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How-To Guide

How to Bike With Your Dog

 Posted on: April 24th, 2023

How to Bike With Your Dog

Many biking enthusiasts enjoy sharing their time out on the trails with their furry friends by their side. Of course, riding a bike with a dog running alongside you can be a bit logistically complicated, so it’s important to read up on how to accomplish it safely to ensure you have a fun, enjoyable time.

Here are some tips for you to consider.

Take It Slow

Bike rides represent a bit of a departure from the walks, even the long ones, that your pooch might have become accustomed to. In addition, be aware of your dog’s makeup and suitability for this type of activity – dogs with known health issues or short noses (think bulldogs) will likely struggle with working this hard, and it may even be dangerous. If you’re in doubt, check with their veterinarian and see what they think.

Once you’ve determined your dog is ready to roll, the pace and the distance of your rides are likely going to be quite a bit more strenuous than they’re used to, so plan accordingly. Start off with some short rides around the neighborhood to first get your dog used to the very idea of running next to a bike – it can take them a while to get accustomed to this. As their tolerance and ability increases you can start to take longer and longer rides and see how they do.

Check Their Bodies

Any good dog owner knows that proper grooming is a critical part of owning a pet. Regular brushing and nail clippings are just part of the deal. This becomes even more important when you start taking bike rides with your dog. Their paws are tough, but they’re certainly not invincible. If you’re taking them on rides over asphalt or other types of rough terrain you should be prepared to check their paws regularly.

Asphalt in particular can give them a beating, so adding some variety to the terrain that they’re on as you bike is a good idea. Oftentimes you can find roads where you can stay on the pavement with your bike, but they’re able to run on softer grass. Another thing that you can consider is investing in dog booties for your pup. These are a great way to protect their paws from the elements, but be aware that dogs’ tolerance for them can vary considerably so it can be helpful to try before you buy (if possible).

Bring Supplies

Dogs, like people, will get hungry and thirsty during periods of moderate or strenuous exercise. Make sure you pack snacks! You may also find it beneficial to have a collapsible dog bowl to more efficiently (and tidily) feed your pup. Keeping your dog hydrated is also your responsibility, so be sure that you have plenty of nice cool water for them to enjoy, and that you take frequent breaks so they can get good rest and be ready for the next phase of the ride.

Be sure also to keep an eye on your dog whenever the two of you are out together. Watch for any behavior that seems unusual, and keep in mind that smaller animals usually don’t have the same stamina that humans do. Don’t be afraid to take frequent breaks and avoid rides that are too long as your dog could be utterly exhausted by the end.

Exercise with your dog can be a wonderful way to spend time together and keep them healthy, but it also requires some commonsense precautions. Follow the tips above and you and your dog can safely hit the trails together!

dog in a red bike trailer

Consider a Bike Trailer

If you don't have a large, healthy dog and would still like to include them on your bike rides, a bike trailer is the way to go. They attach easily to most bicycles, and protect your pet from the elements while still providing them with the joys of an outside view and a bit of wind in their fur.