Biking with Your Dog
Posted by Happy Writers, Co on Nov 1st 2021
Biking with Your Dog
Always wanted to explore the great outdoors on your bike, but struggled to think about leaving your dog behind? Great news! You don’t need to organize doggy daycare because there are safe ways to take your dog with you when you go biking.
Bikepacking with your dog can be an incredible shared activity. Just like you - your dog also loves the freedom of exploring rural routes and following wherever their eyes or noses take them.
How to safely take your dog bikepacking
There are a few extra considerations to keep in mind when preparing to take your dog on a biking trip.
Of course, your dog isn’t capable of letting you know if they feel up to making the trip, so it’s important to consult a veterinarian before embarking on your adventure. They will be able to let you know if your dog is healthy enough to spend multiple days outdoors doing plenty of exercise.
You should keep your dog happy and healthy by pre-packaging some of their dog food for the trip. If you are going to be away for an extended period of time, you might want to research your options about buying dog food in remote locations. If possible, try to buy the same brand of food they normally eat, to avoid any stomach upset while you’re bikepacking.
In terms of water, try to separate your supply and your dog’s supply so that you know exactly how much is left for each. Your dog will regularly drink surface water during the trip, but they will still need you to carry water for them.
Add a comfortable cargo basket for your dog to rest in. Your dog will naturally get tired in intervals throughout each day, so be sure they can sit in a basket attached to your bike when they need to take the weight off their paws!
Take a first aid kit for your dog. It is important that this includes materials to clean any wounds they might inflict on their paws across the rugged terrain. Also, remove any ticks at the end of each day with tweezers, before they get embedded into the skin.
Want to go bikepacking with your less mobile dog?
If you have a cargo basket big enough, you can certainly take a dog that needs mobility assistance on shorter bike trips. If your dog can walk with a dog wheelchair, you should be able to make extensive use of your basket to give them frequent breaks. Just remember that it might not be sensible to take a less mobile dog on very long trips!
Some final quick tips for dogpacking
- Take into account your dog’s preference. Some will be happier running alongside you, while other dogs will be comfortable sitting in your bike’s basket most of the time.
- Start with a very short trip to get your dog comfortable. At first, your dog won’t be familiar with biking! Make sure they slowly get introduced to sitting in the basket.
- Build up your dog’s stamina before taking longer trips. Consider keeping your dog on a leash most of the time at first, in order to prevent them wearing themselves out with too much running.
Jack Vale is a writer from Happy Writers, Co.