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Rollerblading with Dogs

Among the recreational activities with pets many people enjoy is rollerblading. Rollerblading itself has become widely popular in recent years, but when you add your pooch to the mix, the sport takes on another whole adventure.

Rollerblading with your dog can be a lot of fun for the experienced in-line skate enthusiast but can have hazardous consequences for the amateur. Unless you have complete control over your dog and your own skating ability, you should not attempt this sport. Although it may look like a lot of fun and not that big of a deal, the feat can be dangerous and unpredictable.

Here are a few tips to consider when rollerblading with your dog:

  • Always wear a helmet and protective pads for your knees and elbows (the majority of injuries happen to unprotected, overconfident skaters)
  • Use a leash long enough that will help to give you advanced warning if your dog suddenly decides to take off in another direction, but not too long to relinquish control or your pet
  • Use your dog’s leash with a harness so you won’t choke your pet if you have to quickly restrain him or her
  • Obey all traffic regulations if skating in public
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, including bystanders who may not realize you are coming up from behind them and step out into your path
  • For safer rollerblading with your dog, it should be done in areas that don’t include pedestrians and vehicles
  • Be aware of obstacles that may trip you and cause you to fall, such as small stones, pavement cracks, twigs and limbs, or other debris
  • Be alert to the fact that other animals or objects can become distractions to your dog, and your pet may take off after them
  • Your dog may suddenly cut in front of you, potentially causing you to fall and injure yourself. Your pet could get hurt as well.
  • Train your dog to stop reliably on command
  • Be sure to provide ample water to your dog to keep him or her hydrated.
  • Limit the duration of your activity, depending on the physical ability of your dog and the weather. Dogs perspire through their feet and they won’t be able to cool down adequately if the ground is too hot. Work up to a level that is not too exhausting for either of you
  • Off-road rollerblading can help reduce injury to your dog’s paws and joints. Pavement can be uncomfortable to run on and can cause more damage.

Rollerblading with your dog can be a lot of fun and great exercise, but you should always be cognizant of the potential dangers. It is one of those recreational activities with pets that requires special skills and training.