How to bike with your four-legged friend
By Adrienne Baldini, BikePGH volunteer
Picture this: It’s a warm Saturday morning, the sun is shining and the bike trails are calling your name. You’re ready to head out the door when you look down and see your four-legged friend giving you those puppy-dog eyes, hoping not to be left out of the fun day ahead. With a few simple precautions, you can ride safely with your dog and avoid the guilt of leaving her at home.
Before your first ride, make sure your dog is familiar with your bike, and feels comfortable being attached to it. Also, start off slowly. Just like people, dogs need to build up their stamina for exercise. Begin by riding at a very slow pace, and build up speed over time.
Worried that your pet can’t keep up? Local bicyclists David Warga and Daniel Klein found an innovative way to take their dog along for the ride:
“From the beginning, Mordy has loved riding with us and always responds when we ask if he’d like to go on a bike ride,” David explained. “Because Mordy is a smaller dog, we’ve found that putting a milk crate on the front of David’s cargo bike for him to sit in is a good solution. We really enjoy biking as a family,” Daniel said.
Here are a few pet-friendly items to pick up on your next shopping trip:
- A colorful, reflective collar with ID tags
- Non-tangling lead
- A body harness (attach lead to fitted body harness for safety)
- Small first aid kit, just in case
- Backpack to carry food, water, and treats
The next time you’re thinking about going for a ride, don’t forget that there are plenty of ways to enjoy it with your furry friend!
*Before beginning a new exercise program, check with your vet to ensure that your dog is in good health.
This article was authored by Adrienne Baldini, a BikePGH volunteer. Interested in writing for the BikePGH blog? Check out our call for creatives or email email@example.com.