Do you have an energetic dog you can barely keep up with? Literally, you can’t keep up during walks or runs? Then maybe you should try riding a bike with your dog! Learning how to bike with your dog can be very rewarding. Not only does it help burn off your dog’s excess energy but it can also be a good bonding activity with your furry best friend.
Check out the do’s and don’t’s before, during, and after you ride a bike with your dog below!
Before even considering cycling with your dog, you need to contact your vet first. There are some dog breeds that aren’t supposed to go cycling with you. You also need to check the age of your dog. If you have a puppy or senior dog, it might be best to go on rides alone. Or maybe bring them along in a bag or basket if your vet will allow it.
Once you have cleared everything with the vet and they give you the go signal to go biking with your dog, here are some things you need to do to start:
When it comes to dogs, training is a must for just about any activity. How to bike with your dog, sadly, does not come naturally to them.
Leash training is the first thing you need to start with. If your dog is properly leash-trained during walks, then it will definitely be easier for them to go on a bike ride with you.
You might be surprised but your dog isn’t the only one who needs training. You need to train how to ride a bike too. Get comfortable on solo rides on your bike. Once you are confident in your cycling skills, then you can let your dog join you.
Aside from training, you also need to prep your gear before riding. For starters, make sure you have the right leash for your dog. Cycling leashes are usually shorter than leashes that are used for regular walking.
You also need the right attachment for your bicycle. Most of the leash attachments are connected to your seat post or your rear bike gear.
During Your Ride
When it comes to the actual ride, just like with anything else, you need to start slow. How to bike with your dog will depend on your own bond, your pace, and your dog’s pace as well. You should also take note of the following during the ride:
Remember that dogs have a higher body temperature than you. So although it may be cool enough for a ride, it may still be too hot for a walk or run for your dog. If you will be riding in the city, check the pavement’s temperature first, it might burn your dog’s paw.
You should consider riding in terrain where the floor is naturally cool. Put your bike in the best hitch cargo carrier and drive up to the countryside with your four-legged pal. Both you and your dog can benefit from riding in the great outdoors as opposed to the city.
During your actual ride, do take a lot of breaks. Don’t go on one long ride. Your pet is prone to overheating and will need a lot of water breaks. Remember if you are feeling hot during the ride, your dog is probably feeling twice or thrice as much heat.
Once you are done riding with your dog, there are still a few do’s and don’t’s you need to follow.
Always give your dog a treat after the ride. This way, they can associate biking with you as a good or positive behavior. This can be in the form of food treats or scratches and of course a lot of compliments. Your dog will appreciate every “good boy” and “good girl” that you throw at them.
You should always check up on your dog while they are resting. There are signs of dehydration that might not immediately turn up during your ride. So be very cautious and always give your dog enough water.
Aside from dehydration, be sure to do a thorough check-up of your dog’s body, especially their paws. There might be signs of burns on their paws. Or if you have been riding in the countryside, there might be bits of twigs or bugs stuck on their fur.
Learning how to bike with your dog is easy enough as it is. However, do bring a lot of patience, and don’t force them to ride with you if they don’t want to. Another good tip is to always be prepared. Aside from having a few treats and a lot of water for your dog, have a first aid kit with you too. Finally, just have fun. Dogs love being with their owners and they will greatly appreciate the time you spend with them, whether trailing right beside your bike or riding on the bike with you.