Fifteen dogs and their owners competed in the Second Annual Iams 5-Mile Doggy Dash in New York City on July 26. The event was part of the Ninth Annual Nautica New York City Triathlon.
Before the dogs got a running start, however, veterinarians from The Animal Medical Center evaluated the dogs for potential health issues. For instance, dogs had their heart and lungs checked to see if there were any cardio or respiratory issues. The veterinarians also checked the dogs’ feet and paws to make sure they were in good condition and that there were no orthopedic issues.
Last year, heat and humidity were a problem, but this year wasn’t as bad, said Andrea Monnig, DVM.
“Symptoms of heat exhaustion [and heatstroke] include elevated body temperature, difficulty breathing and increased respiration,” she said. “Fortunately, the dogs got a break this year with the cooler temperatures.”
The dogs received plenty of drinking water before, during and after the race. There were also cooling pools.
In addition, all dogs made mandatory stops during the middle of the race and veterinarians performed the same checkups on them and examined their feet for any blistering. Dogs were checked once again at the completion of the race.
The top three winners of the Doggy Dash were:
- Nathan Kucera and Beowulf, a 3-year-old Boxer, from New Haven, Conn.
- Bryan Scherich Blue, a 5-year-old black Labrador Retriever, from Durham, N.C.
- Kurt Skalamera and Bean, a 3-year-old Boston Terrier, from New York.
The winning dog took home a red fire hydrant. All participants received dog goodie bags.