Especially in spring and summer, cycling with the dog is a popular sporting activity. When done correctly, it’s a great workout for the dog. It trains the muscles and strength of your dog and at the same time his endurance. The cardiovascular system is also trained. Of course, it also has a positive effect on you, because it is healthy and puts you in a good mood.
However, I’m not talking about the dog galloping next to the bike in the blazing midday heat, completely exhausted. There are a few things to consider for healthy cycling with a dog. I have summarized them for you here.
When running on a bike is off limits for a dog:
- If the dog is still growing, that is, younger than 12-18 months, running on the wheel is taboo, because it can cause permanent damage to the joints.
- Old dogs also do not belong on the bike. Continuously running at a trot on the bike overtaxes her physically.
- Overweight dogs should also not be walked on a bike, as it overtaxes them physically and overloads their joints.
- If a dog is in pain, in poor health, or suffering from an infection or fever, running on a bike is also a no-no – as is any type of exercise.
- Molossian dogs are not physically made for endurance running on the wheel. Chihuahua, dachshund and co. are also better off in the bike basket than running next to the bike.
When cycling, your dog should wear a well-padded harness in which he can perform all movements to the fullest extent without the harness hindering him. When he walks on the leash, it should hang loosely. Don’t let your dog pull you by the wheel. In addition, there are special devices that you can attach to the bike, so that the dog runs there on the wheel.
Before starting cycling dog
Don’t feed your dog just before the bike ride. Running on a full stomach is not good and you risk gastric distention as well as circulatory problems. Your dog should have loosened up before the training. You should also not feed him during a break on a bike ride.
Before you start, you should do some warm-up exercises with him. So warm up the muscles and joints and prepare him for the sports activity. You also reduce the risk of injury. Your dog is focused and also mentally prepared for your sporting activity.
Here we go – cycling with dog
If possible, the surface for cycling with a dog should not be asphalt. There, the joints are unnecessarily stressed. If possible, you should use forest and field paths for bike rides with your dog. Especially if you are cycling together for the first time or you are restarting after the winter break, you should slowly build up the training with short sessions. To do this, start with a few minutes at a light trot. Then give your dog the opportunity to walk loosely for a short time before you do the next session at a light trot. For continuous running at a trot, you need the appropriate endurance. It must be built up slowly and healthily.
Letting your dog gallop on the wheel is not good for his joints, nor is it good for the cardiovascular system. The most joint-friendly locomotion for your dog is the trot. In addition, the cardiovascular system and fitness are also gently trained here. If a dog shows on its own that it is slowing down, changing to a walk, or it is panting heavily, give it a break immediately or end the training.
After cycling with dog
You enjoy sharing cycling with your dog? Then you should also after the joint activity, invest some time in a so-called cool down. With some loose exercises and a loose run out you support a fast regeneration of the dog’s body and it is the successful end of the common excursion. Watch your dog on the days after the training as well. Does he stand up sluggishly or appear to have sore muscles? Then you should definitely adjust your training workload!
How often to train?
Run your dog on the bike every other day at most. The dog’s body needs time to recover and also the muscles only build up during these breaks. In addition, your dog will get sore muscles if he runs too fast or too long.
Also you should pay attention to cycling dog
When temperatures are high, running at the Council is simply taboo. There is nothing to discuss. You risk heat stroke in the dog, which is life-threatening. Also, the asphalt heats up a lot and your dog can painfully burn his paws. Also keep in mind that your dog has no cooling from wind from riding and it is warmer near the ground than it is at saddle height. If you want your dog to accompany you on the bike during the summer months, move training to the early morning or late evening hours. Do not expose your dog to any health risk.
In addition, you should always give your dog breaks in between and always watch him closely. Give him the opportunity to drink something in between or to refresh himself in a stream or lake. The fun of cycling with dog should be in the first place. Sporting ambition has no place here.