Throughout June we are all being encouraged to get on our bikes for the national Bike Week which this year runs from the 10th to the 18th. Here at K9Active we love getting out cycling with our dogs but safety comes first so here are some useful tips and products to make sure everyone has fun.
Perhaps the most important aspect of cycling with your dog is how you keep them with you if you can’t let then run free off lead. Simply holding a lead or tying one to your bike can be dangerous as they can easily become tangled up and sudden jerk can not only risk hurting your dog but can also result in a sudden dismount from your bike – something to be avoided at all costs. The Walky Dog Bike attachment is one way making sure your dog is kept safely away from your wheels while still being connected to you. The universally fitting attachment is easy to fit to any bike and with a little time spent training your dog to walk beside your bike you can enjoy hands free exercise.
As with any type of exercise you need to build your dog up to accompanying you out on a bike ride. You should always ride to your dog’s pace, or slower, to ensure they do not have to run for extended periods of time to keep up with you. You should make sure you take regular breaks, giving your dog the opportunity to have a drink and maybe a small snack especially in warm weather. Rather than having to carry a water bowl and bottle of water at K9Active we find the H204K9 water bottle is ideal for taking on cycling adventures. Not only is it stainless steel design lightweight it also has a convenient bowl attached so your companion doesn’t have to attempt to drink from the bottle or you have to carry more than you have to.
When cycling you should be aware of the surfaces you are travelling on as repeated impact on pavements can be hard on a dogs paws. In the summer months the temperature of paved or tarmac paths can quickly rise becoming uncomfortably hot for a dog and in the winter months salt and other substances can irate feet. Max Wax by Paws can help protect delicate paws against burns and other injuries by providing a barrier between paws and hot surfaces or irritants. This nontoxic, 100% natural product made from beeswax and lanolin can also be used to moisturise and sooth paws after a bike ride, keeping them crack free and reducing any soreness.
You also need to keep an eye out for any injury causing hazards such as glass, stones or if riding in the forest, pieces of wood and pine needles, which can be tricky when trying to watch for your going. One easy solution to this can be a set of Grip Trex Boots from Ruffwear which give your dog’s paw protection against rough surfaces and reduce the risk of injury while still allowing the foot to be flexible. The boots which are made from a tightly woven air mesh fabric make sure that paws are kept well ventilated while they are given traction from a Vibram outsole. Coming in a range of fully adjustable sizes and with a Kew-Tec synthetic pigskin inner these boots give a snug, secure fit to make sure they don’t slip or rub.
Whenever heading out for a bike ride with your dog it is always advisable to carry a spare collar, harness and lead should you need to walk for some reason, puncture repair kit and it is always worth carrying a basic first aid kit just in case of an injury. Make sure you plan your routes so you know any areas that might pose a problem and once you are out with your dog be aware of your surroundings as well as how your dog is coping. This can be especially important round traffic and other dogs who may decide to come over to say hello, it is always safer for you and your dog to stop to deal with any interruptions then to pedal on and hope for the best.
Cycling with your dog can be a great way for both of you to get some exercise and by taking the time to make sure you are well prepared and equipped you can enjoy time together exploring the many cycle tracks and bike accessible areas the country has to offer.
There are events being held all over the UK during Bike Week and you can find details of these and other information on their website www.bikeweek.org.uk.