Dogs and Bikes
Getting out and getting exercise with your dogs is always a great goal.
Getting out on a bike accompanied by your dog can be a bit trickier.
Very small dogs (under 15 pounds) can fit in baskets that mount either on the handlebars or behind the seat. There are baskets that are specially made for this, with cages that close over the top. We strongly recommend the purpose-designed baskets for small dogs or cats, because attaching them to a normal basket with a leash or tether to a collar or harness won’t prevent them from jumping out, only from getting very far, which poses a number of safety risks for both you and your pet.
Medium and Big Dogs
For larger dogs, trailers become an option. Your dog is still riding passively (rather than getting exercise) while you’re on your bike, but it means they get to see the scenery, and it can be a great way to take your dog from a neighborhood to a beach or dog park.
We recommend against riding with your dog running alongside either with the leash attached directly to you or the bike or with your dog unleashed. A leash means that any lunges or changes in pace will throw you off. An unleashed dog, however well trained, is not under control and can be at the very least worrying to other bike path users. Additionally, both are against the bylaws in many municipalities.
There are custom attachments available, designed to maintain a safe distance between your dog and the bike. Most of those come with springs to minimize the impact of their movements on your stability. These are the best way to ride with your dog.
But that gets to the problem of stamina: a bike is the most efficient way to transport a human being, but dogs are restricted to just themselves. A lot of dogs will continue to run as long as there is someone to run with. Some will just longer than they feel comfortable with if they fear being left behind. So if you’re going to ride with a pet, please take their stamina into consideration. Take extra water along to keep them hydrated and happy!