Biking can be an extremely enjoyable activity for both dog and owner when the right precautions are taken. We recommend biking with a bike leash for dogs that are at least 25 lbs. In most cases, biking with a bike leash is an activity that is best suited for medium to large dogs.
Your dog needs to be in good health, and it is ideal to get a checkup with your dog’s vet before beginning any serious exercise.
Dogs with slight builds will be able to bike for longer distances than heavier or more muscular breeds so keep this in mind when deciding how far to bike your pup. Breeds such as Bulldogs and Pugs that have flat faces are not designed for distance running because they can become overheated very quickly.
Biking is not an activity for puppies. Your dog should be at least a year old and a minimum of 25 lbs to start biking. They should be closer to a year and a half before biking longer distances. Please use common sense and bike trailers for dogs when biking. Build up stamina slowly and never push your dog beyond their means.
Here are our 5 Easy Tips for Riding a Bike with Your Dog:
Please use your best judgment when biking your dog and always err on the side of caution. As we all know, dogs will do anything to please their owners, and I would hate for someone to accidentally push their dog too hard. Your dog should always set the pace and distances should be limited until you have conditioned your dog properly.
What Equipment Do You Need?
- Ideally, it is best to use a cruiser or mountain style bike – something with standard or wider tires
- Something to bring water along for the ride. It is imperative to keep your pet hydrated.
- Cooling vests for summertime heat. I strap a large thermos with cool water to my bike.
- It is important to monitor the wear on your dog’s paw pads. They will toughen up over time.
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How Far To Ride
You cannot just start biking miles on your first time out. You need to increase your dog’s stamina gradually. Personally, I even feel like a couple of miles is plenty.
At the end of your ride, pay attention to how your dog reacts. Are they panting heavily for over 10 minutes and laying down (you probably went too far) or do they seem to be ready for more?
Dealing with Summer Heat
During the summertime when temperatures spike, it is vital to only bike your dog during cooler parts of the day and for shorter distances. If biking on pavement be sure to check the temperature of the pavement before biking and that your dog’s pads have become accustomed slowly to pavement riding. Always bring water along for the ride and take frequent breaks.
Asphalt and Rough Terrain
Please be mindful of the terrain you bike your dog on. While dogs’ paw pads are tougher than human feet, they too can be sensitive to rough terrain. This is especially true when beginning a biking regimen. Ideally, biking on grass or dirt trails is best, but this is not always possible. If biking on pavement is necessary, please make sure to build up your dog’s tolerance slowly over time and give the pads time to toughen up.
This is a guest post written by Elizabeth, and she is the founder of www.thehomemakersjournal.com. She is a passionate mommy blogger and writes about homeschooling, parenting, crafts, home décor, etc.