Running with your furry friend makes the toughest miles fun, but there are some potential dangers to bringing your pet along for your workout.
Being able to enjoy a hobby with your pet (basically, your favorite furry family member) is pretty awesome. That's why lots of dog owners bring their pooches along on runs. In fact, it's become such a thing that there are now races you can run with your dog. Crazy, right?
More than anything, this habit is a great way to make sure that both you and your dog get your daily dose of physical activity. "Running with your dog gives you a bit more motivation, bonding time, and something you can both look forward to," Jt Clough, professional dog trainer business coach, told us in The Ultimate Guide to Running With Your Dog. That being said, there's one crucial time when you *shouldn't* be logging miles with your pup: when it's super hot out.
That's why PETA teamed up with Olympic silver medalist and long-distance runner Kara Goucher (along with her super-cute pup Freya) to raise awareness about the dangers of bringing your dog along on a run when temperatures rise. In a campaign video that was released today, Goucher explains that dogs are more prone to overheating because they aren't able to sweat the way humans do. The primary way they let off heat is by panting, so if your pet is panting like crazy, chances are he's too hot. What makes this so risky is that dogs inherently want to please you, so they keep running until they collapse from heat stroke. Scary stuff. (And don't forget that humidity and soaring temperatures can affect you, too. Learn how to protect yourself against heat stroke and heat exhaustion.)
So what should you do if you don't want to give up your sweat session with your pet? Goucher recommends heading out for a run in the early morning or in the late evening, before sunrise or after sunset. You never want your dog in direct sunlight during the hot summer months, especially since hot pavement can burn dogs' paws. And even if you do venture out during those cooler hours, it's important to take frequent breaks and bring plenty of water along. (Related: 4 Ways to Get Fit with Fido)
For more information on how to keep your dog safe during summer jogs and heat stroke symptoms to watch out for, check out the full video below.