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What not to do when running with your dog
Mutt Strut happening June 3 in Gainesville

Mutt Strut 2017

What: Humane Society of Northeast Georgia’s 5K and 1-mile fun run/walk
When: 7-11 a.m. June 3
Where: Lakeview Academy, 796 Lakeview Drive, Gainesville
How much: $25 until June 1, $30 race day

Your dog is giving you that look.

You know the one, where his eyes say “please, please, let’s go on a walk.” Wait, or maybe those eyes are pleading, “please, please, let’s go on run.”

Plenty of runners and some walkers will do just that Saturday, June 3, at the Mutt Strut, which raises funds for the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia’s adoption and rescue efforts. Those efforts are about 200 adoptions ahead of last year’s pace.

Executive Director Julie Edwards said the event is like a family reunion as runners bring the pets they adopted.
She has a few tips if you’re thinking of taking up running with your pet.

Be healthy

Make sure your dog is up for a run. If he’s still growing and developing, running may damage his joints, Edwards said.
If he’s older, make sure his joints are in good working order so he doesn’t hurt himself. Especially watch for hip dysplasia in older dogs.

Start off slow

If it’s been a while, your dog needs to get acclimated to running just like you do.

“Build up your time and your stride,” Edwards said. And keep in mind that larger dogs can go longer distances, but small ones, not so much. Chances are, your dog doesn’t want to be a marathon runner. A 5K is just about the distance he needs for good exercise, Edwards said.

Keep cool

You probably don’t like running in the middle of a summer day. Your dog doesn’t either.

Aim for early morning or late evening runs. Not only will the air be cooler, but the asphalt, too. Your dog doesn’t need running shoes, but he can burn his paws on hot pavement.

Don’t forget water for your dog as well as yourself.

If he does get overheated, you may notice excessive panting, drooling and red gums. Apply cool, wet towels to his neck or belly to avoid heat stroke.

Stay focused

If your dog isn’t well trained, he may yank you in the wrong direction. It can be super annoying, but also dangerous for you.

Edwards recommends a short, sturdy leash rather than a retractable lead that can get wrapped around your legs. And a harness will keep your dog from pulling with his neck.

You’ve also got the option of getting a running leash that can clip to your waist, so you can keep your hands free.

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