Cycle Touring with Your Dog
Planning a bike tour and intend to bring your tail-wagger with you? Traveling with your pet can be fun, but cycle touring with your dog certainly poses its challenges. Below you’ll find seven tips that will help you plan a successful trip with your dog in tow.
Taking your dog with you on your trip can be a remarkable and unforgettable experience. It’s also a great way to put more adventure into your lives.
With that said, it’s important to note that traveling with your dog can indeed pose challenges. You will have additional weight to your touring load; you will have to find dog-friendly accommodations, you will have to make sure to fulfill international pet requirements for entry into different places, among other hurdles.
But don’t panic because we’ve rounded up seven tips to ensure success in cycle touring with your dog.
1. Ensure the Trailer is Cozy for Your Dog
This trailer attaches to the back of your bicycle while you tow it. It’s where your pooch will spend most of his time, making it safe and comfy. The trailer should have enough space to sit up, turn around and also leave plenty of room for its gear such as food and bowl. If your dog is nervous getting on the trailer, you can include familiar items such as blankets or toys from home. To make it even more fun, reward your pup with treats for hopping into the trailer. Your dog will look forward to it.
2. Keep Your Pup Cool
Depending on the region, if the weather is hot, it is best to cycle during the coolest time of the day. Try to make it an early start. If you have to cycle in the afternoon, regularly stop to check that your canine companion is not overheating and give him water, as keeping your dog hydrated is essential. Finding a lake or river where he can cool off would be a big plus.
3. Carry an Extra Bag of Emergency Dog Food
To be on the safe side, bring an extra bag of dog food. Have a sack that can hold at least 64 ounces of food and an extra smaller one just in case, helping you know when it’s time to purchase more food ASAP. The emergency bag also comes in handy if you can’t find quality dog food from the city in which you find yourself.
4. Checking for Ticks
Yes, you are clean, and your pooch has never had an incident with ticks before but when on a bicycle adventure, it is prone to happen. After months of camping at lakes, cycling through woods and camping in the wild, you can expect to pull some ticks off your dog. It’s therefore essential to integrate a nightly tick check before bed. Get a tick removal tool from your vet or pet supply store to make it easier to remove those nasty ticks.
5. Feeding Your Dog
Since you will be on the road for quite some time, feeding your dog may take planning. Consider sticking to a regular feeding schedule. Plan where you’ll be at those times, but if need be, make that extra stop. You can also resort to smaller meals if your dog is vomiting due to the motion.
6. Sun and Rain
When buying a dog trailer, ensure that it has a protective cover for different kinds of weather. Weather on the road can be unpredictable, and you can expect to encounter lots of rain along the way. It should include rain covers and plenty of airflows. For optimal comfort and all the gear inside to stay dry, you can rig up some rain and shade hacks by using magnets.
7. Don’t Ignore Your Dog’s Nervousness
Remember, this is a foreign adventure for your dog and may cause anxiety or stress. Before embarking on your trip, practice cycling ahead of time so he can get used to it. Make sure this practice runs end in positive experiences.
You can bring some natural stress-reducing remedies with you as well, or use thunder shirts or other pressure wraps. Once you begin the tour, start with short rides over smooth surfaces so your pup can get used to it. Don’t forget to let your dog out for a stretch quite often.
Regarding safety, stay protected because, unfortunately, accidents do happen when riding a bike. Wear protective gear when cycling and do the same for your dog.
GUEST POST: Cycle Touring with Your Dog – 7 Helpful Tips
GUEST AUTHOR: Rachel Burns is an animal lover and journalist based in Dallas. Writing about animals is a job of her dreams. When she’s not writing or spending time with her beloved dog, Charles, she enjoys road cycling. Connect with Rachel on Facebook.
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