Yes, we do love going outdoors with our dogs. But beyond a morning or afternoon walk, we sometimes go beyond that. Biking with your dog can be risky at times, which is why know-how on a safe ride with him is important. This article will help you learn and enjoy a safe dog bike ride all the time. Are you ready to get your pup to engage with your biking adventure? Go ahead then.
What to expect below are:
- Preparing Your Dog for an Exercise
- Starting a Safe Bike with Your Dog
- Getting Dog to Keep Up with Your Bike
- Preparing Your Dog for an Exercise
Okay, let us discuss each of them one after the other.
1. Preparing Your Dog for an Exercise
Get your pooch ready for an exercise to make sure that he can keep up with you when riding a bike. Have his veterinarian check her over before an exercise routine. He should not be too young nor too old for sustained workouts.
See to it that your dog has no health issues that can aggravate when doing strenuous new exercise. This is very important especially when you ride a bike and he is running alongside.
A regular walk would be great for a start, especially for overweight dogs. As he progresses, let him do more strenuous workouts such as running alongside you while biking. Be mindful that biking with dogs needs proper preparation.
Safe Gear for Biking for Your Pup
When your furry best friend is ready for the bike ride, gather the supplies needed for his safety. Know which gear is essential for biking. Below are some of the things you have to prepare for him:
- Bicycle dog leash. Make sure that the leash is attached to your bike to keep him away from the wheels.
- Water bottles for hydration. This is for both of you.
- Reflective harness. Attach the lead to a fitted body harness. Never attach the lead to a neck collar to prevent a potential accident.
- First aid kit. A small kit is recommended.
- Reflective tape. This serves as an alternative to a reflective harness. You may also use reflective tape to his existing harness.
- Extra dog leash. This additional item can be used when he is not attached to the bicycle.
Make the biking spree more enjoyable with some extra supplies such as:
- Gear for cold weather (inclement weather)
- Reflective and/or waterproof rain gear
- Dog boots (a pair designed for hiking to protect his feet from slippery, cold, or hot surfaces as well as from jagged objects.)
2. Starting a Safe Bike with Your Dog
So, it’s his first time riding a bike with you. First things first. Understand his limitations and abilities. Let him observe the bicycle when it is standing still. Start walking the bike with him nearby while giving her treats while keeping up with your pace.
Never rush him to get used to it. In biking with him, it’s all about training. There’s always a learning curve for him just as the first time you hop on a bike to learn. It may take a number of practice sessions before he gets comfortable then start making him ride the bike.
There are some tricks that you can do to make him ride in your next bike adventure. You may try the following:
Teach Some Biking Cues
Once confident enough in the practice runs, teach him the cues used during the ride. Among the common cues here include making turns, bringing his attention to you, stopping, and slowing down. It would be advisable to teach these cues every time you walk him down then continue when biking.
Use simple words and then use treats to reinforce his behavior. Teach in an upbeat voice in changing direction then whistle before making a turn. When she falls near you, make sure to give him a treat.
Make him respond to the word/term “watch” so he can concentrate on you and not environmental distractions. During the practice, always reward him with small treats. He will eventually be accustomed to the cues and anticipate your every action.
Location is Everything
Another important consideration is the location. Busy highways and roads can be dangerous so avoid them as much as possible. Biking with a pet actually triples the riding width although some dogs have wide shoulders.
Being honked at by vehicles or the noise of the highway may just scare him away. Might as well bike in rural areas or dirt or less-traveled roads. Old railroad tracks converted to walking or biking trails could be ideal since they are scenic, quiet, and flat.
3. Practice Safety in Bicycle Leash
Always use a bike leash assembly over a regular leash. It is risky to attach a regular leash directly to the frame of the bile or to hold on to a regular leash when you are biking.
Most of the bike’s baton attachments are equipped with a spring system that can absorb pulling motions. This is for the protection of both the riders and their dogs.
The special leash comes with baton assembly. When he pulls away, you may outbalance the bike and fall from it. Also, it may get caught up in its spokes.
Never walk away from the bike when he is still attached to it every time you stop. Your pet may panic, hurt, or try to run away if your bike accidentally falls. This may even cause him to drag the bike behind him, causing more trouble. He may only get traumatized from being around bicycles.
As a general rule, 2-3 miles is already a good workup goal for most dogs. The athletic ones with much time and training can go for longer distances.
Shorten the distance if your dog pants for long as he needs a break too. Fall and spring are the best times for biking. It is just too hot to do this during the summer months.
Moreover, it is important to introduce this activity to him slowly. Stop when necessary and then stop at some point whenever they are distressed or nervous. Passenger dogs must be secured using a harness.
Dog Acclimatization Alongside a Bicycle
Try using soft paths like dirt or grassy paths. Acclimate him to an exercise routine and never expect him to run long distances. Start the ride at a walking speed for a short distance.
Level up to a trotting speed once he gets used to this in one or two weeks’ time. But before doing this, let him have a warm-up walk for 10 minutes.
Keep an eye on your pup and stop if you find him already tired, lose coordination, drool excessively, or pant heavily. Stop and let him rest and get a drink if he slows down.
Control the pedal at a pace allowing him to keep up with you. Distractions like an animal, person, or another dog causing him to pull away.
When taking breaks when riding, praise him all the time as he is a good biking partner. He needs praise to give him motivation.
4. Getting Dog to Keep Up with Your Bike
Your pooch may not be able to keep up with your biking for a lot of reasons. If he is still a puppy, this strenuous exercise may only affect his bone growth. There are dog breeds that cannot do more than light walking. These breeds include Boston Terriers, English Bulldogs, Pugs, and French Bulldogs.
Dogs that are overweight may do short bursts of light exercise. On the other hand, the health-compromised and older ones may not do good in cycling. Don’t worry as there are many other ways for him to enjoy the ride.
Remember that it is likely for a dog to develop degenerative joint disease as he grows older. He may only suffer from stiff joints or soreness when rested although running can be an easy task for him. older dogs need cooldown walks and slow warm-up.
Bike Baskets and/or Trailers
Bike baskets and trailers for dogs would be helpful in giving him a safe ride. Get him a bike basket for easy biking without worrying that he can’t keep up. Use a dog harness in securing his safety in the basket. He won’t be able to jump out from it and cause a hazard or get hurt.
A bike carrier or trailer would be another option. This is also a great option for larger breeds of dogs or multiple dogs. Choose carriers particularly designed for carrying dogs.
Trailers with built-in harness systems are dog friendly as they prevent dogs from jumping off. Their cover function as shelter during inclement or hot weather. Meanwhile, the top remains open so he can put his head out for an enjoyable ride.
Keep in mind that your dog needs some time to get accustomed to a new activity like bike rides. Give him more time to feel comfortable riding with a bike leash or in a bike basket before riding. There, you and your lovely pet would now enjoy your bike ride wherever your wheels will take you.
Here are some frequently asked questions from dog owners:
Is it safe to bike with your dog?
Yes, a bike ride with your dog is safe provided that you know the precautionary measures.
How do you take a dog on a bike?
for your dog to get on the bike, train him to do so with the right, safety equipment like a bike attachment. Always keep your dog safe and make your dog comfortable all the time.
Can you scooter with a dog?
Yes, you can take your dog in a scooter other than dog biking.
What is dog exercise intolerance?
Dog’s exercise intolerance is when he is incapable of keeping up with the physical activity you are giving him.
Use the basic, safety tips and simple steps to make biking with your dog fun, exciting, and more rewarding. Always remember to practice safety and do some proper training and planning for a great engagement.