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Tips for Safely Biking with Your Dog

Bike rides are a great form of exercise and allow you to explore new and exciting places in your area. However, they can be a bit lonely. That’s why taking your dog along with you on a bike ride can be a great way to add a little extra excitement. Not only that, but your dog will also enjoy a bike ride.

With so many ways to take your dog out on your bike, w’are going to explore some top tips for safely biking with your dog, so prepare your furry friend to tag along too. 

Whether your dog is small or large, this guide will provide you with the answers you need to get started. 

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Is Biking With My Dog Safe?

As with most animals, making sure your dog is comfortable is the first step to making sure biking with your dog is safe. 

Considering the size of your dog is extremely important, as smaller dogs are likely to struggle to run alongside a bike. 

Dogs which have health conditions such as breathing difficulties, are elderly, or are low energy are unlikely to enjoy a bike ride. Therefore, it’s important to consider other options when deciding how to safely bike with your dog. If you are unsure as to whether it is safe to bike with your dog, consult a vet before setting off on your first ride. 

However, biking with your dog can be safe if the correct health and safety measures are taken. For dogs who are running alongside your bike, it’s a great form of exercise of them. But building up to a long bike ride is key when it comes to dog safety and always remember to provide lots of water and rest time. 

Smaller dogs may enjoy being put in a basket or trailer behind your bike as they get to enjoy being out and about. 

Is Your Bike Dog-Ready?

Finding out whether your dog is bike-ready is important before setting off. Trying out riding somewhere quiet where your dog can easily stop at any time is a great way to start. You’ll quickly be able to tell if your dog likes it or not. 

For an elderly dog, a short ride is a good way to start to figure out if it’s feasible to have your dog run alongside you. However, if you are carrying your older dog in a basket, they can enjoy a longer bike ride. 

In cases of young dogs, it is also important that their musculoskeletal development is complete before getting them to run alongside you on your bike. 

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Equipment needed for a bike ride with your dog

You may assume that taking your dog for a bike ride is simple and only requires a lead alongside your bike. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Dogs require special harnesses and a bike-safe lead. 

Using the harness provides extra security and avoids any pressure on their neck which may occur with a normal lead if used at speed. 
A bike lead provides an attachment for your bike which allows you to focus on steering and the path ahead. If you notice your dog is struggling to keep up alongside your bike, it is important to stop and take a breather for your dog to be able to rest. 

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Getting Your Dog Ready for Exercise

Getting your dog ready for exercise is a crucial part of safely biking with your dog. Going on a long journey straight away could be hard for your dog to keep up.

Biking with larger dogs

If you have a larger dog, then it’s likely you’re going to want them to run alongside you, as opposed to having them in a trailer behind. 

Therefore, if you are looking to bike with a larger dog, it’s important to consider the following tips before riding:

  • The length of your bike ride
  • The speed you will go 
  • Equipment needed for your dog
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Biking with smaller dogs

A smaller dog is a great companion on a bike ride. But it’s likely that your smaller dog will require a trailer or a dog basket. Both options are great for dogs and are ideal for them to enjoy a bike ride. 

Dog trailer

If you have a dog who is small, you may consider putting them in a trailer, this is also a great idea if you have a disabled dog. A trailer can provide an additional sense of security for your dog. When looking at trailers, it’s important to consider:

  • Sturdiness 
  • The size of your dog
  • Security 
  • The comfort for your furry friend
  • The weight of the trailer

Considering the size of the trailer is important as the larger the trailer, the heavier it is, which may in turn make it harder for you to break or turn quickly. 

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Dog basket

If you decide to go ahead and get a dog basket, it’s a great option for your small dog on a bike ride. Dog baskets are ideal for small dogs, such as a Jack Russell, Dachshund, or a Yorkshire Terrier. 

Make sure your dog basket is secured and your dog collar is attached to the basket to avoid any escapees. 

What Are The Benefits Of a Bike Ride With Your Dog?

There are so many amazing benefits when it comes to riding a bike with your dog. Here are just 5 amazing benefits of riding a bike with your dog.  

A better form of exercise 

A dog running alongside your bike is bound to burn off tons of energy, therefore it’s a great activity to do with your dog. It’s a great way to help your dog with any excess energy. 

It’s fun for your dog

Whether your dog is sitting in a basket, chilling out in the trailer, or beside you, your dog will be having the time of its life. 

With so many new and exciting things (and people) to see, dogs can truly enjoy themselves in a new location. 

Dogs love a challenge 

Cycling with your dog is ideal if they enjoy a challenge and the new locations on longer bike rides are fun for dogs too. 

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Best breeds for biking with your dog

Your dog doesn’t need to be a certain size to enjoy a bike ride with you. However, if you’re looking for a dog to run alongside you as you ride, bigger dog breeds such as Huskies and Boxers are great choices. 

What If Your Dog Can’t Keep up With Your Bike?

When going on a bike ride with your dog it is important to let them set the pace. Therefore, if you hear them breathing heavily, you feel like you are pulling them along, or notice they are slowing down, it’s important to stop. 

As with any exercise, a warm-up is important. Start off at a slow pace for your dog to able to walk alongside you. Then build up your bike rides in increments of about 10-15 minutes at a time to allow your dog to build up stamina. 

Take care when riding with your dog, and make sure not to pedal too fast and to keep at a more consistent pace. 

Weather conditions to avoid 

If you are planning on heading out on a bike ride with your dog it’s also important to consider different weather conditions. If it’s a warm day, you may be tempted to take your dog on a bike ride during the day. However, it may be better to go early in the morning or evening when it’s cooler. 

On the flipside, mad weather like rain and snow can be extremely slippery for any bike rider and their furry friend. Therefore, avoiding a bike ride in bad weather may also be key to safely biking with your dog. 

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Final Things To Consider When Cycling With Your Dog 

Before setting off on your bike ride, here are some final things to consider:

  • Location - Heading into a city or busy town unless you’re both confident isn’t the best idea -  Especially if they’re running alongside you. Aim for an open area, such as a forest or a park. 
  • Avoid the roads - Although this may seem like a given, it’s important to avoid your dog being on the road too, and it may be frowned upon to bring a dog with you into a cycle lane.
  • Have fun - Dogs love being outdoors and enjoy exercise, so this is a great way to have a good time with your dog and provide them with hours of satisfaction.