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Home arrow Fitness arrow Cycling arrow Why You Should Try Out Biking With Your Dog

Why You Should Try Out Biking With Your Dog

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by Isabel Mayfield
HR_author_photo_Edna
Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Last update: May 28, 2023
6 min read 861 Views 0 Comments
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Discover the joy of exploring the great outdoors with your four-legged friend by learning how to safely bike with your dog.

biking with dog

Biking with your dog is an excellent way to build a stronger connection with your furry companion. It’s an enjoyable activity that offers many health benefits for both of you to improve your fitness levels.

Cycling helps you with weight loss by burning calories and toning your body. Additional health benefits of this activity include improved cardiovascular fitness, increased muscle strength and flexibility, better joint mobility, and reduced stress levels.

It’s also good for your dog’s health to spend time walking or running alongside you. It can boost their cardiovascular health and improve their muscle and joint strength. You’ll also notice a positive change in your dog’s mood.

Dr. Pam Reid, a certified applied animal behaviorist, suggests that exposing dogs to different sights, smells, textures under their paws, and unfamiliar sounds improves their mood.

Dogs are naturally curious, and outdoor activities allow them to satisfy their inquisitiveness. It can also address their behavioral problems, such as excessive barking or chewing.

10 Tips for a Fun Bike Ride With Your Dog

Now that you understand why biking with your dog is an excellent activity, let’s discuss the best tips to follow to avoid any unwanted scenarios.

#1 Make sure your dog behaves

Before going out for a bike ride with your dog running alongside, it’s important to make sure that they are well-behaved. That’s because taking poorly-trained dogs on an outdoor adventure can lead to unwanted and embarrassing situations.

Imagine a scenario where your dog pulls on the leash and starts barking at other dogs/people or chasing after a squirrel by ignoring your commands. Not only will it put you at risk of a biking mishap, but it can also compromise your grip on the dog bike leash, potentially leading to a runaway dog.

Therefore, always prioritize proper training and behavior before going out with your dog to keep them under control. A well-trained dog will display good behavior, even while walking off-leash, and they’ll follow your commands so you can have a smooth and enjoyable ride.

#2 Take care of your dog’s paw pads

Dog paw pads can be susceptible to damage when exposed to extended periods of biking on hard surfaces like asphalt. Therefore, it’s important to inspect your dog’s paw pads and limit prolonged rides on hard surfaces, especially if they are not accustomed to it.

You should also avoid biking on asphalt or concrete during hot times of the day, as it can burn your dog’s paws. Consider using a natural paw pad wax to toughen and condition the pads and keep your dog safe.

#3 Be mindful of the weather conditions

It’s important to check the weather conditions before hitting the road with your dog. It’ll help you make sure that it’s safe for both of you to go out.

During summers, avoid riding during the peak hours of the day when the sun is blazing, as heat can cause dehydration and overheating in dogs, leading to health risks. In winter, protect your dog from colder temperatures by dressing them appropriately.

Consider postponing your ride for another day if it’s raining heavily. That’s because slippery surfaces and poor visibility can make it unsafe for you to ride the bike.

#4 Bring enough water and snacks

Having enough water on hand is a must to keep your dog hydrated, especially during physical activities. So, make sure to pack a portable water bottle and a collapsible bowl for easy drinking.

Additionally, dogs love to refuel with tasty snacks to keep their energy levels up. Choose dog-friendly snacks that are nutritious and easy to carry, like small treats or bites.

These refreshments will help keep your dog happy, hydrated, and satisfied throughout the bike ride.

#5 Start out slow

When starting a bike ride with your dog, it’s important to begin at a slow pace. Take into consideration your dog’s ability and fitness level. It’ll allow your canine friend to warm up and gradually adjust to the activity.

It means you should provide your dog’s muscles and joints with enough time to build endurance. As you continue biking together, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of the rides as you see fit.

#6 Be alert for other trail users

While biking with your dog, it’s important to keep an eye out for pedestrians, cyclists, and runners who are sharing the same path. Remember that not everyone feels comfortable around dogs, so keep your pup under control.

