Though the jury is out on exactly the best age to run with your pooch the general consensus amongst vets is no earlier than six months of age, whilst others argue eight months at the earliest with giant breeds being even later. Pups crave and need excessive amounts of play-time but a steady run shouldn’t be a part of your routine until his joints, muscles and bones had sufficient time to develop.
When a pup is small they have a lot of growing to do and to accommodate for this, their bodies have softer cartilage and bones with extra blood vessels. These body parts and plates are more prone to injury due to their softness. For some breeds growth plates may not close fully until after 12 months of age.
In the wild, young pups generally play about the den and surrounding area. It is not until they are around 7-8 months that they will start to join distances with the pack for a hunt. Hard surfaces are tough on animal’s bodies as well as ours so the road and pavement can take a toll.
Your veterinarian can advise you on the degree of exercise appropriate for your breed, age and size of dog. Every dog’s individual health must also be taken into account.
Even though you have a puppy (which is like a magnet for most people) please be mindful to move out of the way of others. Don’t assume everyone wants to greet and don’t assume everyone will be polite. Keep him safe from being tangled up in passing bicycles etc.
Avoid the hottest part of the day when temperatures of surfaces can soar. Remember, he is a lot closer to the ground than you.
Once it is safe to run with your pup always make water available and towards the end of your session include some cool down time and afterwards check his pad and paws for damage or wear.
Leah & Angela O’Meara
Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Cares Brisbane)