We all know walking and running are not for everyone, which is why many people have taken up cycling as their preferred method of exercise. However, your furry friend also needs some exercise and cycling might be too fast for them. This has led to people asking if is cycling with a dog cruel and if should you consider leaving your dog at home.
Is cycling with a dog cruel? To answer this we would need to look at various elements. For a professional cyclist, it would be cruel to expect the dog to keep up with the pace of the bicycle. However, a casual cyclist who is strolling around town might find that it is fun. It is not only a great way for both of you to get exercise but could lead to bonding time as well.
If you choose to take your canine cycling, there are a few things to keep in mind. This article aims to help you understand a few basic rules that would benefit you and your dog. This would allow them to have fun, while also getting some exercise. These tips would be great for those that don’t like running or walking as much.
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Rules To Keep In Mind When Cycling With Your Dog
The main goal is to ensure that it turns out to be a positive experience for you and your dog and this would make it possible for both of you to enjoy the activity. You won’t be pushing your dog to extreme limits, but you would also get some exercise. Here are a few basic rules to keep in mind when cycling with your furry friend:
1. The Type Of Dog Is Important
The first thing to keep in mind is which breed of dog you own. Not all dogs are similar and some of them might not be cut out for running. Smaller breeds, with more mass, might find it hard to keep up with the bike. For instance, a pug or bulldog is not made for running alongside a bike, which means they would tire or get left behind.
You should consider which dog you own and make sure that the dog is cut out for running next to your bike. Larger breeds like a German Shepherd will have the legs and the stamina to keep up with your bike. They might find it to be fun and try to outrun the bike in many cases.
2. Fitness Does Factor In
No matter which dog you have some of them are simply not in shape to go running next to a bike. You might need to be patient and ease them into it when you are looking to get them in shape. My dog simply started walking after a while, which was a telltale sign that the fitness is not there and you might need to push the bike from there.
If you want your dog to run alongside your bike, you should consider starting slow and easing them into it. You should start with walking around the block a few times a week to build up some fitness. Another great activity is playing fetch with your dog, which would allow them to build some stamina by constantly running.
3. Pace Is Important
Cyclists can reach insane speeds, with professional cyclists easily doing 80 KPH when they are at peak fitness. No matter which breed you have, your dog will never be able to reach these speeds and this means you need to find out what pace is comfortable for your dog. A comfortable pace would allow them to stay with you and they won’t tire as much.
It could take you a few tries, but eventually, you will find a comfortable pace for you to ride at, while your dog is running or even walking next to the bike to keep up. You should never speed up the pace, forcing your dog to catch. This would tire them out and could even lead to severe injuries in the long run.
4. Spend Some Money On The Right Gear
You can do a simple internet search and you would come across various gear items marketed for dogs. However, not all these leashes and harnesses would be effective when you are cycling. To make the journey better, you should consider buying gear that your dog can use when you are cycling.
Having the right gear, especially if it s hands-free would keep you focused on cycling, which reduces the overall danger you could experience. The Springer Hands-Free Dog Leash Bike Attachment Kit is one of the best items on the market today and it should help to reduce the strain from carrying a leash. It would work with any bicycle and any dog leash you currently own.
5. What Is The Weather Conditions?
Many people forget that the weather conditions would drastically affect your dog. If it is raining, the running or cycling journey would be uncomfortable for you and your dog. However, the biggest killer could be excessive heat. Keep in mind that dogs feel the heat much more intensely than humans due to the furry nature of their coats.
On exceptionally hot days, it is advised that you skip the cycling trip and perhaps consider walking. This means that you would also feel the heat at the same level as your dog or as close to it as possible. If you start feeling the heat excessively, it would mean that your pet is also feeling the heat to a massive degree and you need to keep this in mind.
6. Breaks Are Important
When dogs go outside to walk, running is one of the last things on their mind. Since they are in a new environment, they do tend to want to sniff around and explore the environment they find themselves in. This could lead to frequent stopping and them wanting to go in different directions. Scientists estimate that a dog’s nose is between 10,000 and 100,000 times more acute than that of humans.
You should consider breaks every so often and if you can carry water for longer trips, this would be great to ensure your dog stays hydrated throughout the journey. They might also need to urinate, which means the breaks would allow them to take this break. We would recommend stopping every mile or so to ensure that the dog can take a break.
7. Why Not Add A Dog Bike Carrier?
One of the things to keep in mind is that eventually, your dog will get tired. If your find yourself in the same situation I was, you might need to get off your bike and push the bike at a slow pace to ensure that your dog can keep up. This could be very frustrating and you will notice just how slow it would be when doing so.
Buying a dog carrier is the alternative and once your dog does reach the point of being tired, you can simply put them in the dog carrier, which would allow them to catch a break. The Schwinn Rascal Bike Pet Trailer is one of the best options on the market today and would help to carry your dog when they do tire out.
FAQ about cycling with Dog
Ensure Your Dog Gets Enough Rest
The first time you take your dog out for a walk on the bike, you could find that they are drained when they come home. It is important to give them some time to rest instead of pushing your dog day after day. Much like you would be sore the next day after a strenuous workout, your dog could be feeling the same pain.
If you do a longer trail or distance, you should consider giving your dog a day or two to recover. Eventually, the fitness would build up and you could do it more frequently. The main goal is to make it fun while integrating the element of exercise for you and your dog.
Is It Cruel To Go Cycling With A Dog?
If you do it correctly, cycling with your dog won’t be cruel at all. By following some of these principles, you could make the journey fun for both of you and this would ensure that both of you bond and improve your fitness.
We would recommend starting small and making sure that you have the right gear to let your dog take a break when they need it. You might even want to consider carrying some form of water along to ensure that the dog can remain hydrated as well.
Is Cycling With A Dog Cruel Summary
Cycling with your dog can be both frustrating and fun at the same time. You must follow these rules and make sure that you both have a great time. If there are any rules we might have missed, we would love to see some of your comments.