Cycling is a great way to keep fit and build up your cardio, but is also a way to enjoy nature and the outdoors. But if you are a dog owner have you ever thought about combining cycling with your daily dog walk? Cycling with your dog helps you to stay fit, increase the bond with your pet and builds up your dog’s endurance levels and muscle dog fitness. There are a couple of different ways you can cycle with your dog and it will depend slightly on the breed. It can mean either carrying them in a pet basket at the front of your bike or a small trailer at the back or by letting them run alongside your bike on a leash. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind before setting off on a bike ride with your dog for both your safety and theirs.
Know Your Dog
Before you decide whether to carry your dog or to allow it to run alongside your bike, you need to consider, among other things, its natural features and its age. Some dog breeds, such as Labradors and Afghan Hounds, are naturally very energetic and much better suited to running beside you as you cycle. Others, such as Chihuahuas are not naturally suited to sport dog training as they have lower energy levels and it is far safer to carry them instead.
Similarly, puppies and younger dogs generally below 18 months of age should not be dragged beside a bicycle as the strain could negatively impact their musculoskeletal development. These dogs are best dropped off at an active dog daycare centre equipped for professional handling. Older dogs are also not suited for running long distances and could suffer from joint pains or arthritis if you regularly cycle with them as they run to keep up beside you. So, in short, some dogs are not built for running and you should either not force them to do it or at least cycle slowly when with them. A visit to the vet before embarking on a joint cycling program will also help in avoiding complications and they will be able to give you the best advice.
Active Dog Gear and Equipment for Transporting Your Dog While Cycling
Having seen that some dogs are not built for vigorous running, the alternative is to find a way to transport them in a comfortable, safe and secure way. Here are some examples of active dog gear and equipment you can use for that:
- Comfort Wagons – This is by far the most comfortable way to carry a dog on a bike. Comfort wagons are typically fully covered with a combination of aluminum/plastic and wire mesh to provide both sturdiness and ventilation. Admittedly, most popular and high-quality wagon brands, such as PetEgo are relatively expensive, but they are highly durable and safe.
- Dog Bike Basket – This is the most affordable option for many people and is especially suitable for transporting puppies and small dogs. For added safety, it is best to purchase a dog basket that has a mesh top or zip on top or even a harness attachment. Popular brands include Snoozer and Solvit Tagalong.
- Bicycle Dog Sidecar – A variation of the comfort wagon in that it’s attached on the side of the bike as opposed to the back.
Going cycling with your dog is a fun and enjoyable experience that will keep your friendship strong and healthy. Just take the necessary precautions and have a word with your vet and it’s all systems go. Additionally, don’t forget to ask him for the best dog food for active dogs to keep your dog energized and fit and healthy.
Rachel Hudson is a writer of https://allpetsexpert.com/. She prefers a healthy lifestyle. Every morning she goes cycling with her dog. Rachel wants to teach you how to do it right so you can enjoy this form of fitness too.