Running in hotter temperatures means adjustments for all— runners, stroller riders and pets! Many Stroller Warriors, including myself, run with their dogs. Recently, a friend of Stroller Warriors shared some great advice about running with your furry friends— all useful advice as we added a dog to our family last fall. Once we trained our dog to heel, it was an easy and quick adjustment running with the stroller AND the dog— running 4 to 5 miles several times a week and even attending runs with Stroller Warriors. It seemed like I had settled into a smooth routine with the dog…then the late spring/summer-time heat and humidity arrived. Our dog struggled with the rising temperatures, so I had to make several modifications— shorter runs, changing the time of day, including several water breaks, or just skipping a run with the dog. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when running with a dog in the summer heat:
- Touch the ground. Is the pavement too hot for your bare feet or hands? If so, then it’s too hot for your dog. The hot pavement can cause damage to your dog’s paws. What can you do? Which times- try running earlier when the pavement isn’t heated by the sun. Even in the evening, the pavement will still be too hot for a dog to run.
- When out on a run, guide your dog towards running in the grass or other cooler surfaces. Dogs will unknowingly burn their paws.
- How is your dog’s breathing? Is your dog panting heavily with his tongue sticking out? If so, your dog needs a break. Pause (preferably in the shade), give your dog a sip of water, and a few moments to catch his/her breath.
- If possible, plan your run around local water fountains or a dog park with a watering station—this a fun break for both dogs and kids!
Running in the summer is always fun, but we must remember to keep yourself and family members- including pets- safe in the heat!