Run in the Rescue Me 5K With Your Dog
By: Jennifer Ondrako, Race Director
The Rescue Me 5K has created quite a buzz around the city of Charlotte. It’s a unique 5K race where participants can run with their dog. The proceeds from the event are going to The American Pit Bull Foundation’s (APBF) newest program, Operation Sidekick. They are the first organization to bridge the gap and exclusively train rescued pit bulls as service dogs to help our veterans overcome the daily struggle of PTSD and depression.
Excited to join us in this race? Before you cross that start line in October, you will need to train your dog to run with you. Here are some tips on getting your dog race ready!
1. Check With Your Vet. If you’ve never run with your dog before, be sure your dog is healthy for a more strenuous workout like running before you start. A quick check up appointment with your vet will notify you of any red flags before the hitting the pavement.
2. Start Slow. Your dog may not be able to run a even a mile the first run out – so gradually build up distance. Find a beginner 5K training plan to follow. You may be surprised to find your dog is great running partner and can even motivate you.
3. Warm Up! Just like humans need to stretch and warm up their muscles before a strenuous workout, so should your dog. So don’t go running right out of our front door, walk for a little bit first, then begin a slow jog and then start your run.
4. Keep Your Dog Hydrated. Dogs cannot tell us when they are thirsty so taking water breaks every 10 minutes is recommended. With the high temperatures of summer, the last thing you want is your dog to suffer from heat exhaustion. You can easily carry water with you on a running belt.
5. Stay Away From Hot Pavement. Humans have shoes to wear so we don’t feel the heat of the hot pavement. Choose to run in the early morning or later at night once the roads have cooled down so you don’t burn your dog’s paws. Banfield Pet Hospital recommends putting your hand or bare foot on the asphalt for 10 seconds – if it’s too hot for you, then its too hot for your dog.
6. Have Fun! Once you’ve trained your dog to run on a leash with you, you will have the best running buddy. In the long run, regular exercise with your dog can help keep extra pounds off and prolong their life.
I hope you will give these tips a try on October 22nd when you and your dog come run the Rescue Me 5K.