Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

Biking With Your Dog…Safely




Are you a biker who feels guilty every time you buckle your helmet on and head out the door as your dog whines sadly, knowing that you’re going off to have fun without her? Maybe you have been worried that your dog can’t keep up with you, or that her leash will get caught in the bike wheels, but there are ways to include your dog in the ride. Here are a few of the basics.  


Getting Your Dog Ready for Exercise


If your dog actually has the energy and stamina to trot along side of you as you bike, great! This is a perfect way to get exercise. But even if your dog appears to be in the best of health, you should have your veterinarian check your dog over before starting a new exercise routine like jogging -- which is essentially what this is. You will want to be sure that your dog doesn’t have any underlying conditions that could be worsened by strenuous exercise. Also, if your dog is overweight, jogging is usually not the best way to begin a new routine; it needs to be built up to with a regular walking routine first.


Once your dog has been cleared for exercise, you can buy the necessary gear. Essentials include a non-tangling lead; a body harness (attaching the lead to only a neck collar could be dangerous; attach the lead to a fitted body harness instead); a brightly colored reflective vest for your dog (you may also apply reflective tape to your dog’s vest); blinking lights for your dog and bike (you can get a collar that has lights embedded in it, or use an attachable tag sized light); a small first aid kit for little nicks that can occur; an extra lead for detaching your dog from the bike to do other things; and water bottles for you and your dog.   


Extras that can make the ride more enjoyable are dog booties -- hiking grade to protect your dog’s feet from jagged objects and from slippery or hot (or cold) concrete; a bike lead “baton” that can be attached to the body of the bike to hold the lead -- and the dog -- away from the bike’s wheels (as opposed to holding the lead up by the handlebars); reflective rain gear or cold weather cover-ups for inclement weather; and a dog backpack so your dog can carry her own water bottle and treats.


Getting Used to Riding


If your dog has never been around your bike before, start off by walking the bike along with the dog -- you on one side and your dog on the other -- just to get her acquainted with being attached to the bike. If possible, try to use paths that are soft, like grassy or dirt paths.


As you do these practice “runs,” begin using the commands you will be using for biking, such as for slowing down, making turns, stopping, or for bringing your dog’s attention back to you when she is distracted by something. Try (as best as possible) to choose words that are specific to you and your dog so that she is not confused by hearing other people use the words. Over time she will become accustomed to these new commands and will be able to anticipate your actions


Don't expect your dog to be able to run for long distances in the beginning. Just like us, dogs need some time to acclimate to an exercise routine. Start off by riding at a walking speed on an easy path for a short distance. As she gets used to this over a week or two, build up to a trotting speed after a ten minute warm-up walk. Observe your dog at all times and stop immediately if she appears tired, is panting heavily, drooling excessively, or loses coordination (this may be signs of hyperthermia). If she seems to be slowing down, stop and allow her to rest and have a drink.


Remember, this isn't a race. Pedal at a pace that will allow your dog to keep up easily. Watch your dog closely. Any distraction (another dog, animal, or person) that causes your dog to pull away can cause both of you to take a tumble.


During the ride and when you take breaks, remember to give your dog lots of praise for being a good biking partner.  



Comments  2

Leave Comment
  • Biking With Your Dog…Safe
    11/22/2012 12:52pm

    It's a fantastic idea! Have done it, but Mapeta was too exhausted, so we mostly walked!
    Mapeta get ready to get your waistline back and make all the human sheep and chickens stand there hidden in the corners in total awe and muttering words of bewilderment as we dash by

  • The BuddyRider Solution
    10/04/2014 07:23am

    The thought of cycling with my small dog terrifies me -- visions of her darting under the front or rear wheels and getting run over, dying from exhaustion trying to keep up or somehow getting strangled by her own lead - no thanks. I love cycling and I hate leaving my dog at home every time I go for a ride, so I set out to find a solution....and here it is! 'The BuddyRider' - a bicycle pet seat for dogs.

    Pippa, my cross Shitsu/Toy Poodle and I loved this product so much we decided to import it and sell it to other cyclists and small dog owners who are experiencing this same dilemma. The Buddyrider fits quickly onto your bicycle seat post positioning your pooch between you and your handle bars where it can be securely strapped in with a front row view and enjoy the ride. NO more baskets, no more back seat drivers, the Buddyrider lets you keep an eye on your pooch and on the road without distractions.

    So if you're a cyclist and small dog owner you NEED a Buddyrider! Since I launched my new website 2 months ago http://www.buddyriderdownunder.com the BuddyRider has transformed the lives of cyclists and their dogs all over.....the best money EVER spent according to some of our customers.

    The Buddyrider is not a case of replacing your dogs daily exercise, its about getting your dog from A to B on a bicycle in a way that is safe and secure for both of you and then letting your pooch off for a run at the park, the beach or somewhere along your favorite cycling track where they can stretch their legs and do their business.

    I could literally go on forever about this awesome product that's transformed our lives....but its time for you to check it out for yourselves and please don't forget to tell you friends on Facebook, Twitter , Instagram and other social media.

    Thanks. See you on the other side.
    BuddyRiderDownUnder.com - The Bicycle Pet Seat for Dogs.

Around the Web