There could also be many dogs on the trail, which means you’ll need to give them space to avoid any potential conflicts or unwanted interactions.

#7 Know your dog’s limits

Every dog is unique, and it’s crucial to consider their age, breed, fitness level, and overall health. Pay attention to signs of fatigue or discomfort that your pup shows during the ride.

If your dog starts panting, lags behind, or feels distressed, consider taking a break and offering them water.

Pushing your dog beyond its limits can lead to injuries and/or health issues. It can also make them resistant to exercise and/or develop anxiety, mobility issues, exhaustion, and lethargy.

#8 Follow local laws and regulations

It’s important to adhere to local laws and regulations when cycling with your dog. Different regions may have specific rules regarding dogs in public spaces. For instance, some trails or parks require dogs to be leashed, while a collar and identification tag is a must in some areas.

These laws are made to ensure the safety and accountability of dog owners and their pets. By familiarizing yourself with and following these regulations, you can avoid all potential legal issues.

#9 Try out different types of biking with a dog

Try different biking options with your dog to find what works best for both of you. You can use bike trailers, cargo bikes, or other specialized equipment designed for biking with dogs.

A bike trailer provides a safe and comfortable space for your dog to ride bikes with you. At the same time, a cargo bike offers a larger platform for your dog to sit or stand on.

These alternatives especially come in handy if your dog is elderly or can’t run for a long time due to some health issues. They can enhance your biking experience and accommodate dogs of different sizes and abilities.

#10 Have a plan in case of an emergency

When cycling with your dog, always be prepared for unexpected circumstances. It means you should have a well-thought-out plan for dealing with unwanted scenarios.

For example, you can install a microchip on your dog’s collar. It’ll help you find your canine friend if they become separated from you during the ride.

Additionally, you can also use a GPS tracker (specifically designed for pets). It’ll provide you with real-time location updates and help you track your dog easily.

A Word From Our Coach

Biking with your dog can be an exciting and rewarding experience, especially if you’ve never done it before. While it’s natural to feel a bit nervous about how things will go, there are a few key things to focus on to avoid accidents.

Firstly, take the time to train and familiarize your dog with biking. Start with short rides and gradually increase the duration. Remember, patience and consistency are key when teaching your dog to be a good cycling buddy.

Additionally, make sure that you choose the right gear for your dog. For example, consider investing in sturdy bike leashes that you can attach to the dog’s harness and the bike’s seat post. It’ll help you keep your friend under control.

Don’t forget to plan your routes wisely and choose dog-friendly areas with minimal traffic. You should also bring enough water and snacks for both of you and be mindful of the weather conditions. Keep an eye on your dog’s paws, especially when biking on hard surfaces.

Lastly, make sure to prepare your body for cycling by consuming nutritious foods pre-ride. It’ll fuel your rides and help you minimize digestive discomfort.

FAQs

Is it safe to go biking with your dog?

Yes, it is safe to go biking with your dog. However, it’s important to make sure that your dog is healthy, well-trained, and shows good behavior outdoors.

How long can you bike with your dog?

The duration of biking with your dog depends on their individual capabilities. Start with short 5- to 10-minute rides and increase gradually. Keep in mind that an average dog can run 2 to 5 miles. So, avoid exceeding their physical limits to ensure their safety and well-being.

Do you need special equipment to bike with your dog?

No, special equipment is not necessary for biking with your dog, as you only need a leash that can connect your dog’s harness to your bike’s seat. In some cases, you might not even need a leash as long as your pet is well-behaved and follows your instructions. However, if your dog is elderly or incapable of running longer distances, you can consider using cargo bikes, bike trailers, or even bike baskets.

Conclusion

Going out on a bike with your dog offers many health benefits, and it also allows you to strengthen your bond with your canine friend.

Remember to prioritize safety, pay attention to your dog’s limits, and equip yourself with the right gear and supplies.

It’ll allow you to cherish the bonding moments and fun memories you create together during your biking adventures.

Written by Isabel Mayfield
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
The article was fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
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Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by Isabel Mayfield
HR_author_photo_Edna
Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Last update: May 28, 2023
6 min read 861 Views 0 Comments
0 Comments

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