What is the best way to cycle with your dog?
We know what you’re thinking. You’ve seen pictures of dog-friendly trails, and you’ve also heard that bike trails are great places to take your canine companion for a ride. However, when you get there, you’ll find out that your dog’s breed isn’t allowed, or that the rules set for canines don’t apply to you. This can be frustrating. While it’s great that many parks, trails, and other places are dog-friendly, it’s important to know how to best cycle with your dog. First, we always recommend that you check with the park you’ll be visiting to see if your dog’s breed is welcome. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that many other considerations need to be taken into account when going out for a bike ride with your dog, such as the weather, the amount of traffic you’ll encounter, and the condition of the trail.
Check before you ride
Check first to see if your dog is welcome before you plan to go. Just like if you’re visiting someone’s house, you don’t want to bring a guest to a place where they’re not welcome. Likewise, your dog’s breed may not be allowed at the park, or you may encounter other people who don’t like dogs. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations, and make sure any vaccinations your dog requires are current. This is especially important if your dog travels with you frequently. If your dog is prone to getting sick, remember that you may end up in the hospital if he/she is exposed to other people, germs, and other animals on the trail, or at the park.
Next, stay hydrated. You may have heard that dogs are great at drinking water, but not so much at drinking it. This isn’t true, but dogs often have trouble drinking while they’re on their feet. Drinking water is important for your dog’s health and well-being, so make sure they’re drinking regularly. If your dog doesn’t like water, you can try mixing some broth or electrolyte powder in the cup to give it a unique taste. You can also try putting the cup in a plastic bag and sealing it to keep the smell from bothering your dog. Many dogs love to drink out of a bag!
Consider a dog bike seat or backpack carrier
If your dog is old enough to ride a bike on their own, it’s a good idea to fit them with a bike seat. This can help your dog stay steady on the bike, especially if they have arthritis or other medical conditions that make it difficult for them to stay balanced. A dog bike seat is a great option for long rides, but it can also be helpful for shorter rides. You can take your dog with you while you bike to work, or if you have a longer ride planned, like a bike tour or backcountry adventure. There are many dog bike seat options on the market today, so it’s worth shopping around to find the one that works best for your dog. Make sure the dog bike seat fits your bike, too!
Bike helmet safety tips for cyclists and canine companions
Now, we get to the good stuff! First, we recommend that you wear a helmet. This is especially important if you ride with your dog. If you wear a helmet, you can help protect your head from injury, as well as your face and ears from flying debris. It can also help protect your head from falling if your dog were to trip you, or if your dog runs into the back of you, causing you to fall. Next, make sure that your dog is wearing a bike helmet, too. Some states require it, while other states require you to wear a bike helmet if you have other people on the bike with you, like your kid.
Cycling is a great way to stay fit, to enjoy nature, and to build a bond with your dog. However, it’s important to follow the rules, wear helmets, and drink water while cycling with your dog. You can make a trip to the park a great experience for you and your canine companion by planning ahead, bringing along supplies, and staying safe. We hope these tips help make your next cycling trip safe and fun for everyone!