As dog lovers, we are always seeking fun ways to spend time with our furry canine friends in our day-to-day lives. Dogs by nature love the outdoors and staying active, and regular exercise is paramount to their mental health and well-being.
If you have a high-energy canine that never gets enough of those long walks, then one of the most adventurous ways to spend a fun day out and bond with your four-legged friend is to take them on a bike ride with you. Not to mention it provides an excellent workout for you and your scruffy friend.
If you are contemplating bringing your dog along for a bike ride but have never done so before, then do not fret. Let us look through some essential tips you must consider to safely take your faithful companion on a bike ride and experience the fun and thrill like never before.
Know its Ability
Your dog may appear completely healthy and full of energy and stamina. However, it would still be a wise idea to have a veterinarian examine its health before starting a new exercise routine to make sure it is safe. If your dog is overweight or has any underlying health issues, rigorous exercise like bike riding may worsen their condition.
You should know that if your dog is old, it is at risk of degenerative joint disease (arthritis). While running may not be a problem, it may experience soreness or stiff joints later on.
Besides, long runs do not suit many dog breeds. Short-nosed or brachycephalic dogs like bulldogs, mastiffs and pugs are not capable of much more than just a light walk and can have a hard time breathing normally. Therefore, strenuous exercise like biking may not be a good idea if you own such a breed.
Introduce Your Dog to the Bike
If your pooch has never been around your bike before, then start out easy by introducing the dog to the bike. Walking the bike slowly with your dog beside you on a leash is a good way to make your dog comfortable walking alongside the bike. Now that the dog has become accustomed to moving with the bike, it will happily trot alongside you.
To begin with, start riding at a moderate pace on easy paths for short distances. Teach your dog basic biking cues like stop, turn, and slow in the meantime. Do not forget to give your pal lots of praise and treats along the way for positive reinforcement. Gradually, you can try biking at a slightly faster speed and increase the intensity of your rides as your dog gets acclimated to this new exercise.
You must not rush and expect your furry friend to make long-distance trips right from the beginning. Increasing the distance and duration slowly and gradually will prevent soreness and injury. It will help your dog’s respiratory and musculoskeletal system adapt to more intense workloads and is the safest way to go.
Use a Dog Bike Carrier
If your canine best friend is not fit to run and you would still like to bring them along with you, do not despair. You can use a dog bike carrier and take your animal companion out for a ride without having to worry about it being able to keep up with the pace or distance.
Most dog bike carriers or trailers have built-in harnesses to prevent your dog from hopping out and a cover to protect them during hot or inclement weather.
Likewise, if your dog is less than 30 lbs, you can attach a Buddyrider booster seat to your bike and take it out for a fun ride with ease. As mentioned at this Buddyrider booster seat supplier, the seat is best suited for smaller breeds.
With that said, it can fit almost all modern adult bikes and provides the utmost safety and comfort for you and your dog. The buddy rider pet seat mounts easily over the center of the bicycle, which makes handling virtually problem-free.
Observe Your Dog
Not every dog has the endurance of a labrador or a husky, nor is every dog a working breed. It is crucial to keep a close eye on your dog and monitor its health at all times when cycling. Dogs do not have the same endurance and stamina as humans. The bike ride is more for your dog than it is for you. Accordingly, ride at an average pace at which your canine friend can keep up with easily without getting exhausted.
Avoid rides in hot weather or on rough trails in the heat. Take it slow and easy with plenty of breaks in between. If your dog is panting heavily, seems tired, drooling excessively, or shows signs of discomfort at any point, stop right there and take a break. Have a good supply of cool water with you to keep yourself and your dog hydrated at all times.
Use a Dog Leash Bike Attachment
A bike leash attachment is essential for safely riding a bike with your dog and the best way to protect it from the wheels and traffic. Holding onto a regular leash in your hand or attaching the leash to your bike’s handlebar can both be dangerous.
There is always the possibility of the dog pulling you off balance leading to a fall. A bike attachment will ensure that the canine is not positioned too close to your bike and keeps a safe distance from the wheels.
That will prevent the leash from getting entangled in the wheel spokes, which could result in serious injury to you both. Harnessing your dog and leashing him to the non-traffic side of your bicycle will ensure maximum safety out on the road for both you and your scruffy friend.
It will keep your hands free, making it easier to stir the bicycle while ensuring the dog is walking safely alongside you at all times. Riding a bike with your dog and watching them enjoy it to the fullest makes for an incredibly fun and rewarding experience.
With that said, you must prioritize your safety as well as your furry friend and take appropriate safety measures to prevent any unwanted trouble or mishaps. Some preparation and forethought before you hit the road with full throttle could potentially save your dog’s life and your own.