Ever met a dog that doesn’t love a walk? Me either. Dog walking is a primary responsibility of pet ownership and crucial to the physical and emotional well-being of healthy dogs. Dog running in Encinitas specifically—with our near perfect temps and beautiful scenery—would seem like the next best thing for your pup. Right? Maybe. Before you pound the pavement with your pooch, there are a few things you should know about dog running.
Know Your Breed
Some dogs simply have more energy than others and demand more physical activity to keep them healthy and mentally stimulated. Others may be happier sitting in your lap. Flat faced, short-nosed breeds like pugs, Boston terriers, and French bulldogs cannot breathe as easily due to narrower nostrils and partially obstructed airways. Be cautious with senior pups and those that may be suffering from or susceptible to medical issues like hip dysplasia and arthritis. Among the breeds that love to run are:
• Jack Russell Terriers
• Rhodesian Ridgebacks
• Labrador Retrievers
Sit, Stay, Run!
Obedience is the name of the game when it comes to dog running. Until your pup is leash trained and responsive to basic commands, you probably want to avoid increasing his or her activity levels just yet. That’s not to say they won’t need a long game of fetch, but dog running may prove to be a bit more disastrous than you imagined—especially if you’re likely to come across other wild animals or critters. Here are a few tips for success when you’re out dog running in Encinitas.
- Start small. Just like humans, dogs can get injured by doing too much too soon. Try a slow, steady jog around the block and monitor your pup’s behavior. Slowly increase the intensity and distance over time, being mindful of the signs of heat exhaustion and muscle soreness. Understand that although there are many running breeds, one may handle distance better than speed and vice versa.
- But first, potty break! The run will go much more smoothly if you allow your dog to sniff around and relieve himself first. Not only will this allow you to warm up your muscles with a quick walk, you’ll avoid having to start and stop while running. Running with a full poop bag is no fun, so get it out of the way before you really start moving.
- Don’t skimp on water and snacks. Bring along small treats to reinforce good leash behavior and keep your dog’s attention. Unless you know there will be water stops along the way, bring a hydration pack with enough water for you and your dog. Though dog running in Encinitas is a popular activity, don’t rely on beach water fountains (ick!) or the all-too-common storefront water bowl to provide for your pup.
- Happy trails, happy tails. Trail running is much easier on the joints and pads than running on the street. Plus, you’ll have fewer distractions by cars, street lights, etc. Be mindful of trail etiquette by cleaning up after your dog, keeping him on lead at all times, and calling out when you come up behind someone. Scope out the trail map ahead of time to ensure it’s dog-friendly. Familiarize yourself with the terrain, level of intensity, and rest areas (if any).
Like any activity involving man’s best friend, discretion goes a long way. Use common sense and heed the same running advice you hear for humans. Don’t run puppies under nine months of age as their bones will not be fully developed. Don’t ignore how your dog behaves during and after running. Do expect an increase in appetite. Do remember to have fun and follow some basic rules (always run against the flow of traffic, for example). And do call SanDPups for dog running in Encinitas if you think your pup might be an ideal candidate. Unsure? Trust us—your big, furry ball of energy will let you know.