Running With Your Dog

As spring and summer approaches, many people will jump start their fitness regimens in the hopes of looking good in a swimsuit in the coming months.

Person running with dog on leash

Dogs make great running partners. Just make sure to be mindful of the time and place you run and take water breaks.

If you're about to embark on one of these exercise plans, it's a safe bet that your dog would love to come along with you.

Canines are great running partners, as they can give you that extra motivation to get over the next hill, provide a wonderful time to bond with one another, and can help your furry friend drop a few of those stubborn winter pounds. However, this activity can be a bit strenuous on your companion, so you should consider the following dog wellness tips to keep him in tip-top shape all year long.

Soft surfaces. Joint health is a major factor to consider when starting a running regimen with your pooch, so to ease the strain on his legs, try to have him run alongside you on grass or head to the local nature trail. This is far less stressful than running on the pavement or the sidewalk and it will leave both of you feeling less sore afterward.

The time of day. While you have that snazzy new pair of cross-trainers to run in, your four-legged friend only has his paw pads to protect him. As a result, if you're running in the middle of the day, the hot pavement can burn his paws and leave them feeling tender for days. Make an effort to get up a bit earlier in the day or go running right after work to take advantage of the cooler weather. You may find that you can push yourself a bit harder and get more out of your workout at a comfortable temperature.

Take breaks! While your dog may seem like he can run forever, he has the same kinds of limits that you do. If you notice that he's starting to pant excessively, take a break in the shade so you can both catch your breath. Bringing along a water bottle or two is also a great choice and can keep both of you hydrated throughout the run.

Now is the best time of year to start getting in shape and getting ready for the warm months, so be sure to take these precautions when you and your exercise buddy begin your new workout plan!