Now that we have thousands of DogPowered units in use around the world it is imperative that the general public see our new dog/human team "urban mushing" sport as a wholesome way to exercise our dogs which in NO way is overly stressful to the the dogs' physical or psychological health- and is in fact the opposite.
We want the following list of general safety guidlines to be refined and enlarged- so send in your own additions/comments !
All dogs must be in their prime or younger if you expect them to pull the full weight of the unit/rider for any sustained period.
Dogs younger than 1 yr. (although generally quicker to adapt to the restriction of the rigging) should not be allowed to pull hard for any sustained period, in other words the rider should be kicking and doing all the work.
After 1 yr. you can slowly allow the dog to increasingly express and even encourage their pulling drive.
Dogs older than 10 yrs. should generally NOT be regularly exercised in these vehicles. The dogs pace should be of their control and not that of the rider.
The maximum rider weight (to expect the dog to pull, and power the whole unit) is 100 lbs. more than the dogs' weight. (for exp. if the dogs' weight is 50 lbs. the max. rider wight should be 150 lbs.) If there are multiple dogs you would add up the total dog weight then add your 100 lbs.
The rider needs to always help when going up any grade of slope.
Generally let the dog set the pace and only use some scooter kick tugging on the harness and or vocal encouragement for motivation.
Tires should always be inflated at the max. allowed and "feel" hard.
The harness and rigging should always be check before each ride and corrected if out of adjustment. Also make sure the outrigger bar is angled back to the rear a few degrees, past 90, so as to allow the outside rigging to hook up (take the load) at the same time as the inside rigging thus equalizing the pull on the dogs body.
Scooter fenders must always be in place so as to keep foreign objects/dirt from striking the dogs face/eyes.
The single dog should generally be located on the right side to allow them to be on the grass/dirt whenever possible (while keeping the tires on the pavement for low friction rolling) and to avoid any oncoming traffic on sidewalks and auto traffic on bike lanes.
Watch your dog often for signs of over exertion, limping, uneven harness pressure, etc. And check the temperature of pavement on warm days, look for broken glass on your path and steer away so the dog avoids it and look at your dogs paws often.
Always keep your dogs claws clipped short.
Reduce usage in warm weather (over 70 deg.) and severely limit usage in hot weather (over 80 deg.)
Always travel near water sources and or carry water.
Let the dog out of the system often (every 1/2 hr. or less) to drink, swim, free play, etc.)
For extensive use (more than 3 times a week with more than 4 miles an outing) on pavement use quality booties that fit well with some padding at the bottom of the paw.
Never leave the dog unattended while hooked into the system. Carry a leash and tie them up to a strong stationary object.
Always use sturdy footware yourself when scootering. Its recommended that new riders use a helmet, gloves and long pants.
Always carry a tire patch kit or an extra tire tube, a tire pump, a basic tool kit and some spare parts since you will get a flat and also have to repair things.
DogPoweredScooter.com 19699 Poplar St. | Bend, Oregon 97702