How To Cycle With Your Dog
If you enjoy cycling, you might want to take your 4-legged friend with you. However, this can be difficult and dangerous if you do not do it correctly. That is why you need to know what your options are for cycling with your dog and which one you should be choosing.
There are 2 options when it comes to cycling with your dog. The first is to have your dog ride along in a pet basket or bike trailer. The second option is to have your dog run alongside the bicycle while you travel.
Choosing the second option will bring the bonus of giving your dog some great exercise. The first option does not offer them any movement, which might negate the reason why you want to take them with you. To determine which option you should be choosing, you need to consider a few factors including the type of dog that you have.
HAVING YOUR DOG RIDE ALONG
There are some dogs that are not made for running alongside your bike. These are generally small dogs with short legs, dogs with short muzzles such as pugs, and senior dogs. There are also some dogs that are exercise intolerant or have medical conditions that stop them from running a lot.
If you have one of these dogs, you need to look at the ride-along option. To do this, you are going to have to buy a bet basket or bike trailer. The one that you choose will need to be large enough to comfortably accommodate your dog. However, it should also not be large enough that there is a risk of your pet falling out.
Before you start biking with your dog, you will need to attach the basket or trailer and get used to cycling with it. This is particularly important with the trailer as you might have to get used to turning with one. You also need to consider that there will be additional weight when you cycle and ensure that you are going to be able to provide the power to propel both you and your dog.
Once you have the trailer or basket and are comfortable with it, you need to introduce your pet to it. Positive reinforcement is one of the best methods to use when doing this. The first few rides you complete should also be short, gentle, and slow. This will allow your dog to get used to the sensation of riding along and become comfortable.
HAVING YOUR DOG RUN ALONGSIDE THE BIKE
If you want to choose this option, you need to check that it is appropriate for your dog. When you cycle, your dog is going to be running and they need to be able to do this. Before you take your dog with you, it is recommended that you take a trip to the vet to check your pet for any issues. You should also talk to your vet about the fact that you want to take your dog biking with you and see what they say.
It is also important to note that your dog will need to be properly socialized and well-trained before doing this. If you can leave your dog on a loose leash when walking, they will generally be trained enough for running alongside your bike. You do not want your dog to be tugging on the leash while you are cycling.
If this activity is appropriate, you will need to introduce your pet to your bike. There are some dogs that immediately take to running next to a bike while others will become scared when it moves. It could take your dog days or weeks to become used to your bicycle and you need to be patient.
To introduce your dog to the bike, you should have them on a leash and take them to your parked bike. If they are afraid, you should walk away from the bike and reward them when they stop showing fear. You need to avoid a complete fear reaction because this will make it harder to introduce the bike.
Once your dog is comfortable with the bike, you can start moving it. You need to try to get your dog to walk next to you calmly while you walk the bike. You can then start to ride the bike slowly while holding your dog’s leash. It is important to reward your pet when they stay calm and keep their attention on you.
When your dog is calm at a slow speed, you should start riding for around 10 minutes at a slow or moderate pace. As the exercise increases, you need to monitor how your dog reacts. You can then increase the ride by 5 to 10 minutes at a time every few days. Eventually, you will be able to go for longer rides, but you should always ensure that you and your dog are safe.