If you want to ride a bike with your dog, you have to ensure that your furry companion is fit for it. If the four-legged friend’s health and level of training allow you to cycle together, you still need the right equipment to ensure that the bike ride is safe and enjoyable.
Safety equipment for humans and dogs
Safety begins even before the excursion on two wheels. Ideally, your bike should be equipped with a coaster pedal. This is particularly useful if you hold the leash and therefore cannot apply the handbrake. As soon as you are out and about in the twilight or even in the dark, lights and reflectors are mandatory for the bike and the dog and you.
Chest harness instead of a collar when riding a bike
Your dog should be wearing a well-fitting, padded harness when cycling with you. A collar always harbours the risk of the dog’s larynx and spine being affected by sudden, jerky movements.
With a good harness, you prevent injuries while cycling together. If you often ride your bike together, you should regularly check your four-legged companion for chafing and replace the saddle if necessary.
Which leash for cycling?
If you want to hold your dog’s leash in your hand, it’s best to use a sturdy leather leash one to two meters long.
Towing or flexible lines, on the other hand, are out of the question because cables that are too long can get caught in the bike when riding. Flexi leashes are also unwieldy and very noisy if you accidentally drop them, posing the risk of an accident occurring because your dog is startled.
A jumper as an alternative to the leash
With your hands-free, you can better focus on cycling and traffic. You have the possibility with a so-called jumper. It is a good, safe alternative to the leash. This is a flexible metal device that mounts to the rear of the bike frame. It keeps the dog at a distance from the bike to avoid running into the cycle and uses a spring to compensate for jerks. A built-in safety device also releases the dog from the short leash if it gets caught in an obstacle.
If you are planning more extended tours that do not lead past lakes or streams, it is essential that you not only have water with you but also for your four-legged friend. There are now many practical water dispensers on the go that fit comfortably in any backpack.