Riding a bicycle with your dog can be a very fun and rewarding experience. It strengthens the bond between the two of you and provides you both with a wide range of healthy benefits. Walking your dog is a necessity, you understand that. But have you ever come back from a walk with your dog and he or she still as energetic as when you left? Yeah? I thought so.
A healthy dog loves exercise and you already know a walk won’t tire them out. A lot of people suggest taking up running with your dog, but most people simply can’t keep up with their energetic pups. The best solution for this is riding a bike with your dog. There are a few things you should know before you start though.
The most important part to riding a bicycle with your dog is the safety of you, your dog, and other people. The first thing you should do is get yourself checked out with your doctor to make sure you can exercise. You should then go to your vet and make sure your dog can handle running along side your bike.
There are hundreds of possibilities why your dog can or can’t run with you whilst you ride your bike. The age, history, breed, weight, thickness of the coat, etc, all comes into play. I can’t stress enough how important getting confirmation off your vet is.
Biking Equipment and Dog Biking Equipment
The next bit of business is sorting the equipment out for you and your dog. A bike and helmet is obviously a must. I can’t make you wear lights and reflective clothing, but hopefully I can guilt trip you into doing it to protect your dog. You’re going to need water for you and your dog, so make sure you have a big enough water bottle to share.
Riding a bike with your dog whilst holding the leash in your hand is incredibly unsafe. You should also avoid tying the dog leash to your seat post. If you ride your bike like this, it will only be a matter of before something bad happens. Sometimes dogs are unpredictable and a bit ‘special’. They’ll run in front of your bike or they might get distracted and pull you off the bike while they investigate a squirrel.
That’s why a specifically designed bike riding dog leash is so important. There are a few different styles and kits out there, but you need to invest in one to keep you and your dog safe. It won’t hurt if you get your dog a reflective collar or harness, so other people can see you both. You’ll have to attach these dog leashes to your bike, so a bit of handy work is required.
When all your equipment is sorted, it’s important you don’t just zoom off and cycle a marathon with your dog. Your dog is not going to be used to running along side your bike or running permanently for a large distance. Start with a small distance and a walking pace.
It’s important that you introduce your dog to the bike slowly, so he or she doesn’t become scared of it. Start using simple commands at the beginning, such as “Stop”, “Go”, “Left”, “Slow”, etc. When your dog becomes more accustomed to running with you on the bicycle, you can increase the pace and the distance.
Where to Bike Ride with Your Dog
The last thing that needs to be mentioned is where to ride with your dog. The worst place you can ride with your dog is along side traffic. You should be nowhere near a road with moving cars. If you both have an accident and fall off, you’re stuck in the middle of the road. Cars can also spook your pup.
The best places to ride are designated woodland trails, try and avoid hills. In particular steep down hill paths. If you have a well trained dog, you can cycle to a safe area and let your dog run without a leash.
During your riding sessions with your dog, it’s important you keep a good eye them at all times. Some dogs are so loyal that they will literally run themselves to exhaustion. Check to see how hard your dog is breathing, take into account the temperature, and look for signs of distress. You know your dog better than anyone, if he or she doesn’t look happy, stop!
Okay, so you’ve grabbed yourself a kick ass bicycle and now you know what you’re doing. What you need to do next is get your hands on a bike riding dog attachment. There are hundreds of options available to you – let’s take a look at the best 5:
The 5 Best Bike Riding Dog Attachments
You don’t have to leave your dog at home every time you go for a bike ride. I’m sure you’ve heard the sad whines before as you’ve left, nothing is more heart breaking. These 5 bike riding dog attachments / accessories will allow you to bring your dog with you on your bike ride.
Even if you have a little dog, they don’t have to be left out! You can carry them with a basket on the front or you can drag them along in their own little trailer. You can also get specially designed dog leashes to let your dog run next to you.
Without further ado, lets find you a piece of kit that will help you out:
If your dog is too large for a basket or is getting quite old, a dog bike trailer is absolutely perfect for you. This trailer is dead easy to setup and has a secure leash that will keep you safe. The front cover is waterproof if you decide to go out in the rain and there is a pouch at the back where you can stick your water bottle.
