Cycling is great and a fun way to spend your time. It is a low impact exercise, especially for the joints and can be used as a mode of transport and even for rigorous exercise if you feel like it. What about if you have a nice, canine friend to go with you? Well, you can take them out for a ride, but you should know that there are some things to consider before going out for a ride and jog with your four-legged friend.
Age – Not Every Age is Suitable for a Ride
If your dog is a puppy or a very old bloke, then they running with you might not be the best option for them. Young dogs still need to develop their muscles and bones and in the case of very large breeds, running and putting strain at a very early age can be detrimental to their health.
If they are old, however, running might not be the best thing as they will probably get tired far too quickly and they might end up having more health-related problems after the run. They might even have some conditions which will be irritated or triggered by exercise.
Check with your veterinarian before you try and get your dog to run alongside you.
The Equipment – Logistics are Important!
If you plan on having your dog run by your side, you should know the wrong equipment may present you with more problems than solutions. Just taking a regular leash and putting it around your dog’s collar is not a good idea, especially if they are not used to this kind of exercise.
Getting a body harness, especially a brightly colored one with a reflective surface is recommended. You can tie your lead to your bicycle, but that might be a problem before your dog learns to ride with you. Once they do, however, then you can tie it to your frame, or under your saddle. Taking a carabiner and clipping it to your seat is easier to reach if needed as opposed to just tying a knot.
Before the dog learns their basics, you should keep the lead in your hand, but beware as the dog might pull you to the side, bringing you off balance.
General Cycling and Pre-Cycling Tips
If your dog is not fit enough to run with you, going for jogs and walks will help it lose weight and get the muscles and level of fitness necessary for a longer exercise run with you. Likewise, teaching your dog specific cycling commands is encouraged, especially as you can encounter other dogs and your dog might distracted. Commands for stopping, starting, going faster and slower are essential. Make up specific, short words as your commands, so that they differ from other people that you might encounter. You do not want your dog listening to random words they might hear.
Once you and your dog master your cycling communication, you will have a much better time, as both of you will be more confident.
Be sure to check whether your dog is ready for biking with you. Check with your veterinarian and prepare the necessary equipment. Train with your dog and increase the difficulty gradually. Recreation with your dog and bike is fun when done properly and working as a team.