"Dogs love to run, but they don't necessarily sign up for a three-mile run," says veterinarian Gary Weitzman, former chief executive of the Washington Animal Rescue League and co-host of NPR's "Animal House.
When you take your pooch out for a long-distance run, you "are asking it to do something that's unusual for a dog to do," he
"Dogs are sprinters, not long-distance creatures," explains Weitzman, who is now president and chief executive of the San Diego Humane Society.
Running long distances with a dog can put a strain on the animal's tendons and joints, Weitzman
says, especially in young dogs.
And some breeds "are not runners at all," he
Among them: short-nosed dogs such as pugs, Boston terriers and bulldogs, as well as short-legged dogs under 15 pounds, such as Yorkies
, Shih Tzus
Even breeds that would seem to be runners, such as greyhounds, aren't built for endurance sports, says Weitzman, a greyhound owner.
And although a dog might not be able to "stretch" like humans do, your pet does need to warm up, Weitzman
suggests starting out with a walk, when your dog can also "take care of business," which means fewer run interruptions.