Speak to a vet before starting a dog on an exercise regime

Monday, 23rd April 2012

The London Marathon held yesterday (April 22nd) may inspire some people to start running to keep fit and doing this with a pet dog can help you stay motivated.

However, those planning to take their dogs jogging should consult a vet beforehand, especially if the animal is older or is in need of some diet dog food because it is overweight.

That is according to the Blue Cross, which has said there are a few things to think about before starting a training regime.

If the dog is unfit, the charity advises people to have plenty of breaks and lots of water. It also suggests starting slowly and gradually building stamina, alternating between running and walking.

The charity notes: "Don't train for long distances during hot weather. Heat exhaustion can kill and, while you might feel that it’s time to stop, your dog will run until they drop.

"If they show signs of struggling, like excessive foaming at the mouth, shaking their head or pulling to the side, stop straight away and find a shaded place to stop."

Young dogs should not be given excessive exercise either, as this can cause complications in later life.