against the law to take your dog off their leash. If your dog is large and overpowering during walks, they need to be leash trained. As a dog owner, you are responsible for making sure they are properly trained to walk. A properly trained dog should walk side-by-side with their owner, not out in front where they can pull and tug. Taking dogs off a leash simply because it is easier for you can put other people and their pets at risk if your dog were to act out for any reason. Some breeds also have natural tendencies to be more aggressive, so it is important to stay educated on the kind of dog you have and train them accordingly.

Be careful with the weather

A person walking their dog on a leash

The weather where you live should also be taken into consideration. During hot summer months, owners should be especially careful. Dogs can overheat and their paws can burn on the ground. As a rule of thumb, if your own feet cannot handle the temperature of the ground for more than five minutes, neither can your dog’s paws. One way to work around this is to have them wear booties on their paws. Exercising on grass or in water can help keep them cool as well. If your dog does exercise in water, be sure that their ears are thoroughly cleaned with an ear solution after to avoid any infections. Not only can a dog’s paws burn, but their bodies can overheat. Be sure to take frequent breaks and bring water along for your dog to drink every few minutes.

Another thing to keep in mind is that all dog breeds are different. Some dogs, like Siberian Huskies, can withstand cold temperatures. Other dogs, like Chihuahuas, on the other hand, are more susceptible to things like frostbite and hypothermia. However, Siberian Huskies can easily overheat since they are bred for colder climates. This is another reason why it is important to know what your dog’s breed can handle before exercising with them. By following these safety tips for exercising with dogs, you and your pet will be able to stay both healthy and happy.

Sources

https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/petcare/walking-your-pet