since the weather has finally turned, i have been taking my dog to the track with me at night, after sundown, when its cooler. i am wondering this- i know people need to work up to being able to jog/run long distances, and i assume dogs do also. how do i know how much to do with her starting off? i had been taking her 3-4 nights per week, and we started with 20-25 mins a night, and now we are doing 30-35 mins a night. although she only needs a brisk gait to keep up with my jog- shes a speedy little devil. i never take her when the temp at night is too high, or when the humidity is ungodly, so shes not too uncomfortable, but i know she loves the scenery and meeting other dogs and exercise at the track. just wondering what is a reasonable expectaion, i know that some people can run miles and miles with their dog, i'd like to be able to do that too eventually. thanks...
I also run with my dog, and the increase in distance/intensity should be self-limiting; providing you both are at the same fitness level, whatever increase you are comfortable with s/he should be too. But just a reminder (if you're a serious runner you already know this) the conservative rule of the road regarding upping distance is 10% per month (some experts recommend less than that), in order to avoid stress fractures, plantar fascitis, etc. And also - even if you run during cool hours, you need water after 25 minutes on the road; depending on your dog's size, s/he will need water sooner than that. You can buy nifty collapsible water bowls that fold up and can be attached to your belt, or your dog's collar or leash. And finally; make sure your doggie's toenails are nice and short - even track running can really hurt nails that are too long.
How old is your dog? I know that my 7 month old Dalmatian shouldn't be run until he is at least 18 months old .... something to do with plates in his legs not being fused or something until he is 18 months. Even brisk walking for too long or jumping and jarring his legs isn't too good for him. I have been told any running (even a small amount) on a road is a definite no-no until he is much older. Casual walking is okay. I 'believe' this applies to most large dogs. Maybe someone can shed some light on it for us. Just something to take into consideration if your dog is still a pup.
That's true, BoxerBabe. 18mos is the earliest for medium-sized dogs and larger. Also, something else I thought of - since they always say 'contact your doctor before embarking on any exercise program', maybe the same is true for dogs? Particularly if the dog is overweight or over middle age.