We don't often see people biking with their dog. The very idea may seem impossible. But its not. If you're prepared with some essentials, your dog can definitely go on a cycling holiday with you and it can be a great bonding and rewarding experience.
One of the first things to keep in mind when you take your dog cycling is that all the roads you may cycle on might not be safe for him to run alongside. Bringing along a little trailer that's made specifically for your canine friend is a must. You can't carry your dog while you cycle, and putting him in the trailer is ideal. These trailers have plenty of space for your dog to sit up and turn around and even fully extend his limbs. Your dog may not like being confined to a trailer, so make it cozy and familiar for him. Put his favorite toys in there, and is blanket if he has one. Start him off with short trips and build from there.
Once you're on the road with your dog, and you think he might have to be in the trailer for a while, make sure you give him plenty of exercise before you confine him. Walks in the morning prior to heading out and again in the evening when you stop for the night are a good idea. We can also recommend giving your dog short breaks from being in the trailer throughout the day.
The weather is another important element to consider when you're on the road with your dog. It might be quite hot during the day or bitter cold at night. This means you need to have the appropriate vests for your dog. There are cooling vests that you can buy for him, and one can also double as a jacket when the temperature dips lower. The key is to know what kind of sensitivity your dog has to the weather, and prepare accordingly.
If your cycling holiday involves camping overnight, then of course you're going to bring a tent to sleep in. A regular tent would suffice for you and your doggie companion, but most people don't go on cycling holidays alone. A regular tent is a tight fit for 2 people and a dog, but a 3 person tent is a life saver. You won't feel crammed and no one will wake up miserable.
However, if you don’t plan on camping, finding pet friendly accommodations can be difficult. On a cycling trip, it can be hard to know where you'll be at the end of the day, even with the best laid plans. Some advance research on websites like GoPetFriendly.com will give you an idea of where the pet friendly accommodations are, and where you can stop if you can't make it to your planned destination.
A first aid kit is a must to carry on any trip with your dog. It's easy enough to buy a kit from the pet supplies store and customize it for your pooch. Remember to include your dog's vet papers and any medication he takes on a regular basis.
Don't rely on being able to find food for your dog along the way either. You may not find your preferred brand of dog food everywhere you go. Carrying enough for the whole trip might not be a feasible plan for a long trip, but it's a good one for a shorter trip. Make sure you add a couple days extra too, just in case. And of course, your dog needs his own water bottle and bowl.
If you're new to cycling vacations, or if you've never taken your dog with you, then start out with some test rides to the park or a nearby trail. Slowly expand to a weekend of cycling, and as your dog and you get more comfortable out on the road, you can be more adventurous. Happy cycling!