Biking with Your Best Buddy
Dog parents are always looking for new ways to share their favorite activities with their furry babies. And, biking is no different. Whether riding in a bike trailer or running alongside your bike, cycling is a great activity to share with your pup.
Here are some tips and suggestions for you to safely enjoy your biking adventures with Fido by your side.
Ride-Along or Running
First, decide what would make cycling the most enjoyable for your dog. Small dogs, older pups, less active breeds, or those with short muzzles, like pugs and bulldogs, are probably best suited for riding in a bike trailer or basket.
Smaller dogs—those that weigh about 15 pounds—can enjoy riding on the front or rear of your bike in a basket carrier. With tons of options, like this adorable wicker basket that even includes a canopy to keep your pooch shaded, you can always find something that fits your bike and your dog.
Larger, more active breeds typically enjoy running next to their cycling human. However, it’s important to make sure that your best bud is safe while trotting alongside you. Choosing a bike leash that’s specially designed to support your dog when they join you on bike outings is essential. Not only should the lead be sturdy and comfortable during bike rides, pick a style that can detach easily for stops and potty breaks during your adventures.
Whether your good boy is running next to you or riding in a basket, make sure that your dog is familiar with the movement and sensations associated with cycling. Start by gradually introducing them to your bike by walking them near the bike and offering treats. Some dogs may be quick to acclimate, while others may be a little skittish, just be patient. It may take a few days or weeks before your dog is comfortable with the bike.
Once your dog is more confident around the bicycle, try placing them in the basket or attaching them to the bike leash. Then, move the bike slowly while walking on the opposite side of it. According to TheDogOutdoors.com, this gets your dog used to being next to the bike and helps them understand that it’s no different than being leashed for a regular walk. Still walking beside the bike, practice turning left and right, as well as making u-turns.
Now, it’s time to hop on your bike and give it a go. Make the first few rides short—only about 10 minutes—and in low-traffic or private areas. This will give you and your dog time to adjust the pace and work on stopping.
Preparation and Precautions
No matter if you and your dog are novices or seasoned cycling buddies, here are a few tips to make every ride your best.
- Bring water. Cycling can be a strenuous activity. Make sure that you bring enough water to keep you and your dog hydrated.
- Use extra caution in warmer months. The heat of summer months can leave your dog susceptible to heat exhaustion, heatstroke, or injured pads from running on hot asphalt. Try to limit your rides to early morning hours to avoid the heat of the day. If the day is excessively hot, leave Fido at home and bring them on a cooler day.
- Get in sync. Find a pace that’s enjoyable for you and that doesn’t stress your dog. If your dog is having trouble keeping up at any point, don’t drag them. Slow your pace or stop altogether to make sure that your best pal is okay to continue the ride.
- Follow the basic rules of walking. Pick up after your dog and be courteous to others along your route.
- Prep your bike. You’ve made sure that your dog is ready, but what about your bike? Ensure that your lights and brakes are in good working order.
Cycling is a great exercise and gives you even more bonding time with your pup. Just make sure that you’re both safe and prepared before embarking on your next adventure.