Bike Riding Safely With Your Best Friend
Published: Jun. 18, 2009
Subject: Ruff Riding Around Town
Category: Dog People's Choice
Your dog’s no pedal pusher, but he might still enjoy a good bike ride with you. After all, exercising with your dog’s not limited to walking, and many dogs crave a a workout more vigorous than a walk. We gave you tips about running with your dog but maybe you’re not a runner. So we’ve investigated the safest way to take your high-energy pup along with you on a bike ride. With a few quick tips, safety rules, and the right equipment, you two can take off to ride the Tour de Fluff and enjoy the outdoors and scenery together. Join Woof Report as we explore top tips from dogchannel.com for two-wheeling it together and look at what you need to get started. Toy breeds, we haven’t forgotten about you – check out The Scoop.
Gear Up, Pup. You wouldn’t even consider riding without a helmet. But what about your dog? A reflective collar or vest are good choices. But to really keep him safe as he trots alongside your bike, you need to invest in a handy bike attachment made just for the job. No hands-free riding, no leashes tangled in the wheel spokes, and your pup can’t pull you off balance, these products protect you and your pup from crashes you’ll both regret.
Choose your Equipment. The two most popular bike attachments are the Springer and the K-9 Bike Jogger (formerly named the WalkyDog). Both bike attachments let you keep two hands on the handle bars while keeping your dog a safe distance from your bike. The Springer attaches to the frame of your bike while the K-9 Bike Jogger attaches to your seat post. Both use coil spring shock absorbing mechanisms to reduce the effects of your dog’s tugs and pulls, and are easy to install – no tools needed. Both accommodate bikes and dogs of all kinds and can be used on either side of your bike – with one dog or after a little practice, two dogs!
Take Puppy Steps. Before embarking on any high-level exercise with your doggie, make sure he’s up to it. Have your vet assess his fitness level, age, breed and weight before your first ride together. Once you get the green-light, start out slowly and build up to longer distance rides at a comfortable jogging pace. First, you’ll need to get your pup comfortable with your bike in general. Let him examine and sniff your parked bike, moving up to walking along with him while pushing the bike. Then try riding with him jogging next to you just to the street corner and back. Just like you, your dog needs to build up his endurance and speed over time. Chances are good your dog will love this new way to spend this time outside together.
Read many more tips to get started biking safely with your dog.
The Springer, black or chrome, $69 and $74.
The K-9 Bike Jogger (formerly WalkyDog), $39.99.
If you have a toy breed, you can still bike with your dog, just be sure to use a pet-specific basket, side car and trailer to keep it safe.
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