Exercise is very important for both your dog’s health and development. However, it is not always easy to find an activity that fits. One of the most effective ways to exercise your dog is to ride a bike while your dog runs next to it. Before you try this, however, there are some tips you should follow if you want to ride a bike with your dog. In this article, we take a look at these guidelines.
What to consider if you want to ride a bike with your dog
The first thing you should do before you even consider taking your dog on a bike ride is to take him to the vet. Ask your veterinarian to examine your dog to see if he is in good enough shape for this type of activity.
If your dog is not in good enough shape, you can fix it by starting to take him on longer walks. In addition, you can gradually increase his physical activity for a few months. That way, he will be able to accompany you on your cycling adventures after a while.
However, if your dog is younger than one year old, or weighs less than 11 kilos, he will not be strong enough for this type of exercise. Let’s see what you should do before cycling with your dog:
It is very important to prepare yourself enough for this activity. To do this, make sure you have a helmet, knee pads and a reflective vest so that cars can see you.
Do not forget to bring water, not only for yourself, but also for your pet. Also remember your phone, your ID and a pump in case you get a puncture.
Prepare your pet
It is difficult to teach your dog to stay close to the bike without getting between the wheels or jumping out in front of cars. Although many people choose to leash on their pet and hold on to it, or even tie it to their bike, this is not the best option. The leash can get tangled in the bike’s chain or spokes, or you can even suffocate your pet.
It is also important that you have the right equipment to take your dog on a bike ride. For example, a padded harness with a shorter leash will prevent your dog from running out in front of cars. In addition, you should make sure that it is attached to a support that is connected to the bike.
If you can, also buy a reflective vest for your dog. In this way, he is visible to passing cars. This will also keep him safer in traffic. If you do not find one, you can look for a dog collar with flashing lights that you can use.
Also consider adding a small bike cart that you can pull behind the bike. If you want to take a very long bike ride, but are not sure that your dog will be strong all the way, a small bike cart can be a good idea. You should not hold the dog in your arms when cycling because it is very dangerous.
Train your dog
As we mentioned earlier, your dog may not run right next to you or he may want to run another way. It is therefore important that you train him so that he knows what he needs to do to be safe.
The first thing you should do if your dog is not used to being near your bike is to let him get used to it. The bike should be parked and you can let him examine it and sniff it. Make sure you stay close to him while he does this so that he feels safe. If you pat him and talk to him in a positive tone, he will relate the bike to something good.
Try to take the bike with you when you take him out for regular walks, but do not ride it. Once he gets used to it, you can try cycling short distances to see how he reacts to it. That way he can gradually get used to it.
Teach him commands
Before you can take your pet on long bike rides, it is very important that he can follow basic commands. These commands include, for example, stop, run, follow, or drop something he picked up from the ground.
This is something you need to teach your dog before you can ride your dog.
You should look for a quiet place without many people and cars. This reduces the potential threats to your dog. In addition, it is best to find a nice, flat bike path without any potholes. Even if you love cycling through mountains and terrain, this is not the best place to take your dog on his first bike ride.
And most importantly, make sure you do not ride too fast. Start slowly and increase the speed depending on how well your dog is doing.