Not all dogs are made equal, some are better runners than others
By Ea Francisco | Photo by Andrew Schultz/Unsplash
One of the best running companions you can have is your dog. Not only are they always eager to go out with you, it’s also a lot more motivating to run with them by your side. However, there are some things you need to consider when bringing them along.
It’s important to remember that some dogs are better suited for running while others are better off with just walking. The age and breed of your dogs are things you need to consider. Older dogs would have a harder time trying to keep up and dogs younger than 18 months have developing bones that could suffer long-term damage if made to run too far. Sometimes it also depends on the dog; larger dogs need more time to fully develop so ask your veterinarian to be sure.
Some dogs are naturally built to work and are better companions for long runs. Big, long-legged dogs like weimaraner, labradors, vizslas, greyhounds, Siberian Husky, and other breeds are better running companions. Whereas dogs with short legs and long backs like Dachshunds, shih-tzus, and some poodles could experience back problems. Dogs with flat-faced noses like pugs and Pekinese have a harder time breathing and overheat faster, so they’re better for short sprints.
When considering your dog as a running companion, remember to treat them as you would a person. This means that you have to consider their fitness and adjust your run accordingly. Out-of-shape dogs can’t be forced into hard and intense runs right away, so gradually increase mileage per week. Take a few minutes of walking to warm-up and cool down your dog to prevent injury.
You also have to pay attention to them. It’s your job to be sensitive of their movements, if they’re tired, hydrated, or hurt. Since dogs don’t sweat, they overheat more and need frequent water breaks. Watch out for their paws too because the pavement could be too hot or they could get cut on the trail.
Dogs make for great running companions, sometimes even better than people. But if you aren’t prepared to look after them, it’s best to just run by yourself. You can always exercise them some other time, which is better than carelessly bringing them to your training and risk injury.