Dogs are excellent exercise buddies. Whether it be a walk, run, hike, or some playtime at the park, a canine companion is great motivation to get out and get moving. But, just like you need to cool down after a gym session or a jog, your dog needs a proper post-workout routine too. Below are three tips to keep in mind:
1. Think gradual: Slow your pace at the end of your run or hike to allow your dog’s heart rate to slow and his body temperature to return to normal.
2. Emphasize hydration: Be sure you have plenty of water for the both of you whenever you venture out on a hike, long walk, or another adventure. Taking short water breaks along the way (and after) is a better idea than letting your dog gulp down a ton of water all at once, which can lead to stomach upset.
3. Save the food for later: Do not feed your dog a large amount immediately before or after exercise to prevent digestive upset or bloat. You can offer a small treat or snack, but give your dog some time to properly cool down and hydrate before feeding a full meal.
During the summer months, it’s important to be mindful about heat dangers. Limit your dog’s activity to early morning and evening hours to avoid heat exhaustion.