Dogs love to go anywhere with their owners. So why wouldn’t they enjoy a biking excursion? Here are some tips for bicycling with your best friend.
Biking is a fun activity not only for you, but also one that can be done with your dog. Whether you have an athletic dog who’s able to keep up with the pace of a bike or a smaller pet who just wants an outing, riding in a bicycle basket, biking together is an excellent bonding experience for an owner and his (or her) best friend.
Tips for Safe Biking
Start by walking with the bike – Easy does it when you’re just starting out. First you have to introduce him to the process, showing him how you‘re attaching his leash to your bike. For the first few outings, just walk (rather than ride) your bike, alongside your dog. When your dog gets used to the idea, jump on your bike and go slowly. Only go around the block the first time, followed by a few more blocks as your dog adjusts to this new activity.
Don’t overdo it – Realize that you’re doing this mostly for your dog. Although you may easily endure a 30 to an hour bike trip, ten to fifteen minutes is enough running, alongside a bike, for your dog.
Use an extra “hand.“ – Rather than use your dog‘s leash, free up your leash hand so you can devote your attention to steering your bike. This is easy when you use Springer, a low mounted coiled leash for bicycling with your dog. Used as an owner’s third hand, Springer helps dogs keep in pace with their owners as they run alongside your bicycle. Springer protects your dog from not only traffic, but also safeguards your bicycle’s wheels and pedals. Its coil spring is designed to take in Fido’s unexpected pulling, making it even easier to use than if you were walking him (or her) on a leash.
Avoid extreme heat – In the warm summer months, reserve biking outings for early mornings or early evenings (before it gets dark). Besides being hard on your dog’s breathing, extreme heat is also tough for his paws on a hot pavement.
Biking With Small Dogs
Use a dog basket – Although smaller dogs need exercise too, it’s best to at least begin by them in a bicycle basket. Just be sure your dog is safely buckled in the basket.
If your dog has special needs or is an older dog, don’t let that stop you from taking him along for a ride. There are several products available to help handicapped dogs enjoy a biking trip. Of course you have to carefully secure a small dog well in a basket. However, if it’s a problem with weak paws or an aging dog who can’t keep up as fast, then protect your dog’s paws with special boots. NeoPaw dog boots have rubber soles that’s also ribbed, preventing slipping, giving excellent traction for walking. What’s more the boots’ water resistant cuffs prevent slipping, as well as give added protection if your dog tends to drag his feet on walks.
Finally, select biking trails where there isn’t a lot of traffic. If you don’t live in a quiet suburban neighborhood, its probably best to throw your bike in your trunk and drive to a nearby dog park. Not only will you and your dog get to bike together, but you’ll also meet other dogs and owners on walks. After the bike trip (and Fido has rested), why not just take your dog on a short walk so he can socialize with other canines.