bike with dog

How to Safely Bike with your Dog

In Dogsby Emotional Pet Support TeamLeave a Comment

You notice a bicycle at the store and want to ride it, but without leaving your dog at home. Can your favorite furry friend can be included in this “wheeley” fun activity? Yes, with some preparation and special considerations. Let’s discuss:

Should my dog bike with me?

This answer varies by each individual dog. Owners must realistically consider their dog’s physical and mental abilities before attempting to bike with them, for the safety of their dog and their personal safety. Consider the following:

Training. Your dog will not be ready to go on a serious ride the first day you get your bike; dogs must be trained to run alongside a bicycle successfully. A dog who has little to no training will be more likely to cause an accident. 

Mentality. Some dogs are naturally timid, or are nervous as a result of a traumatic past. While some dogs may be trained to get used to things, other dogs will never like certain things. Do not force your dog to bike with you, as if they are scared, they are more likely to cause an accident out of fear. 

Energy. Even if your dog has a naturally high energy level, biking can be tiring. Always start with short and slow rides, then gradually work your way up to longer and faster rides.

Physique. Dogs were bred for a variety of purposes and jobs. Some breeds were meant to be active and have high energy levels, others were meant to have low energy levels. Dogs such as English bulldogs, French bulldogs, and pugs would be more suited to riding with their owners, as they have a difficult time participating in physical exercise as a result of their Brachycephalic anatomy.

Size. Is your dog a small, medium, or large breed of dog? If your dog is a small breed, biking with them running beside your bicycle can result in their injury or even their death. Small breeds are best suited to ride with you in a bicycle basket. Medium and large breeds may also be injured running beside a bicycle. If your medium or large breed dog does not have the energy level to run beside a bicycle, they could still join you on bike rides by riding in a bicycle trailer that is able to hold their weight and securely contain them. 


How to Train your Dog to Bike with you
Start by following the 6 steps below:

1. Begin by putting treats around your bicycle to encourage your dog to get near the bicycle and associate it with good things. 

2. Next, walk your dog while wheeling the bicycle beside you. Your dog might be afraid of the bicycle and you might need to repeat steps 1 and 2 for a few days or weeks. 

3. Once your dog is comfortable with the bicycle, leash them up to your baton attachment and do a very short ride, maybe once around your block, to get them used to it and see how they react.

4. During your next ride, teach your dog biking commands, such as left, right and wait.

5. Once your dog is comfortable with the bicycle and understands the biking commands, start with a very short ride on soft ground such as grass. Monitor your dog’s energy level. When the short distance is no longer challenging, gradually increase, keeping the same route and pace for about a week to ease them into increases.

6. Find fun places to bike together and enjoy the bonding experience!

How to Train your Dog to Bike with you


Start by following the 6 steps below:

1. Begin by putting treats around your bicycle to encourage your dog to get near the bicycle and associate it with good things. 

2. Next, walk your dog while wheeling the bicycle beside you. Your dog might be afraid of the bicycle and you might need to repeat steps 1 and 2 for a few days or weeks. 

3. Once your dog is comfortable with the bicycle, leash them up to your baton attachment and do a very short ride, maybe once around your block, to get them used to it and see how they react.

4. During your next ride, teach your dog biking commands, such as left, right and wait.
5. Once your dog is comfortable with the bicycle and understands the biking commands, start with a very short ride on soft ground such as grass. Monitor your dog’s energy level. When the short distance is no longer challenging, gradually increase, keeping the same route and pace for about a week to ease them into increases
6. Find fun places to bike together and enjoy the bonding experience!

What supplies are needed?

You will need a few supplies to bike safely with your dog:

  • A bicycle baton attachment and coordinating leash
  • A water bottle with a bowl
  • A reflective collar (and coat in cold weather)
  • A bicycle basket for small dogs 
  • A bicycle trailer for larger dogs who do not have high energy
  • A pet first aid kit


Remember, using a regular leash to attach your dog to your bicycle is unsafe.


What should you keep in mind when planning to bike with your dog?
Consider the following before biking with your dog:

Distractions. When you take your dog out into the world both of you will encounter many distractions. Due to the risks associated with bicycling with dogs, bike riders should be on high alert. Unrestrained dogs contribute to drivers becoming distracted and accidents occurring as a result. 

Heat. When most people go on bike rides, they go mid-day or in the late afternoon. If you want to bike with your dog in the summer time, consider the risks of a heat stroke or burning paw pads. Check the weather report before biking with your dog, and plan to ride early in the morning or late in the evening to ensure your dog avoids the risks of exercising during the high temperatures of the day.

Cold. When biking in the winter time, consider that ice increases the potential of a bicycle accident, which could injure your dog. The low temperatures do not have to cancel a bike ride; the cold of winter may be addressed by your dog wearing a coat and jogging boots. If the temperature drops low, always exercise caution and consider biking during mid-day or early afternoon to be outside when the temperature will be the highest. 

Nighttime Riding. If you will be riding your bicycle with your dog as the sun sinks and the moon rises, you will need reflective gear for yourself, such as a reflective helmet, shirt or vest, sneakers, etc, and for your dog, such as reflective collars, leashes, and boots. 

Closing Considerations

Biking with your dog can be a fun activity, however, this activity requires owners to consider their dog’s physical abilities and plan for safety.

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