Do you want to take your canine companion along while riding? Both you and your dog can have a blast on the trails. Be sure to watch your dog for signs that he is tired or thirsty, remember he can’t tell you he needs a drink or rest. The following tips can help you and your dog stay safe and have fun.
This is not how to ride with your dog.
1. How old is your dog? A young dog can go farther and faster than an older dog. Know your dogs abilities and don’t go beyond those abilities. Consider the length of your dog’s legs. Longer legs can run farther and faster. Your dog’s nose is also something to consider. A short nosed dog cannot dissipate heat as well as a longer nosed dog. Start with shorter rides to see how well your dog can keep up. Gradually increase the length of the run/ride and your dog’s abilities will grow. A dog will keep going because he wants to be with you and might overexert them self. If you have any questions before or after a ride please consult with your vet.
2. Don’t forget your dogs feet! Especially if you will be going over rough terrain. There are several companies that sell doggie footwear. If your dog will tolerate them they can sure save the pads on your pup’s feet from a lot of wear and tear. After a ride check your dog’s feet for any stickers, foxtails and cuts. If your dog starts limping it is time to cut the ride short.
3. Just like you, your dog needs to stay hydrated and fueled. Take extra water as well as snacks for your dog. Train your dog to take water from a bottle. Also have more water in your vehicle and a bowl so your dog can get a cool drink after the ride.
4. Just like any other animal that exercise you and your dog need to train. If your dog is a couch potato then he isn’t ready for an epic run/ride. Start out with short and easy loops or you can ride around the neighborhood with your dog on a leash. He needs to get used to you and other people riding a bicycle and how he should act. The dog needs to learn how to stay out of the way. Reward the dog with treats when he does good. As your dog’s stamina increases take him on longer rides.
5. Just like taking your dog to the park you need to clean up after him. Keep some poo bags in your backpack, when your dog does his ‘business’ pick it up and pack it out. Nobody wants to ride/run/walk through a pile of dog poo.