Staying Safe on the Road
Never leave your dog unleashed. Even a well trained dog can become distracted, or not respond to an oncoming vehicle quickly enough. Keep your dog leashed at all times and move against traffic if you are using a road to run.
Possible Emergencies to Watch For
Always be aware of your dog and your surroundings, monitoring your dog for any signs of unease. If your dog tries to slow down, slow down with him. If he begins limping, stop immediately to check his feet for food pad injuries. Do not force your dog to run the rest of the way home if he has begun to limp. Let him rest for a couple of days before taking him for a long walk again. If he does not show improvement, if the limp worsens, or of your dog cries out in response to movement or touch, see your veterinarian immediately.
If at any time your dog shows any of these symptoms, stop immediately, since they are all signs of heat exhaustion (which can occur even without being in the sun):
- Panting heavily or salivating excessively, and it is not helped by slowing down, taking a break and drinking water
- Stumbles or seems disoriented
Cool your dog down with tepid/cool (not ice cold) water. If you are out in the sun, get him off of the hot pavement and out of the sunlight, into the shade, where you can rinse him down or let him stand in some cool water if there is some available. This condition can be life-threatening, so if your dog does not appear to be improving after you have cooled him off, get veterinary attention right away.
Pay close attention to your animal’s condition and body language, the same as you would for yourself, and you will both have a great time staying healthy together.
Image: Don DeBold / via Flickr