5 Tips for Safe Biking With Your Dog
If you love biking and you’re a dog owner, biking with your dog can be a really fun activity for you and your pooch. Your dog can run alongside you, or you can place them in a sidecar, bike basket, or trailer. There are different ways to bike with your dog, and you can be sure your dog will appreciate the adventure you’re taking them on.
Like with many other things in your dog’s life, one of the most important things is safety. You need to ensure your dog’s safety during your biking expedition, and that is something all responsible dog owners will take seriously. There are things to consider and precautions to be made. Here are World Dog Finder’s 5 tips for safe biking with your dog.
1. Make sure your dog can take it
One of the first things you need to ensure is that your dog’s physical condition can withstand biking. Your dog needs to be in good physical condition so they can run for a few miles next to you biking. If you have an older dog with painful joints, this exercise is not a viable idea. Talk to your vet and make sure your dog can withstand so much physical activity.
Some breeds are genetically more energetic. Their constitution and build allow them to run for hours. However, brachycephalic breeds, like the Bulldog, simply can’t withstand so much physical activity. You should make sure with your vet your dog can run so much.
2. Mind the weather
Biking is mainly associated with warmer summer weather. There is nothing better than feeling a refreshing breeze on your face during those hot, sweaty days. Again, our dog’s constitution is different from ours, which means you have to be careful when exercising them during the hottest parts of the day.
As a responsible owner, you should make sure the weather and the temperature are suitable for your dog. Active breeds like the Border Collie can undoubtedly run for hours, but they have thick, double coats that make them prone to heatstroke. Never go biking with your dog running next to you while the sun is absolutely scorching. The concrete can be too hot for your dog, and the dog can suffer heatstroke. Instead, pick early mornings or late evenings for biking. It is better and safer for both of you.
This is probably something you already know, but it is also something that cannot be repeated enough - bring enough water. Even if you’re going for a short ride, take a bottle of water with you. You never know what might happen. You can see someone you haven’t seen in a while, start talking, and your dog might be very thirsty. Plus, water is something you will need for yourself, as well.
One of the most dangerous things dog owners might not be aware of is dehydration. Humans can take things like Pedyalite, but in dogs, dehydration is a bit more complicated. It will most likely require veterinary attention, and many owners fail to recognize dehydration signs. You can read more about it here - Dehydration in dogs.
Biking can even be an activity for dogs who can’t run as much as some active breeds. Small dogs like Chihuahuas, Maltese, or Shih Tzus can also enjoy biking with their owners. However, the difference is - the dog will be riding with the owner. There is different equipment you can use to transport and ride with your dog safely.
If you have a small dog, you can get a bike basket. This is a secure way for small dogs to enjoy this activity. Look for options that offer comfort, enough space, and safety. Look for bike baskets with leash clips, padding, and a sturdy build. You don’t want to end up putting your dog into something flimsy and unstable.
Another possible thing you can get is a bike trailer. This might be a great way to get some exercise for yourself. Place your large dog in a bike trailer, and pretty soon, you will be riding a bike that has quite a bit of weight in the back. This is an ideal way for large and giant breeds to enjoy this activity, especially if they can’t run like they used to.
Like with anything else you want to teach your dog, the key step is training. There aren’t many dogs like Togo, the sled dog, and they feel natural as soon as you place them close to a bike. If you believe this is an activity for you and your dog, you should take your time and get your dog used to biking. Never rush them.
Training and getting your dog used to running politely next to your bike might take time. You should start getting them used to it step by step. Start with short distances. Practice on your street or in the park, where there are fewer chances of your dog getting hurt. Slowly increase the distance you cover, and make sure you always reward your dog for their good behavior. If you take things slow, your dog will be more comfortable with your new activity, and pretty soon, you will have a fantastic biking partner that can follow you anywhere you go.
World Dog Finder team