dog runMost people think that a good run is all that your dog needs to stay healthy. Well, for some, yes. Running, jogging and other similar exercises can be very beneficial. But for some, they can be extremely harmful.

Things to consider before putting your dog through a fitness activity

Have your vet examine your dog thoroughly, paying particularly close attention to the heart, lungs, joints and ligaments.

Consider your dog’s age and breed.

Older dogs and puppies under six months of age should never be taken to go running, jogging, etc.

Giant breeds are particularly prone to hereditary joint problems which mean certain exercises are very uncomfortable for them, resulting in crippling, even life-threatening, injury to your pet.

If your dog is obese should be put on a exercise regiment slowly, to be built up to physical fitness.

Obesity in animals run the same health risks as humans. Lameness, heart and lung problems, diabetes are very much animal problems too. Get your pet’s weight under control first.

Tell your vet what is your exercise program. If it is too strenuous for your dog (e.g hunting, hiking), consider setting aside another less strenuous exercise during the day.

Include games in your exercise for added benefits (more bonding, more enjoyable for you and your pet).

Dogs have that innate desire to please their owners. Despite their pain and suffering, they would continue with your routine because he wants to please you. Do not let this desire develop into self-torture.

Remember to keep the following things in mind

Start slowly. Increase the length and intensity in a span of several weeks, not days. Do forget to warm up and cool down after each exercise session.

Just as it is advisable for you, so it is advisable for your dog: Never exercise right after eating and drinking.

Avoid extremely hot temperatures during summer by planning your work out routines early in the morning or late in the evening.

When hiking, stop occasionally to check on your dog’s paws. Rock hiking trails can damage your dogs foot pads. Likewise when walking, hot pavement can damage your dogs foot pads.

Never let your dog loose in national parks or natural areas. It is illegal in most areas. Bu most importantly, it is very dangerous for both you and your dog should you encounter wild animals.

Make sure your dog is wearing his current, traceable ID, in case you become separated.

Never tie your dog’s leash to your wrist or your bike’s handlebars. It could result in painful injury on your part.

Make sure you have adequate over your pet to avoid traffic accidents.

At a sign of over-exertion, stop immediately. Remember never use your pet’s desire to please you to develop in self-torture.

If you suspect your pet is injured or suffering from some kind of pain, drive him to your vet.

Remember, sharing an exercise program with your dog can be a very rewarding experience for both your and your pet. But always keep in mind, put your dog’s well-being before your expectations.