Is Cycling With A Dog Cruel? (When done Wrong YES!)

Cycling with your dog is not cruel, in fact, they probably enjoy it as much as you do. You can, however, make cycling with your dog cruel by doing it wrong. If the dog is attached to a leash, don’t cycle too fast, take it slow. Monitor your dog and make sure that you have some water for them.

cycling with dog cruel
Is Cycling with a Dog Cruel?

There are various reasons that I can think of as to why you would want to cycle with your dog. Maybe you want to exercise while taking your dog for a walk or maybe you use a bicycle as your main mode of transport.

Either way, this article will answer the question, is it cruel to cycle with your dog?

Most of the people who run, walk, or cycle with their dogs do so because they have a special bond with their pets.

I am confident in assuming that because you are reading this, you are one of those people. So, you have come to the right place.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about cycling with your dog.

Related Reading: Best Bike Baskets for Dogs [REVIEWED]

What You Should Do When Cycling With Your Dog

You might come across some negative opinions when it comes to cycling with your dog.

If you are a responsible person, cycling with your dog is no problem. For the dog, it is better than being locked up in the home all day.

Take Appropriate Breaks

Dogs are genuinely resilient and they are actually very strong animals, but there should be no reason why you would need to put extra strain on your dog.

So, I recommend taking the relevant amount of breaks.

I recommend resting at least every 10 minutes to 20 minutes to make sure that your dog is not taking too much strain.

We need to remember that our dogs, even though they have lots of energy, that energy can only be exerted in a short amount of time.

They are not really built for endurance

Take Water For You And Your Dog

Taking water with you for you and your dog is crucial and it will make cycling with your dog a whole lot better.

It is the responsible thing to do even if you yourself don’t drink water on your 1-hour cycles. You still need to take water for your dogs.

dog standing next to man on bicycle looking ahead

I would say that this is mandatory.

When your dog gets tired, whether he is cycling with you or not, you will notice that dogs pant with their mouth open and their tongues out. This creates a lot of dehydration for them so they need to constantly be drinking water.

As we discussed, you should take at least a 5 break with your dog every 10 to 20 minutes. This is a good time to give them some water.

You can even use the same water bottle for you and your dog. You will obviously just have to take something to pour the water into for the dog.

You can use almost anything, it can be a very small cup or anything that captures the water and holds it there for the dog to drink.

How To Ride A Bike With Your Dog

Cycling With Your Dog

Now that we are done with the section on what you need to do when cycling with your dog, let’s take a look at what you should not do.

Do Not Cycle Too Fast

I know that sometimes when you are exercising, you tend to push yourself to the limit.

This is just the way we are as human beings, we are very strong and our bodies are built to endure a lot so that we can push ourselves to those limits. It is how we have thrived as a species.

Dogs are different, even if they are in the wild, dogs tend to sleep a lot and they tend to live very relaxed lives. So, taking them out for cycles is great, but remember don’t push too hard.

Don’t go too fast and remember to give your dog time to keep up with you.

Your dog needs to be able to keep up with you at a slow and steady pace. If that might turn you off taking your dog for a cycle, it shouldn’t. If you are pushing yourself a bit slower, all you have to do is increase the duration of your cycle.

This would actually be more beneficial than a short cycle at a high speed. So, if you look at it that way, it’s a win-win for you and your dog.

Never Drag Your Dog

Ok, so this is something that should not even have to be a part of this article because I bet that almost every single person reading this article will never drag their dogs.

That being said, we need to look at why this is a bad thing to do.

Not only will you give yourself a bad name because, yes,  people will also stare at you, judge you, and someone might even try to intervene and have your dog taken away if they see that you are dragging a dog alongside your bicycle.

Now, when we say “dragging your dog”  it doesn’t mean that your dog is just lying on the ground being dragged by your bicycle. What we mean is, he could be struggling to keep up and he is way behind you.

If your leash is tight while they are running behind your bike, that is considered dragging your dog.

Your leash should always be loose and have a lot of slack, which means that he is keeping up with you perfectly fine. If your leash is constantly tight, it means that you are dragging your dog and you should re-evaluate the speed at which you are cycling.

Dog joining owner in cycling
Dog joining owner in cycling


That brings us to the end of that article. Cycling with our dogs is great, not only for bonding purposes but it gives them something to look forward to. Sometimes we do not realize that we are our dog’s entire lives.

Their life literally revolves around us so, any excuse for them to spend time with us is great for them.

The thing is, when cycling with your dog, you need to be responsible for how you do it.

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.