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"Some days you just need a

run with your best friend"

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© 2019 by Running With Dogs Australia

Cooling Down

Cooling Down

The end of your run is just as important as the start in order to allow both your body temperatures and heart rates to return to a resting state, as well as loosening your hard working muscles. Your dogs cool down is recommended to take place in the last quarter of your exercise period. Slow your pace gradually and allow your dog to to calm down by eventually settling into a brisk then slow walk at a gentle pace. Once home reward your dog with praise, pats and lots of attention. You may wish to give him/her a muscle rub-down or leg stretch to help their muscles to relax and to improve circulation. 

Remain in close proximity to your dog for 10-15 minutes after you arrive home to ensure they have returned to a rested/settled state. If you feel their panting has remained too heavy and is not slowing down, or your dog seems disoriented or weak, call your veterinarian immediately. Although your dog will no doubt be quite hungry after a work out, it is best to avoid feeding them while still warm and panting from your workout. Allow them to cool down and re-hydrate with several sips of water to ensure they don't gulp.  For deep chested dogs we recommend waiting an hour before feeding them their normal meal. This is to help make your dog's digestion process go smoother and easier and prevent them from experiencing potential issues with digestion. After feeding, you should wait no less than four hours before re-starting exercise.

It is a good idea to get into a routine of giving your dog a physical check over every time you get back in from a run as part of your routine of settling your dog down again. If you run trails, in long grasses, or tick prone areas in particular, you will need to be especially vigilant about checking your dog for ticks and other small hazards after your run.  Run your fingers through your pet’s fur with gentle pressure to feel for any small bumps (which may be grass seeds, thorns, burrs or other foreign objects) and look out for ticks in the following common areas:

  • In and around the ears

  • Around the eyelids

  • Under the collar

  • Under the front legs

  • Between the back legs

  • Between the toes

  • Around and under the tail

  • In the genital area

Ticks can carry diseases that can make people and pets sick. If you find a tick, remove it as soon as possible. If you own a medium to long haired dog it may be wise to consider brushing your dog as part of your post-workout routine. 

Check your dog's nails and paws for soft spots, cracks, blisters, scrapes, cuts or dirt. If there is any sign of injury, check with your veterinarian for care instructions and ensure you have allowed time for your dogs paw/s to properly heal before running again. Also watch for any signs of soreness or limping the day after a run. This will let you know if your dog needs more time for muscles to recover after a run. If there is limping that lasts longer than a day, it's time to head to your vet to make sure the injury isn't serious.

 
 
Age Readiness
Considerations: Health, Build, Breed
Basic Commands, Surfaces & Equipment
Weather, Warmup, Breaks, Start!
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