In a nutshell, yes. You may.
Case closed? Of course not. There is a more important question, which is how? How can your furry friend enjoy the thrill of a bike ride with you? That answer is not as simple as you think. It depends on several factors, including the breed and disposition of your dog.
It can be fatal for your dog and even you if you don’t critically consider certain variables before strapping your furry friend into a dog carrier.
Why travel with a dog?
Most people who have pet dogs are probably used to taking them for walks in the park or on the side of the road, going for a run or jog together, walking on the beach, and even swimming.
These are exciting activities, but you may want to increase the fun as you explore more options. A bike ride with your dog may be just what you need. It can be a memorable experience for both you and your dog.
Dogs can be well behaved and easily adapt to their environment the more they bike with you. If your dog has an endless supply of energy, and even walks and jogs aren’t enough to wear him down, perhaps mounting him in a dog crate is the best option for both of you.
Traveling with you, your dog can burn as much energy as walking, but in half the time. Plus, his legs won’t be sore and tight like they would from long walks.
Prerequisites for bicycling with dogs
Like many dog related activities, you need to understand what is involved. Knowing the ins and outs of this will prevent you from making some avoidable mistakes and will protect you and your dog.
Here is an overview of how you can prepare for a bike ride with your dog:
1. Size and disposition of your dog
What is the size of your dog? Activity level, experience, temperament, and general disposition? Because every dog is unique, only you can honestly answer these questions based on your knowledge of your dog. Regarding the nature of it, here are a few things to keep in mind.
The first thing to consider is the size and aggressiveness of your dog. Larger and more active dogs often enjoy running alongside the bike. There are specialized straps that you can attach to your bike, or even hold onto. The straps are designed to act as shock absorbers, reducing the force of an unexpected pull.
If your dog is big but not that energetic, consider using trailers so you can both enjoy the ride.
For older, smaller, less energetic, or even nervous dogs, it may be better for them to travel with you rather than run alongside you. You can buy different varieties of dog carriers depending on the size of your pet and your type of bike. Be sure to check that your dog is properly restrained and cannot get out of the carrier during the trip.
2. Prepare your bike
You should prepare your bike to ensure that it is in good condition to handle the full weight of you and your dog. The tires must be properly inflated and the brakes must also be in excellent condition. Lights and reflectors must also be in good working order.
Consider the capacity of your bike if you plan to transport your pet in a dog carrier or have them jogging alongside you. If your bike has mechanical problems, you should not try to maintain it yourself.
When you don’t plan on bringing a backpack, make sure your bike can hold water containers and other gear you’ll need.
When biking, you can have your dog run alongside you, bundle him up in a dog crate, transport him in a trailer or sidecar attached to your bike. There are numerous products just to allow you to ride a bike with your dog. You are responsible for choosing the perfect fit and style for you and your dog.
Putting a Great Dane on a dog bike rack can be disastrous, just like strapping a Pug to a bike and starting to ride a bike. Be sure to use an accessory that is suitable for certain breeds of dogs. Also, allow your dog plenty of time to get used to his special carrier or leash before you head out for a ride.
It’s easy to bike with your dog when you use a collapsible dog carrier or trendy dog carrier, but it’s only designed for smaller dogs. Using a special leash is the best way to handle dogs over 30 pounds. For larger dogs and multiple dogs, a bike trailer is a great option.
While there are several options for trailers, those designed specifically for dogs are the best because there is usually a built-in harness system to keep your dog from jumping out. Just pay a visit to your local pet store if you need advice or have any questions.
Almost everything depends on you for all outdoor canine activities that require your supervision. Dogs form habits based on the type of experience they have regarding an incident. A negative experience can lead your dog to hate riding a bike, so proceed with caution.
You will gain experience through practice. The more experience you gain, the safer your bike rides with your dog will be. For the first few walks, go short distances and at a slower pace, gradually increasing as your dog’s tolerance increases.
Remember to get used to all the equipment and accessories you will need. Never leave the bike with your dog still attached to it. But, in case you must stop, don’t walk away from your bike. Get your dog out of his carrier or make sure you take him off his bike leash if he decides to walk away.
It is only appropriate to leave your dog still tethered to the bike if you have secured the bike to a post or any grounded object.
At this point, you should have no doubt that you can ride a bike with your dog. Whether you intend to try it out soon or in the distant future, that’s entirely up to you. Just be sure to carefully consider the above points and be careful not to skip any of them.
As a last step, you should have your dog examined by a veterinarian to make sure he can handle such strenuous activity.
This article was originally published on petlife.com
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