Pro Tips: Biking With Your Dog
Dreaming of biking with your dog? Unsure of where to begin? Check out our cycling with your pup tips and tricks to get rolling with your best fluffy friend!
This is a guest post from Kolleen, one of our brand ambassadors in Chicago. All photos are hers unless noted.
What could be better than you and your dog loading up onto your bike and pedaling your way to the park, beach, or dog friendly patio!? Biking with your dog is a great way to bring your pet along on outdoor adventures, while also getting some exercise. But not all dogs love cycling, and you want to make sure your dog is safe, secure and comfortable whenever you head out for a pedal powered trip with your pup. Here are a few things to look out for when biking with your dog.
1. Weight Limits
There are a lot of different carrying options for biking a dog. From baskets, to bags, to trailers, there are options in all shapes and sizes. Whatever type of carrying gear you choose, you want to make sure your dog is within the requirements set by the manufacturer. In general, most front baskets have a weight limit of 15 lbs, while rear baskets and bags have a larger weight limit of 40 lbs. Our Uptown Trunk Bag is an adorable option for small pups! Just leave the closure open and you’ve got a stable bag with a cushioned bottom for your dog to hang out in. If you have a larger dog, using a trailer like the Burley Tail Wagon gives a larger dog more space, and is rated to carry up to 75 lbs.
Securing Your Dog
When biking with your dog you also want to make sure your dog isn’t going to jump off the bike while you’re riding. For small dogs, baskets such as The Public Basil Pasja Pet Basket which has a cage over the top of the basket, keep your dog safely inside. The Axiom Pet Basket is a convertible front or rear pet basket that comes with a tether to attach to your pets collar, keeping them from jumping out of the basket. Dog specific trailers like the Burley Tail Wagon have zippers closures, rather than velcro like most child trailers so your dog can’t force his or her way out while you’re riding. They also feature a reinforced bottom so your dog’s nails don’t tear the material, and don’t have a seat so your dog can get comfy.
Motivation & Training
Training your dog to be comfortable with bikes, and his or her carrying bag/basket/trailer is imperative for a smooth and enjoyable bike journey. Some dogs are naturally comfortable around bikes, while other need to be acclimated. Letting your dog sit in the bag, basket, or trailer you’ll be using before putting it on the bike can go a long way in making your dog feel comfortable. Associating said bag, basket or trailer with good things like treats, praise and pets can also help your dog enjoy the experience of bike adventuring. Patience will go a long way. Bring along your pup’s favorite treats and toys to make any bicycle endeavors as enjoyable as possible for the both of you! I highly recommend Kinga Handlebar Bag for portable, but easily accessible treat, toy & leash storage. It sits right on the handlebar while you’re riding, but then easily converts to a cross body bag once you’ve reached your destination!
Just remember, not every dog is going to be willing to come along for the ride. No matter how much peanut butter, dog toys, or cozy blankets I involve, my own dog REFUSES to use a bicycle trailer. Make sure that in your own excitement to take your dog on bike journeys you pay attention to your dog’s level of comfort and NEVER force your dog along on bikes rides if they clearly aren’t comfortable.
Kolleen is a Chicago native, an amateur racer, a professional commuter, and a pup aficionado.
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