Running With Your Dog

When it comes to enjoying the outdoors, getting in a great workout, and bonding with your furry friend, running with your dog can’t be beat. Besides the many health benefits of regular exercise for pets, running provides an outlet for excess energy, reduces boredom and negative behaviors, and strengthens the bond you share.

In case you haven’t noticed, your pet’s safety is one of our top priorities at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital. We want to share some simple do’s and don’ts when it comes to running with your dog.

But First…

  • Come see us. Before beginning any exercise program, schedule a wellness exam with your veterinarian. We’ll make sure your best pal is healthy enough for running and is up-to-date on important vaccines and parasite protection.
  • Brush up on obedience. A good grasp of basic obedience commands is essential for your dog’s safety. Dogs who run with their owners should be able to heel, not pull at the leash, and respond to basic commands, such as “come” or “drop it.”
  • Get in gear. A sturdy, 4-6 foot leash, a harness with a back clip, and a few plastic baggies for doggie waste are all you need before hitting the trail with your pet. Stay away from retractable leashes, as these can be extremely dangerous and offer little control.

Tips for Running With Your Dog

Consider these tips to ensure running with your dog is a successful experience:

  • Start slowly – You wouldn’t go from a couch potato to running 10 miles overnight, so don’t expect your dog to do the same. Work up to longer distances slowly with your pet. Additionally, don’t skip the warm-up period anytime you run with your dog  – a few minutes of brisk walking or slow jogging is sufficient to get the blood moving and muscles warmed up.
  • Be observant – Always pay close attention to your dog’s body language and watch for signs of overexertion or heat exhaustion, such as excessive panting, drooling, stumbling, or slowing down/stopping. Never force your dog to run if they don’t want to.
  • Watch the heat – Dogs aren’t able to regulate body temperature as efficiently as humans, meaning that heat stroke or heat exhaustion can come on quickly. Running during the early morning or evening hours is best during warmer months.
  • Paw protection – A dog’s paw pads are tough, but they’re no match for hot pavement or asphalt, rocks, sticks, or glass. Whenever possible, choose a softer running surface, such as a trail or grass, and be on the lookout for any debris that could injure your dog’s paws.

We applaud you for giving your dog the joy and health benefits of running! Please let us know if you need more information or would like to schedule an appointment for your pup.

Is a Healthy Cat a Happy Cat?

Is a healthy cat a happy cat? While we may not experience emotion in the same ways, there are definite indicators that felines have feelings. They are known to hiss or puff up when threatened or disgruntled, and examples of relative happiness include full body relaxation, walking with the tail up, and purring when next to (or on top of) their favorite person.

A happy cat is carefully looked after, cared and provided for, and as a result, they are absolutely healthier. Because we care deeply for every feline patient at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital, we aim to highlight the interplay between a cat’s emotional and physical wellbeing.

Odd Stats

There are more pet cats than dogs, but cats are typically underrepresented at the vet. Without a doubt, it can be difficult to crate and transport a frightened or angry cat, only to make them deal with possible adversaries in the waiting room, or feel vulnerable at the hands of a stranger poking and prodding them. Continue…

Catios and Other Forms of Cat Enrichment: Guaranteed to Get Fluffy Going

Cat enrichment keeps your cat happy and promotes cat healthThere are few things more entertaining than watching a cat play, stalk, pounce, stare-down, and ambush their “prey”. Luckily, there’s an endless supply of funny cat videos online to keep us going throughout the day!

But, while everyone’s amused by the internet cats, what’s happening with the ones we know and love at home? Are they flinging themselves off dangerous heights, climbing into cardboard boxes three times too small, or cuddling a fellow feline? If so, it might be time to consider the ways you can improve cat enrichment.

The Link

There’s no question that a cat’s overall health is tied to their environment. Of course, there are other things that are just as important, such as vaccines and parasite prevention, nutrition, and dental care, but the link to feline happiness is undoubtedly their surroundings. Continue…

Packing on the Pounds: Pet Obesity

A fluffy pet is super cute, but what about a fat one? Despite the adorable images of roly poly cats and dogs, there really is nothing cute about an overweight pet.

Pet obesity is a huge factor in the health and quality of life of our animal friends. At Volunteer Veterinary Hospital, helping your pet maintain a healthy weight is a top goal.

Continue…