Load up on H20
Bring along fresh water for you and your pup, and make sure you both stay well-hydrated by sipping some H20 before, during and after your workout session—especially in warm weather to prevent overheating. You can tote a portable bowl or get a dog-sipping top to put on your water bottle. And be aware of signs of overheating, which include panting heavily, thick and ropey saliva and a dark, red tongue.
Adjust your workout to the weather
In warm weather months, switch your doggie workout sessions to early morning and evening when temperatures are cooler. “For any dogs, but especially pugs, bulldogs and Boston terriers, even temperatures in the 70s can be hazardous to their health,” explains Nelson. Humidity can also be an issue. "High humidity can make it tough for dogs to breathe and they can't get proper cooling through panting,” she adds. “This is especially true for dogs with short, stubby noses like boxers and bulldogs.”
Turn the same-old walk into a workout
“Usually on our late night walk, my dog and I play the leash tug game,” says Dowdell. While walking, see if your dog will hold her own leash in her mouth. Then as you walk, each pull in opposite directions. “My dog’s very powerful, so it can be a tremendous upper body and core workout,” adds Dowdell. And it’s a great way for your pup to burn off some energy before bed.
Don’t overdo it
Even pets can get too much exercise. “Some signs to look for include an obvious limp, if they are tugging on their leash and don't want to go forward, or if they start to lag behind," says Nelson. Also, be careful where you take your mutt to move. "As the weather gets warmer, pavement and asphalt can get hot and burn the pads on their feet," explains Nelson. "Gravel can be a painful surface, too, and tear up tender pads, especially if they aren't used to running on it. Many dogs will develop severe injuries to their pads if they aren't conditioned to run on rough surfaces.” It’s the equivalent of us going barefoot in the summer after wearing shoes all winter, so you may need to work up slowly to toughen up your best friend’s feet.
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