RUNNING SURFACES

Consider the surfaces you plan on running on carefully. Your first run should ideally be planned on a soft surface such as a sporting oval in case of a few spills and tangles; and until you get the hang of running together with the commands that you have been practicing. This softer surface will provide cushioning for your dogs feet and reduce the risk of injury to their legs, paws or paw pads.

Although dogs have much tougher feet than us, their pads can be easily injured by hot surfaces. It's best to run with your dog on a variety of surfaces and where possible, to always choose a trail or grassy soft surface over a hard one. As well as being hard, pavements, asphalt, wood, metal and sand all absorb heat from the sun and retain it for hours afterwards – even after the sun has gone down. If you do need to run on these surfaces, consider doing so in the mornings or evenings when the temperature and the ground is cooler. This is particularly important during the Summer months. Extra protection for their feet may also be necessary in the form of dog booties or a barrier wax which can be applied directly to their paw pads.

Running on surfaces such as concrete is also far more invasive and can be tough on cartilage and ligaments, ultimately effecting joints and creating inflammation pain and stiffness over time. Because cartilage has no nerves, the damage can develop without outward signs.  Arthritis or degenerative arthritis may not manifest until a dog has had several years of abnormal stress.  

 

Running on dirt trails or grass will be easier on your dog's joints and paws than running on the footpath or asphalt. The same goes for your own joints! Plus, your dog will enjoy the natural sights, smells, and sounds - perhaps more so than the pavement in your neighbourhood.​

It is a good idea to get your dog used to you feeling and checking their feet so that you can check your pets pads before, during, and after a run. It is best to do this periodically rather than running non stop in case of injury. ​

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