Can dogs run on tarmac? Here’s the Answer

Before you reach for the leash consider these simple tips:

  • Check the pavement before your walk. Place your hand or bare foot on the pavement for five seconds. If it’s too hot for your skin, then it’s most likely too hot for your pet.
  • Walk during cooler times of the day. Avoid taking walks during the hottest time of the day. Instead, opt for walks in the early morning and late evening when the pavement is cooler.
  • Keep midday walks short. If you’re taking your pet out during the day, be sure to keep walks short. If you have a longer adventure planned, be sure to bring water and take frequent breaks.
  • Refrain from walking on hard surfaces and stick to the grass. Pavement and roads can be tough on your dog’s joints, in addition to being too hot for your dog’s paws. If possible, stick to grass, dirt, or a softer terrain but be aware of uneven surfaces or any other hazards like rocks and holes.
  • Stick to a shady and cool route. You don’t want your dog to become overheated, which is why sticking to cool and shady routes is key. A run along a lake or pond is another great idea since it’s the perfect place for your dog to stop for a dip post-run.
  • Do take precautions when running in cold weather.

    If you live in a cold-weather climate and like to run in the winter with your dog, try to avoid roads and sidewalks that have been treated with salt or ice-melting products. These can damage your dog’s paws and cause stomach upset if he licks his paws once he’s back inside. Canine booties will help protect your dog’s paws in the winter, or if your dog won’t tolerate booties, you can apply petroleum jelly to his paws before running to add a layer of protection. Always rinse off your dog’s feet once you’re back indoors.

    Also take your dog’s haircoat into consideration – if it’s very short, or he’s less tolerant of cold temperatures, you can protect him with a coat or sweater. Avoid running in severe winter weather or very cold conditions, since dogs are susceptible to frostbite, especially on their ear tips.

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