Rotorua locals get behind info campaign for mountain biking with dogs

The Rotorua Mountain Biking Dogs group has put together a poster to remind people of unintended dog health issues as they speed through the woods. Photo / Getty Images

A group of Rotorua mountain bikers who love their tailed companions as much as the Redwoods Trails has a message for people who take their dogs for a ride in the woods – avoid overexerting your furry friend.

Led by Eldad Collins and Heather Vail and briefed by local vets, the Rotorua Mountain Biking Dogs group has put together a poster to remind people of unintended dog health issues as they speed through the woods.

Says Eldad, “While riding I saw some dogs that were really struggling and stressed – they run so fast to keep up with no way to ask for a break or drink.”

“They will stay with their rider owners to the point where they will suffer serious injury or worse.

“It’s a terrible result that could be avoided with just a few simple efforts on the part of the dog owner, such as bringing water for the pooch and reminding himself that he is not on wheels.”

With the support of the Rotorua Trails Trust, professionals and many friends in the cycling community, Mountain Biking Dogs devised a plan to get its posters up in key locations in the Whakarewarewa Forest as well as with local businesses.

For this, the group asks for financial support from those who can help even a little.

For the summer season, posters must be printed on weatherproof and sturdy paper.

Mountain Biking Dogs has set up a donation page for those who can support their printing needs – givealittle.co.nz/cause/mountain-biking-dog-lovers

The group’s goal is to collect enough visitors to the Redwoods mountain bike trails before the summer rush to print and publish the flyers.

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In the long term, Mountain Biking Dogs would like to place sponsored water bowls along the trails to further ensure the health of any sporting dog that gets a good exercise with its best friend.