Daily Archives: September 12, 2017

Dogs and trail safety

You have heard us say more than once that riding with others is always preferable than riding alone.  Not only is it safer to ride with others, but the camaraderie and spirit of competition always adds to the riding experience.  A lot of us also enjoy riding with our other best friend, the kind with 4 legs and fur!
 
Although there is tremendous joy in taking our canine friends out on the trails, we have to take a few precautions to ensure the safety of our pets and other people.
 
We have done our best to help you and “Man’s Best Friend” stay safe by putting together a ride checklist when you ride with your dog.
  1. Is your dog in shape to ride?
     
    Don’t expect your dog to tear up a lengthy and epic ride from the beginning.  Like any athlete in training, you have to set small, measurable goals, and build up from there.  One of our crew members in Texas takes his Boxer out with him, and it has taken him 6 months to build her up from 1.5 to 6 miles in that period. All breeds are different in terms of conditioning and strength, so be careful and don’t cause undue muscle strains on your pet.
     
  2. Do you know what trail you want to introduce your dog to in order to get them used to riding along with you?
     
    There are several factors to consider when turning your dog loose on a trail.  Is the terrain challenging?  Are there a lot of equestrians on the trail where the horses can be frightened by other animals?  Does trail policy require your pets to be on a leash?  A lot of local trails are also habituated by coyotes, mountain lions, bears, and snakes that can be bad news for you and your dog!  These are things to consider before you take your pet out there.  
     
  3. Is your dog trained with verbal and physical demands?
     
    This is very important because the last thing you want is for Fido to go chasing after other riders or critters.  Ensure your dog is obedient and will listen to your commands to ensure the safety of your pet and others
     
  4. Do you have the gear for your pup?
     
    We carry camelbacks and bottles of hydration, so make sure your pet gets plenty to drink as well. Carry a small bowl and water for your dog during these excursions.
     
  5. Reward your pet for a good ride
     
    Your pet will enjoy the experience and quickly adapt to the outdoor fun, but hook them up with a treat afterwards!  Some of us like to enjoy a nice cold beer after a ride, so your pet will appreciate the reward for their efforts in accompanying you.