You probably have seen this very familiar scene: you see somebody skating with a leash and at the end of the leash, of course, is a dog. It seems that the master and the dog are having a great day enjoying the great all-American outdoors. What’s not to love? You get a lot of sunshine, a lot of air, it’s a great exercise for both master and dog.
Just for appearances, it may seem like a perfect picture. It might seem like everything is in place and everybody’s having a good time. Well, this is the image that you see. For you to enjoy that same situation, you have to put in a little bit of planning.
That’s right. If you’re thinking of doing some inline skating with your dog at your side, you need to plan it right. Otherwise, all sorts of problems can occur. It’s not a question of if, but a question of when.
As the old saying goes, if you fail to plan, you are actually planning to fail. A little bit of planning can go a long way to ensure that both you and your canine four-legged friend have a great time in the outdoors. Keep the following tips in mind.
Use the Right Harness
Keep in mind that you’re not going to use a regular leash. Let’s just get that out of the way. A regular leash is simply not up to the job. There is going to be a lot of pulling involved. Your dog is probably going to pull at you from many different angles. Also, if you pull ahead of your dog on your skates, you probably would be pulling your dog towards you.
Given this tremendous amount of pulling or the potential for pulling, the typical leash is actually a bad piece of equipment because it can hurt your dog. It’s not designed to distribute the pressure in such a way that the pressure does not harm your dog. If you use a typical leash, the pulling pressure might impact your pet’s neck area too much. This can be quite uncomfortable. In fact, if you or your dog pulls at the wrong angle, it can actually cause quite a bit of pain.
The best piece of equipment that you should buy when out doing some rollerblading with your dog is a pulling harness. This harness is specifically designed for pulling. The design of the harness enables the pulling pressure to be distributed evenly and painlessly across your dog’s body so your dog still benefits from the harness wile at the same time, avoiding the pain or discomfort.
These are specifically designed harnesses. Also, they have the right weight. You don’t want a heavy harness that can lead to more pulling pressure as well as inconvenience or discomfort on both you and your pet’s part.
Train Your Dog First
Train your dog to get along with your rollerblades first. Before you slap on your rollerblades and put on the pulling harness on your pooch to enjoy the great outdoors, listen up. You need to make sure that your pet doesn’t chase after your rollerblades.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s going to happen if your pet isn’t quite used to you wearing inline skates around the house. Your pet would look at your skates as a distraction, much like a rubber toy or a small object.
It’s not uncommon for dogs who are unaccustomed to inline skates to chase the roller skates and this can cause all sorts of problems because you can be enjoying yourself skating and you thought your dog is behind you, connected to you with a harness, then all of a sudden, it appears like your dog is charging you.
The reason this can happen is because your dog gets distracted by the inline skates and charges them. It gets so attracted to the inline skates that it runs towards the inline skates, this can throw you off your center of gravity. This, obviously, is bad news. You can tip over and you can hurt yourself in a major way.
Break Your Dog In Slowly
I know that you want to live out that great picture of a master and his or her dog enjoying the great outdoors. As a dog owner, I can definitely see where you’re coming from. You obviously want to share your joy and enjoyment of roller skating with your four-legged friend. That is perfectly understandable and commendable, but you have to understand that this is a new experience for your dog.
Sure, you broke in your dog as far as your roller skates are concerned. You wore your roller skates around the house, you showed your roller skates to your dog, your dog probably knocked himself out playing around with the roller skates. By this time, your dog is okay with the roller skates and doesn’t chase after them. That’s all well and good, but once you go out there, you need to start slow.
You have to break in your dog the right way. This means, starting slow and possibly just going a short distance. Don’t go on a long distance skating trip all at once because this can test your dog and your dog might not be able to survive the test and all sorts of problems can occur. Your dog might get distracted, your dog might chase your skates, there are all sorts of issues that can occur and you owe it to yourself to be properly prepared by simply starting out slow.
Pay Attention to the Weather
While dogs can tolerate a wide range of weather patterns, it’s obvious that you want things to be as ideal as possible as far as heat, warmth and dryness are concerned. You wouldn’t want to go rollerblading while it’s snowing outside. Also, you wouldn’t want to rollerblade in the rain. Pretty straightforward common sense advice.
With that said, you also need to understand that you’re still breaking in your dog. As such, you should focus on being outside when it’s close to ideal temperatures. In other words, look for really clean surfaces, look for really dry surfaces. If you can help it, try to break in your dog by choosing to skate only during the summer or dry parts of the spring.
Make it easier on your pet. Remember, this is a new experience for your canine companion. Unless he or she has been doing this for several years, your pet still needs to get used to skating with you in the outdoors.
Take Lots of Water
Since your dog might get dehydrated or it might run himself or herself ragged, it’s really important to make sure that your dog remains properly hydrated at all times. This is a fairly simple problem to solve because you only need to carry a of bottle of water. No big effort on your part, no need for special equipment, no need to over-complicate things. Just make sure that there’s plenty of water available for your pooch, and you’re good to go.