Run Spot Run – Jogging with Your Dog

Running with the dog

You run regularly – or are about to start running again – and you have a fairly active dog. The combination is obvious – run with your dog!

And a great combination it is. You get your workout on. Your dog gets to work off energy and see the sights. You and Rover are spending quality time together. But before you just take off with dog in tow, please, consider the weather! I saw a jogger the other day with a long-hair dog in 84+ degree heat. I swear if they were running next to a puddle, I would have been really temped to drive through it. But seriously, dogs love to run and should but we have to remember that they are not the same as us!

You really shouldn’t run your dog in very warm weather.

  • Either run her very early in the day or leave her at home.
  • Dogs do not get rid of heat the way we do. Sweat cools our skin–for the most part, dog do not sweat. They have a few sweat glands in their feet, but mostly they dissipate heat through their paws and mouths. This means that dogs do not dissipate heat as fast as we can either.
  • And don’t think, “well, he’s willing to run, he must be OK with the heat”. No! Many dogs will run themselves, even to the point of collapse, while they are having fun. Many just don’t know when to stop. Dogs can die from heat stroke.
  • Lastly, searing hot asphalt is no good for your dogs paws.

See a lot more about running with your dog including breeds, age, and starting a routine.

On a side note, you should consider running with your pooch. Here are my “undocumented” benefits to running with the dog, especially in warmer weather.

  • He is my excuse for running through every sprinkler on the way there and back.
  • DaBronx is quite a game dog and a tugger (I don’t claim to be the world’s best trainer, exercise is our thing), so I get an upper body workout while running.
  • I run faster. No I don’t let the dog lead me. Not on purpose, but I always find myself shaving a few minutes off the run.
  • You just look cooler. Maybe because you have a running partner, maybe because this makes you a good owner, maybe because I run with a Pit Bull Terrier I don’t worry too much…I don’t know what it is, but I look cooler (in my mind at least).
Running with the dog
Bronx and I on our twice weekly run. (Three times a week would ruin my rotator cuff.)

3 Comments on Run Spot Run – Jogging with Your Dog

  1. Paula C // May 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm //

    How hot would you say is too hot to run with a dog? I have a GSD mix, so medium coat.

  2. I know people hate the “it depends” answer, but that is the case because there are lots of variables. If you live somewhere that’s humid, the air is gets hotter at lower temps. Is your dog is used to running or is this new to him? Is he in good health or overweight?

    OK to ANSWER the question, assuming he is used to running with you in cooler weather and he’s in good shape (medium coat) and you live somewhere temperate and you run for 30 minutes, I would consider leave him home when it hits 82 degrees. Dogs don’t regulate heat as well as people do. We release heat and sweat on the skin all over our bodies. Dogs’ main method of loosing body heat is panting. It takes longer for them to cool and it is easier for them to suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

    The other thing is, test it out. Many dogs do better with run/walk/run/walk. This might be better with your breed of dog that’s not a super high energy dog. Take water and a portable dish and take a water break if it looks like he needs it (excessive panting, saliva is starting to foam). Don’t rely on your dog to let you know that the heat’s too much, some dogs (like mine) don’t know when to quit and will keep going, even until they collapse. Run early in the morning and run through the sprinklers too!

    Defiantly err on the side of leaving him at home if you aren’t sure it is too hot.

  3. I have a 2-3 year old schnauzer, and I usually run with him twice a week, and he looks fine doing 5-7 miles at a 8:30 to 9 minute pace. Unless I am going faster he actually looks like he is speed walking. I don’t run with him when the temperature is over 70 degrees or else he gets tired and stops looking for the shade. I keep him on my left all the time so that he knows when we are running as opposed to walking where he has more leash. I also have to be selective of where he runs to avoid injuries from the gravel, pieces of glass, etc. I do have to be careful with other dogs as he can get distracted with dogs coming his way and now he knows he is supposed to stay the course, well not always I must say. I hope this helps.

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