Dog owners are more than 2.5 times more likely to achieve recommended levels of physical activity, according to a study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. That means that getting active with your dog improves not only the dog’s health, but your own. Turning your furry friend into your outdoor workout partner can make getting healthy fun. But when the sidewalks outside are ready to make either popsicles or pancakes out of unsuspecting paws, dog owners should take proper precautions.

When it’s too hot

The best way to prepare is to check the weather in your local area before heading out. If the temperature added to the humidity is 150 or more, the pooch should say inside, according to Active.com. If the temperature outside is 90 degrees and the humidity is 60 percent, the result is 150. So turn on the AC, fill the water bowl, and wait until it’s a little cooler outside.

Without sneakers or sweat, dogs are more sensitive to the pavement and to the sun than you are. If you know that it’s going to be hot outside, carry a portable water bowl on your run so that your dog can drink. Once you start moving, listen to how your dog is breathing. Because dogs can’t sweat, excessive panting is a sign that you should pause, hydrate and find a place to cool down. You can also check your dog’s gums. If they are white, your dog might be experiencing heat exhaustion.

When it’s too cold

Some dogs are more equipped for icy sidewalks than others. A Siberian husky, for example, is built for snowy weather. A greyhound, on the other hand, may need a sweater. Check the weather beforehand so you can plan what your dog should wear and how long you should be outside.

Even huskies don’t like salt in their paws. If the weather has been snowy all night long, expect to see salt and ice outside your door in time for your run with the pup the next morning. In that case, avoid going too far. Once you are back indoors, make sure to rinse between your dog’s pads.

Have fun out there

Dogs love playing outside, and so do most owners. It might seem like your pup is tougher than you are, but without sneakers or a winter coat, you need to think ahead for them. Be safe, and head outside for your next adventure.


About the Author: Now working as a writer, Jackie started her career as a veterinary nurse and has always been an animal lover –  but after becoming a mom refocused and decided to spend more time with her family. When she’s not writing, she volunteers for a number of local animal welfare charities and also has a menagerie of pets to look after, including a sparky whippet called Charlie

References

1) The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Odds of Getting Adequate Physical Activity by Dog Walking, June 16, 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4535333/

2) Fitbark, Breaking a Sweat With Your Pooch, May 18, 2018, https://www.fitbark.com/blog/breaking-a-sweat-with-your-pooch/

3) Weather Station Advisor, Best Home Weather Station Reviews in 2018, August 5, 2018, https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com

4) Active.com, Is It Too Hot to Run with Your Dog?, June 15, 2017, https://www.active.com/running/articles/is-it-too-hot-to-run-with-your-dog

5) Women’s Running, 4 Things To Know About Running With Your Dog In Hot Weather, May 13, 2016, http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/05/run-2/4-things-to-know-about-running-with-your-dog-in-hot-weather_59052

6) Runner Click, Is It Too Cold (Or Too Hot) to Run with Your Dog? When to Leave Your Pup at Home, January 23, 2018, https://runnerclick.com/is-it-too-cold-too-hot-to-run-with-dog-things-to-consider/

7) American Veterinary Medical Association, Run, Spot, Run!, https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/run-spot-run.aspx