Lately, one of my favorite ways to get in my daily exercise is with a bike ride, but I feel guilty about leaving my furbaby at home while I’m gone. If did a bit of research on what to do about it. Guess what? If bike riding is a passion you enjoy, instead of leaving your poor beloved dog behind wondering where you leave for extended periods of time, why not take them along? Yup, you can do that! While there are concerns every dog owner has about this activity, taking the right precautions can lead to both a happy and healthier pet. Read on for some tips to make this enjoyable for the both of you.
Get A Checkup (If The Dog Will Run Beside The Bike)
Just like any human needs to consult with a physician prior to engaging in any strenuous activity, the same applies to dogs as well. Take your dog to the veterinarian and get the go ahead to proceed. It is recommended that a dog be at least 25 pounds as biking activities are best suited for medium to larger sized dogs. More muscular dogs may not have the endurance for longer distances such as breeds that have leaner builds. Bulldogs and pugs or any dogs with flatter face types also cannot travel for long distances as they quickly overheat. Physically they cannot move air in and out as efficiently as other dogs can.
Younger dogs should also be excluded until they are at least one year of age. Short legged dogs obviously have a disadvantage but one should know that longer bodied dogs also cannot tolerate distance as well either. Find out what’s best for your pet.
The Right Equipment
Racing bikes are not recommended so while taking the dog along, using a mountain or cruiser bike is the best. Specialty bikes such as recumbent or trikes can also work with some modifications. We are assuming from this point that you’re a safe rider and use the proper safety equipment such as a helmet, gloves and bright colored clothing with reflective highlights.
Specialty dog leashes made for this purpose. A hands free leash with non tangling lead extension. When analyzing different types, know that having the dog run alongside or more behind you is safer since they can judge where you are better than if they were a bit ahead, without you in view. A body harness will keep them safer as a standard collar could be dangerous if things go wrong. Watch your dog’s paw pads extra carefully during this time. Applying wax can help condition them while they build up some protection. Also consider footwear as an alternative, especially if you trek along rougher terrain. A cooling vest can work well during the warmer months.
Or, if you have a small pup like me, then he can ride with you! All you need is the best dog bike basket for your particular model of bike and you are ready to take the pup out for a ride! Personally, I think this is a better choice that letting the dog run along beside you. But, some people prefer to get the dog some exercise too!
As one can see, there is no reason not to take your dog along for the ride. Learn to carefully train them in the process by walking along with them with the bike at first. After some slow trials at a slower pace, your dog should quickly get acclimated and be ready for the journey that waits ahead for the both of you!