Why take your dog on a bike ride? Well, cycling is a great way for both you and your dog to get exercise and a healthy dose of fresh air. It improves your dog’s health and gives them more stamina.
Preparation for Your Bike Ride
- Getting your dog ready for exercise - You should have your veterinarian check your dog over before starting a new exercise routine.
- Get the necessary gear – Non-tangling lead, body harness (attaching the lead to only a neck collar could be dangerous), a brightly coloured reflective vest for your dog, blinking lights for your dog and bike, a small first aid kit, and water bottles for both you and your dog.
- Use the commands for biking, such as slowing down, making turns and stopping.
- Always start with a 10-minute warm-up After that you can then ride at a walking speed, then over a week or two, build up the speed. Try to use paths that are soft, like grass or dirt paths.
- Observe your dog at all times – Are they struggling to keep up? If so, slow down or take a break.
- Most importantly, remember to give your dog lots of praise for being a good biking partner! They're more likely to enjoy riding with you and will be excited about the next bike ride.
- If you are biking with more than one dog, it might be best to have the dogs separated – One on each side of the bike.
- Do not hang the lead on the handlebars – A good spot to attach the lead is the post just beneath your seat.
- Keep the lead as short as possible so that the dog cannot run in front of the bike.
- If you are using a special baton and lead that attaches to your dog’s collar, make sure to have an extra lead with you for when you have to remove the dog from the bike.
- If your dog is small, you can get a handlebar basket for your dog to ride in, or you can attach a basket behind your seat in the same way you would a child seat. Another option, which is great for multiple dogs and larger dogs, is a bike trailer/carrier.
- To ease your dog into life with a bicycle, start with short trips somewhere fun.
- Maintain patience and a desire to experiment, so you and your dog don’t get bored.
- Last but not least, Always carry a spare derailleur hanger! So if yours happens to snap on your bike, you can change it over and get cycling with your dog again. A broken derailleur hanger beats the object of going cycling with your dog! You can shop all of our derailleur hangers here: https://www.mountainbikecomponents.co.uk/hangers/brands/