It’s National Bike Month, so time to tune up your 2 (or 3) wheeler and get moving. And you can take your 4-legged pal with you to join in the fun.
Most dogs love to run. But before you take your dog cycling, consider age, health, any medical conditions, size, normal level of activity. Are you going trail riding or pounding the pavement? Be careful in hot weather. Some use this rule of thumb – if temperature and humidity add up to 120 or above, leave cycling for another day.
Prepare take-along equipment beforehand. You’ll need a first-aid kit, water for you and your dog, doggie sunscreen, PetGuard spray for paws. There are bicycle attachments to leash your dog to so that you won’t accidentally run over him/her. If pavement riding, choose a low-traffic area for safety. Only unleash your dog when trail riding and you are secure with the “come” command.
Whether your dog is an old-timer, used to cycling or new to the sport, start slowly and at low speeds. Begin with a half-hour to an hour ride depending on your dog. Gradually increase the ride and speed 15 minutes and 5-10 mph each time you go out.
Always keep a close watch on your dog (and traffic too) to make sure s/he is not lagging behind – a sign of tiring, is in pain, limping or other problems. Stop for water breaks and to check your dog’s paws.
If you have a small dog or even a cat, you might want to consider a special basket attachment to your bicycle that’s equipped with safety measures so that your pet doesn’t have any accidents.
Bicycling can be great exercise for both you and your dog.