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One of my favorite running buddies is my dog George! I’m doing a series on running with your dog, and if you missed Part 1 on training your dog to run with you, check it out here, and if you want more information on nutrition for your active dog, the 2nd post is here.
I love running with George so much, I am a paranoid about him getting hurt when we’re out running. I usually check his paw pads when we get home to make sure they look normal and I do use a salve on them if we go on a long run to help them out. Kurgo offers a great first aid kit that is great to keep on the go. This week, Kurgo’s in house vet, Dr. O’Dell addressed some of my questions regarding how to keep your active pet healthy and when is it ‘too much’ for your dog.
Do dogs get sore just like a human does after a hard workout? Anything to alleviate this for them?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s very important to to make sure to warm up and cool down for your dog because those can be key in preventing injury. It helps make sure both you and your dog are warmed up and ready to go for the run. After, a cool down is imperative to make sure that they can return their heart rate to normal and give their muscles a break. If you see any type of limping or favoring of any of their legs, give them a break to see if it’s just soreness, or could possibly be something more. If you do have to take some time off, it’s important to bring their mileage back up gradually.
I always see the hip and joint supplements in the pet store, Happy Hips anyone? If a dog is running/active, should you be supplementing their food with any type of hip supplements or other supplements?
Absolutely. I absolutely love joint supplements, and it is better to start these early before any signs of joint disease are observed. A joint supplement should have glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, and some supplements have extras like methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Trusted brand names include Cosequin/Dasuquin, Synovi G3, and Glycoflex 3.
If you notice your dog is limping/injured, what should be the first thing you do? When do you decide to take them to the vet or what would be a ‘for sure go to the vet immediately’ sign?
The number one aid to recovery is REST. Take time off and make sure that your dog is not running. If you do have to go for a walk, they should be short, on leash only, and for the purpose of going to the bathroom. Whenever possible, have your dog to try to avoid stairs and avoid jumping on and off furniture. If your dogs signs are mild, but they are clearly not improving in 5-6 days, you need to visit the vet. If you are having issues, call earlier to schedule an appointment in advance to make sure you can get it. If your is so lame that he is not bearing weight on the leg, this deserves an immediate visit to the vet.
The best thing after a run though? One tired pup who sleeps nice and hard for a few solid hours! Remember, you can find ALL BREEDS AND ALL AGES of dogs at local animal shelters and rescue groups. Please save a life and adopt a pet instead of buying from a breeder or pet store. Both our dogs were homeless and we couldn’t have asked for better additions to our family!
Dr. Susan O’Dell, DVM, grew up in Michigan, where she received her Bachelors Degree in biology at the University of Michigan and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Since her graduation, she has been practicing at animal hospitals across New England with a particular focus on educating small animal clients.