Riding a Bike with Your Dog
Most dogs can easily outrun humans and seem to have a thousand times more energy. Many owners complain that they take their pups out for long walks and return home exhausted, while Fido precedes to do laps throughout the house. Riding a bike with your dog is a great way to get some extra exercise while making sure your dog gets all the exercise she needs.
Before taking your dog on a bike ride, it is important to get the OK from your vet. Some breeds should not run on pavement due to joint issues. It is also a good idea to make sure your pup is healthy overall before you begin increasing her daily exercise.
Many dogs need to become acclimated to a bike before they can begin running alongside one comfortably. Before you begin the bike ride, make sure your dog has relieved herself. This is very important so that your ride will not be frequently interrupted.
Start by having your dog on a three to four foot leash. Make sure you give your pup the opportunity to sniff the bike first. Then begin walking with the bicycle between you and your dog. It is very important to have a good hold of your dog’s leash, as some dogs may become frightened of the bike in motion and may try to run away from it. If this happens, go back to having the bike still and allowing your dog to smell it. If your dog continues to be scared of the movement, have someone ride slowly next to you while you walk your dog. Praise your dog and give her treats for walking calmly next to the bike.
Once your dog is comfortably walking alongside the bike, you can begin riding the bike with your dog trotting next to you. Be sure you always have a secure hold of your dog’s leash. There are several dog leashes made specifically for bike riding with your dog. Many of these allow you to attach your dog’s harness or collar to a leash that attaches to the bike seat. This makes riding safer as you can have both hands on the handlebars, and your dog is able to run safely and close to the bike.
For those owners who want to ride their bikes and take along their smaller pups who can’t keep up, a securely placed basket is a great option. Make sure your dog has a doggie seatbelt to avoid accidents.