Getting home from a long day at work only to lace up your running shoes and walk Fido around the block is hardly anyone's definition of entertainment, but in-line skating with your pet helps you exercise the pooch while you get to enjoy some calorie-burning exercise for yourself. Taking your dog in-line skating might be common on television, but it's no walk in the park unless you approach it with safety in mind.
Train your dog to stay reliably your side during walks and jogs before taking it on your skating ventures. The training process can take months, but in-line skating with a dog that makes sudden changes of direction can cause you to fall and hurt yourself -- and your pet. Your dog should be able to consistently stop on command and change directions when you prompt it before you take it in-line skating.
Secure a harness around your dog and clip a long leash to it. A harness is preferable to a traditional collar when taking your dog in-line skating, as sudden movements will pull your pet by its body rather than by its neck. A long leash is ideal to create space between you and your four-legged friend; if you're too close together, you risk rolling over the dog's paw. PetTravelCenter says the leash should be long enough so that you can still control your dog.
Dress in in-line skating protective equipment in the event you fall during your skate. Common protective gear includes a helmet, elbow pads, wrist guards and knee pads.
Practice in-line skating with the dog in a sparsely populated area, such as a trail in a park. Using a busy area, such as a street or sidewalk in a crowded subdivision can provide numerous distractions that can cause you to fall or clip your dog's paw with one of your skates. Stay in quiet areas as much as possible to avoid this danger. Keep your dog several feet from you; if you're in-line skating on a path, allow your pet to run in the grass rather than on the path to minimize the impact to its joints.
- PetTravelCenter.com: Rollerblading with Dogs
- PetPlace.com: Rollerblading with Your Dog
- Sit Means Sit Dog Training: Dog Training Article: Rollerblading & Cycling With a Dog
- Dogster: How to Safely Jog, Rollerblade or Bike With Your Puppy
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- TeensHealth: Safety Tips Inline Skating
- Take a bottle of water with you to keep your dog hydrated. Although some people travel with collapsible bowls for their dogs, pouring a bit of water in your cupped hand is also effective.
- PetPlace.com recommends adhering to the "SLAP" guidelines, which stand for smart, legal, alert and polite. In other words, wear the correct protective gear, obey the rules of the road, avoid potential hazards and be respectful of others you meet during your trip.
- If your dog is elderly or ill, consult with your veterinarian to determine if in-line skating with the dog is appropriate.
- Avoid listening to an MP3 player while in-line skating. You need to be able to hear if pedestrians or motorists are approaching.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.