Mountain Biking With Dogs

It is estimated that there are approximately 40 million mountain bikers in the US! Now consider that more than 36% of households in the US have at least one dog! I don’t know what the exact numbers would be, but I bet there is a big overlap of people who have a dog that also mountain bike. So why not have you and your dog get some exercise at the same time by taking it out on the mountain bike trails with you?

Besides mountain biking, something else I really love is dogs! I grew up having dogs all the time (for some reason my dad always brought Dachshunds home). 

I unfortunately do not have a dog at the moment (I live in an apartment without any outside space, which I feel is necessary for a dog). But hopefully one day when I am all grown up (whenever that might be) and have a house with a big yard, I hope to have a dog again and would love to take my dog out with me when I go for a ride on my bike!

In the interim, I go get my doggie affection fix at the local dog shelters where you get to take the dogs for a walk or just hang out with them to give them some affection. The pic to the right is of me at such a dog shelter dedicated to rescuing abandoned pugs or pugs who’s owners are just not able to take care of them any more. And yes….I know the pug in the picture looks just like me! 🙂

If you you want to see more about Pug Rescue, you can check out their site here.

Me and my twin

Want to use the graphic on your own site? Go ahead! All I ask for is a credit link back to this article. To help you out, I even created some code you can copy and paste into your own editor to automatically upload the image and insert the link:

Ok, so you decided you want to take your furry buddy with you when you next go out on a mountain bike ride. It makes sense, right? You get to combine two of your favourite activities, namely hanging out with your dog and riding your bike! But before you do, just keep in mind the basic do’s and don’ts of going mountain biking with your dog.

The Do's

Let’s first start off with the things you should be doing, before we cover the things you should not be doing.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Trained

When you go out on the trails with your dog, there will likely be other mountain bikers, people walking or jogging on the trails and other animals. So it is important that your dog has not only be trained to obey commands, but has also been socialised enough to be used to other people and animals. The last thing you want is your dog running off after a squirrel into the bushed with you yelling after it to stop!

Keep Your Dog Hydrated

A dog can get hydrated very quickly if your not careful. Especially so when it is running around and it probably being hot out. So always keep some water at hand for your dog when it gets thirsty and keep an eye out to make sure it is not dehydrating. Some common sings of dehydration to look out for include:

  • Panting
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry nose and gums
  • Low energy levels and/or lethargy

Clean Up Your Dog's Poop

I know you might be out in nature and a dog pooping is natural. However, we need to keep in mind other people are also using the trails and stepping into poop or riding over poop is not cool! So be nice, and pick up after your dog so others don’t have to!

The Don'ts

Great, now that we know what we should be doing, let’s move on to the few things we should not be doing.

Do Not Leash Your Dog

Remember the first “Do” point above about making sure your dog is properly trained? If your dog is not well trained you will probably be tempted to attach your dog’s leash to your bike so that I cannot just run off into the bushes! But that is not a great idea…

Leasing your dog to your bike will not only probably result in your dog being injured, but you will probably crash too! There are a few scenarios where leashing your dog to your bike can go wrong, for example the leash could get tangled into your wheel spokes, you might need to veer to the side unexpectedly or your dog might suddenly decide it really must run off after the other dog it just saw. All these scenarios do not end well. 

If your dog is not well trained enough to be able to run off leash, then it is probably better to leave him/her at home until they are one day.

Do Not Take Your Dog Out On Hot Days

Taking your dog out in any bad weather is probably not a good idea. If it is super hot or freezing cold out, it is probably best to let them stay at home. Dogs can be very sensitive to conditions, especially heat. Dogs don’t sweat the same as humans do – they only sweat from their paws and have to pant to try and regulate their body heat, but in extreme heat this will probably not be enough! Is your dog suffering from heat-stroke worth the bike ride? Probably not.

Do Not Ride Too Fast Or Too Far

Keep in mind you are on a bike and your dog is running all the way. So know what their limits are and do not over exert them. Maybe start off with a short distance where you ride at a slow pace. After that you can slowly build up as their fitness and stamina improves. But always keep an eye on them to make sure they are not getting to tired or falling behind.