A Guide to Biking with Your Dog
Biking with your dog is a great way to enjoy beautiful weather, bond with your pup, and get some exercise. Without the proper preparation and precautions, it can be dangerous and cumbersome. Union Lake Pet Services is here to help you find the best and safest way to bike with your pet to get the most out of this fun and active pastime.
Ready, Set, Bike!
Before you even start to ride a bike with your dog, it is important to make sure your canine companion is comfortable around the bike. Try to ride it around near him in your backyard. This gives him a chance to get used to the bike itself and the noises it makes. You might want to have some training treats nearby while you get your pupper used to the bicycle. You want to continue this process until your dog has no fear near the bike. You also need to make sure your dog is good at walking on a leash before you begin.
Is Biking with Your Dog Safe?
Not all dogs and breeds can run alongside a bike safely. If you have a brachycephalic (short-nosed) breed, they cannot breathe well enough to do this activity. The following breeds should not run while you are biking:
- Boston Terriers
- Lasa Apso
- Shih Tzu
Puppies should not be running next to bikes until they reach at least 10 months of age. It is not good for their joints.
Overly large dogs (like Great Danes) or overweight pups should probably not attempt to run next to a bike either. You should also avoid weekend warrior syndrome, where you attempt to take a fairly sedentary dog along for a vigorous bike ride without any training.
Biking with Your Dog: Slow Starts
Even if your dog is in stellar shape, they have not yet been conditioned for running alongside a bike, which uses different muscles than most other activities. Your first few jaunts out on the bike should only last for 5-10 minutes. Maintain this schedule for about a week. This gives the muscles and paw pads a chance to adjust to this new activity before you really get going.
Biking with Your Dog: Monitor Your Dog
Biking with your dog is an activity that is more for your pup than for you. Don’t expect to go into a full-out workout or you might work your dog too hard. Their stamina is different than ours is and they cannot tell you when they are at their limit. Slow down or take a break if they seem like they are getting too tired.
Keep a close eye on your dog and make sure to keep your speed slow and steady. Avoid biking in really hot weather, and try to stay away from tough terrain that could hurt the paws. Bring some water and a portable dog bowl so you can keep your pup hydrated throughout the trip.
Union Lake Pet Services is here to help you give your dog the best life in every way. From pet boarding to behavior modification, we keep your pets entertained and safe even when you cannot. To learn more or to sign up for services, call (248) 363-6262.