It's safe to say that a good portion of bike riders of all types own at least one dog. Dogs, like us, need exercise, so bringing your dog along for the ride can seem like a natural idea.
At first thought, you may have that vision of yourself that you see in commercials or advertisements: casually riding down the sidewalk, while your dog happily trots alongside next to you, obedient as can be, creating lots of smiles for those passing by.
While some may have a dog capable of doing this from the outset, in reality most don't -- at least not immediately on the first try.
It's not just an obedience issue, however. Dogs have fitness levels just like us that depend on not only their health, but breed and build as well. There’s also the aspect of how well you do when riding with your dog.
Curious on suggestions on riding with your dog? We’ve got you covered.
We’ll go ahead and get this out of the way first. There are a few things you need to steer clear of when riding with your dog.
For one, if your dog is under 25 lbs, it’s best to not take them for conventional rides, as in, running next to you as you ride.
Smaller dogs aren’t built for activities like this, so if you’d like them to come with, you're going to have to do the work for them. You can get a bike trailer that holds your dog, or you can just opt for an extra dog seat for your bike, if they are able to safely fit in one.
Also, remember to not push your dog too hard. Oftentimes dogs won’t show how tired they are when they are excited, or trying to please you. And never ride without a leash, no matter what, always keeping the dog to your side; not in back, and not in front.
Here are some simple tips to ensure a fun, safe, and successful ride with your dog, starting from the beginning.
Get your dog used to your bike before attempting a ride. This can be as simple as leaving your bike out in the backyard for a few days so your dog gets used to it, or sitting on your bike and giving your dog some treats while you pedal or walk around the driveway or yard.
Ease into it when you first start. This may be as short as riding once around the block, or even just down the street. The next day, try two blocks, with small rests in between until you feel comfortable handling your dog, and it’s comfortable staying by your side while riding. Be sure to have lots of treats on hand, especially at first.
Just as you need to build your dog's skills up, their fitness will need to increase as well. Start with small distances, gradually increasing distance by 10% 3-4r days. Once they get up to a 2 mile distance, you’ll need to a day of rest in between rides for them to recuperate.
Always bring plenty of water, and a backup leash if possible. And don’t forget the plastic bags to clean up any accidents.
There are several choices for gear and accessories for your dog that goes beyond clothing. If their paws are sensitive, consider getting paw protectors. You can also use topical products to strengthen their paw pads. For hot climates, purchase a cooling vest to make your dog more comfortable.
Bike riding with your dog can be a fun and rewarding experience for you both when the time is ready. By using common sense, and our tips above, you can turn ride time into some mutually beneficial quality time together, while making your pup happier and healthier in the process.
This post was last updated on June 5th, 2018 at 02:11 pm
Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.
How To Choose Between A Cyclocross Vs. Hybrid Bikes
2018’s Best Balance Bikes: Top 8 Picks For Toddlers & Kids
Complete Guide To Bike Panniers
2018’s Best Hybrid Bikes: Top 9 Comfort Bikes For Men & Women
2018’s Best BMX Bikes: 14 Top Trick Bikes For Kids, Professionals & Freestylers
The Case For And Against Bike Training Wheels