6 Tips on How to Bike With A Dog Safely

how to bike with a dog safely

 It’s always more fun to take your dog with you when you go out for a walk, or hike, or jog…but what about biking? Cycling with your dog is great, but there are some special tips on how to bike with your dog safely. Here are just a few expert tips we’ve gathered to ensure that both you and your dog can safely enjoy a bike ride together!

 

1. Consult Your Vet

How to bike safely with your dogHealthy, energetic dogs generally enjoy accompanying their humans on bike rides. At the same time it is a highly physically demanding task, even for the most athletic breeds. Experts recommend not biking with small dogs (under 25 pounds), though there are special bike carriers designed for smaller breeds. Dogs with flat faces and short legs should not be taken on bike rides, they just aren’t designed for long distance running. Dogs under about a year old should not be taken on these rides either, they most likely aren’t developed enough physically to handle the task. 
If you are thinking about how to bike with a dog without putting your dog in danger, talk to your vet before starting. 

 

2. Don’t Rush into Things

Start out gradually by walking with your bike while walking your dog. This will ensure that your dog is comfortable with being around the bike. Bicycles are strange to dogs. Without letting them get used to the machine, you risk having an accident that can injure both you and your pup. You can also walk them in an area frequented by cyclists to continue the desensitization process.

 

3. Be Patient with Training

Transition from walking with your bike to riding it with your dog by your side. Start out slowly and let your dog guide the pace. You can start with one foot on a pedal and one on the ground until your dog is comfortable. It will be worth it in the long run as they fully understand and enjoy the cycling exercise. A big dog pulling in the wrong direction or passing in front of a wheel is bad for both of you! Take your time so that both of you are comfortable with each other while riding

 

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4. Mind the Weather

Be especially careful when biking with your dog during the summer months. Though dogs love to run, they can easily over exert themselves while having too much fun. Take shorter rides during the coolest times of the day, bring along plenty of water, take breaks if you’re going out for a while, and remember that the pavement temperature can be hotter than the air temperature.

 

5. Have the Proper Gear

How to bike with your dog safelyIt can be dangerous to tie your dog’s regular leash to your bike. Invest in a leash specifically designed to tether your dog’s harness safely to your bike, such as the Bike Tow Leash or the Walky Dog Bike Leash. A leash like this helps maintain a safe distance between you and your four-legged friend. 

A few other pieces of equipment are useful in ensuring safety and the best experience for both of you and your dog.

Products such as the Musher’s Secret can help condition and protect your dog’s pads, which can easily get worn out as a result of frequent running on pavement.

Cooling vests are nice as well during the scorching summer months and can even be used as extra storage for things such as water bottles.

Speaking of water bottles, be sure to bring something for your dog to drink while on the road. It’s important they stay hydrated during a ride.

For smaller dogs (under 25 lb) who shouldn’t run alongside a bike, there are trailers designed to keep them safe, that are worth investing in if you want them to enjoy the ride alongside you.

 

6. Watch for Others

Keep an eye out for off-leash dogs in the area, and even leashed dogs that could come too close and get tangled. Dogs that like to run after wildlife (like squirrels) should be trained to ignore other animals on the trail with a firm “No” command.
It’s important to respect others on the road. A big goofy dog having the time of his life, running at full speed next to you can be pretty big hazard if you’re sharing the road with other bikers and unable to control him. This is why a Dog Bike Leash is important in letting you maintain proper distance between you and others.

These few tips should be able to guide you on how to bike with your dog safely. With a few precautions it is great bonding and exercise for you and your pet. Biking is fun, but biking with your dog is way more fun!

 

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  • Aaron Seminoff
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