so it’s mid july in baltimore. which means it’s hot.
which means the only bearable time to get a good outdoor run in is around 5:30 am.
which is fine- i always prefer a morning run anyway…
but what’s been surprising to me is the number of people i see running with their dogs. in this heat. (regardless of the time of day)
when the thermometer’s rising and the humidity is high i have to think that can’t be the best thing for our furry friends, can it? i mean they’re doing the same thing i am but with a fur coat and an inability to sweat. that can’t be fun.
heat or no heat- i don’t run with my dog. small dogs don’t make the best running partners (that’s my little bugger right there…), nor do i think it’s probably good for him and his little paws to take him on a longer distance jaunt.
for people who do run with their dogs (i know there are a lot of you out there) here are a few quick tips for small alterations to your routines to make sure both you and your favorite four legged running buddies stay safe in the heat…
- take it easy: going all out right from the start might be excessive. play it by ear and see how you’re body is handling the heat and humidity- every day/every run can be different. that goes for your pup too.
- check the weather: keep your eye on the weather and be flexible with your workout times. choose cooler times of the day to get your run in (aka butt crack of dawn). if it’s too hot and humid out, it’s best to leave the fur-kid at home in the AC.
- know your surfaces: asphalt/concrete/rocks/gravel can be too hot for furry feet and may cause cuts. if you don’t live in the city, it’s probably easier to stick to dirt roads or trails. After the run, check your dog’s pads for cracking or other injuries. this stuff, mushers secret, is great to protect puppy pads from both hot and cold conditions.
- water/hydrate!!!: let’s face it…a fur coat doesn’t offer the same wicking benefits as your underarmour or lululemon gear and can actually put him at risk for overheating much faster than you. if you are able to, run near a water source. not only can your pup jump in to cool off but exercising near water also tends to be cooler and breezier, so you’ll prevent overheating as well. (this, however, does not seem to be the case with the harbor in baltimore-nor would i want my dog to jump in that water, so take that one with a grain of salt i suppose.) it’s also always a good idea to carry along a water bottle or hydration belt (not just for you but to share with your dog too)
- stay alert: dogs won’t always stop and let you know when they need a break. if you notice your pup is struggling to keep up, panting excessively, or limping- it’s too much. take frequent breaks and give him a chance to catch his breath, rest, and grab some water. if he seems to be having a really hard time, consider cutting your run short to take him home. remember — dogs can suffer from heat stroke and injuries, too. you can always go back out on your own if you still need to get the mileage in.
stay cool my friends (both of the 2 and 4 legged variety 🙂 )