With summer heat and humidity, several questions came our way regarding running with our four legged loved ones.
Ah, the joys of our 4 legged runners. Here’s the scoop: It’s okay to walk your pup after a run, however, you don’t want to begin a two a day running work-out routine because your body may not be trained properly for two a day running workouts. Take your pooch for a walk, let your pup get the exercise needed but be cautious when running during the summer months (heat and humidity). Fido’s sweat glands are not like ours, they release sweat for cooling purposes from their pads of their feet. They will sweat when it’s hot or when they get excited. While the dog pants to draw air over and cool their surface of their tongue. Unfortunately they can overheat while running, especially on hot and humid weather. While running, dogs will pant, salivate, even foam at their mouths as their bodies are trying to cool “their systems” off. If your dog is running on hot pavement or a road, the dog’s foot defends against overheating and may (or will) compromise their “cooling” system within. You really should leave your pooch at home while you’re focusing on your running during the hot summer months to prevent your beloved four legged one from overheating. Then spend time walking them and enjoying them. Another option is for them to run on a grassy area where the pavement is not so hot for them.
Because of the way dogs cool themselves, they are more susceptible to heat exhaustion than humans. Below are some steps for the identification and treatment of heat exhaustion.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion:
* Heavy panting
* Dog begins huffing and puffing or gasping for air
* Dog begins to weave when it walks because of dizziness
* Dog lays down or collapses and can’t get up
* Dog becomes unconscious
Depending on the seriousness of the situation, these are the steps an owner should take if your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion:
1. Move the dog out of the sun and into the shade or into an air-conditioned building.
2. Give the dog water to drink.
3. Rinse the dog off either in the bath tub or with a garden hose.
4. Place the dog in front of a fan while it is still damp.
5. Place ice bags around the dog’s head and neck.
6. Take the dog to the veterinarian only after the dog has been cooled down.