You can’t really fault this really. It feels smooth, your dog will always be comfortable (especially if you have a cushion in there), and your dog can pop their head out of the top to get a better view.
If you’ve got an energetic dog that you can never tire out, a dog biking lash will definitely come in handy. It takes less than 5 minutes to modify your bike and prevents your dog from running in front of your wheel or chasing after a squirrel! I’m not going to lie to you, you won’t be able to use this straight away.
You need to allow your dog to get used to running along side you with a leash. Start slow and be encouraging! The biggest benefit to using a dog bicycle leash is the time to tire your pup out.
A slow walk will take up to an hour for your dog to even feel it, 20 minutes running along side your bike will definitely tire them out!
Having a little dog doesn’t mean you can’t take them on bike rides. This pet bicycle basket attaches to the front of your bike and allows your dog to sit in comfortably. It’s got loads of useful pockets and compartments for your stuff, and it also comes with a chin strap for your dog to rest on.
The padding inside will keep your dog comfortable and if it starts to rain you can attach the rain coat over the top. Make sure you check out the measurements of your bike with this particular basket. If you have a rather small bike, you might find it a bit troublesome to attach.
A bit of a mouth full, this doggy bike trailer is similar to the other one. This one however is designed for larger dogs and can handle more weight than the other one. It’s more expensive, but the design, padding, and aerodynamics of this trailer is hard to beat.
If you choose to get a dog leash for your dog, investing in a reflective dog vest is worth the money. This vest is lightweight and lets loads of air in so your dog can breathe properly. It’s easily adjustable with Velcro and people will spot your pup from miles away. Better safe than sorry is all I will say.
That sums up our top 5 list, your pup will love every second outside with you on your bike ride!
Don’t forget that safety is the most important thing for both you and your dog! Make sure you have a helmet – choose from our favorites:
The 5 Best Bike Helmets for Bicyclists
The most important piece of kit for any bicyclist is their bike helmet. Without a helmet, it would be illegal for you to ride your bike in the first place and it can potentially save your life if you ever have a nasty fall or collision.
There are hundreds of fashionable styles out there and you can get them specially fitted to your head. There’s no excuse to not be using one whilst riding your bike anymore.
Since there are so many out there, here are 5 of the best bike helmets everyone has agreed on:
The Bell Fraction Multi-Sport Helmet is a lightweight helmet that you can’t fault. It is guaranteed to keep you safe, and the air holes provide a nice breeze.
You can personalize this bike helmet with any of the many styles available. Extra pads are provided so you can fit the helmet to your head perfectly.
This bicycle helmet is an excellent all rounder that is cheap and affordable. It has got loads of vents to fill your head with fresh air and absorbing pads for sweat.
It’s fully adjustable and can be tailored to your head. The most important part of all: it’s incredibly safe. This bicycle helmet has saved countless numbers of lives.
This stylish women’s bicycle helmet is fully adjustable to fit your head. There are 20 air vents to keep you cool and the visor on the front can be attached or detached depending on the weather.
Most importantly, this helmet will provide all the protection to your head you’ll need in case you have a bump.
This men’s bicycle helmet is very stylish and comes with air holes to keep your head chilled mid-ride. The visor is easily attached and detached depending on how the weather is doing.
It will definitely keep your head safe in the event of a nasty fall. Not to mention it’s super lightweight and easily adjusted at the back with a dial.
The Giros Savant Road Bike Helmet is stylish and well ventilated to keep you cool. It is incredibly light weight and comfortable.
It will take you a few rides to get used to the straps, but when you find the right position it will feel like you’re wearing nothing. Of course it is also completely safe and will protect you from a fall.
That sums up our favorite 5 bicycle helmets or bike helmets or cycling helmets, whatever you want to call them! If you’re not a fan of these 5, there are still loads out there that are completely safe. Just have a look around.
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