When it comes to dogs and hot-weather running, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
- Your dog has a fur coat, so they get hot a lot faster than you do.
- Dogs don't wear shoes, so be aware that the pavement you're running on may be hot.
- Dogs do not sweat like people do. Most of their sweat glands are located around their paws. If you see wet footprints on your floor it's most likely sweat, unless your dog was playing in the sprinklers.
- Dogs have dilating vessels around their faces and ears that help to keep them cool, but the main way that they cool themselves down is by panting.
- Snub-nosed dogs such as Boxers, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus, Bulldogs and Pugs should not be outside in the heat. They have poor panting mechanisms and overheat very quickly.
Here are some tips to keep your dog safe when running in heat:
- Always warm up and cool down. This goes for you and your dog; it will help to lessen the stress on the joints.
- Build up your dog's endurance gradually, the same way you would with your own workouts. Start with short sprints or shorter distances and increase the distance weekly.
- Teach your dog to walk on a leash correctly before you start running. Do not allow your dog to cross in front of you or pull excessively.
- Take your dog on a run early in the morning or late in the day.
- Go on shorter runs and find shaded areas; your dog will not require as much exercise when he is hot.
- Consider run/walking. This will give your dog a little break to cool down.