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Dog Zip Line: Your Complete Guide to Setting Up a Safe System

Dog Zip Line: Your Complete Guide to Setting Up a Safe System

You might have seen a long cable running between two trees in your neighbor’s yard and wondered what it was for. Do they hang laundry? Is it a Ninja Warrior training course? It actually may be a dog zip line. 

This unique aerial system offers an alternative to traditional tie-out cables or ropes. It gives dogs more freedom to roam without getting tangled up around a tree or in the bushes.

Let’s take a look at dog zip lines to see if it’s the right choice for your pet!

What Is a Dog Zip Line?

A dog zip line is a system with a rope, lightweight cable, or bungee tied between two objects, such as trees, and hung seven feet or more above the ground. Another rope or bungee is hung from the horizontal rope, with a clip on each end, to serve as a leash. You can then clip your dog’s harness to the leash. They’ll be free to run the length of the horizontal line without getting wrapped around objects.

The contraption keeps dogs close and safe while still being able to play around the yard. Instead of using a tie-out rope or cable, a dog zip line allows for more free movement.

How Does a Dog Zip Line Work?

A dog zip line consists of two cables, ropes, or bungees. One suspends between two trees. You could also attach it to heavy posts if you don’t have trees in your yard. The second attaches to the suspended line to create a trolley system. It hangs down below to attach to a dog harness. 

Use a harness when using a zip line. We don’t recommend attaching the system to a dog’s collar. If you’re dog’s hooked to the system by a collar, there’s the potential of it being choked should the leash get caught around something. A harness, on the other hand, provides safety.

The aerial systems can be as long as you have the space for them. You could make it up to 100 feet. And you can be assured that your fur baby won’t wrap itself around objects or get stuck in landscaping bushes while it’s outdoors.

The Benefits of a Dog Zip Line

The biggest advantage of using a dog zip line instead of a tie-out is you don’t have to spend your time untangling the cable. You also don’t have to worry about your pet’s leash getting wrapped around things outdoors.

It can also keep your dog separated from other dogs, small children, or guests while providing a fun outdoor space to play and run around. This is especially helpful when you bring a new dog home.

Some zip lines have springs at the end of the aerial cable. This prevents a sudden jolt when the dog gets to the end of the run. It softens the pull, so your dog isn’t injured if it runs too far.

Possible Dangers of a Dog Zip Line

There are possible dangers to using a dog zip line. Be sure to test it and monitor your pet closely to see how it behaves with the contraption. For example, make sure your dog isn’t getting wrapped up in the leash. And help your dog feel comfortable with the system by standing by it for the first several uses.

Attaching the leash of the zip line to your dog’s collar is another danger the system poses. We highly recommend using a dog harness. A harness fits around the body instead of the neck, which could be harmed if pulled by the zip line.

In addition, any kind of zip line or tie-out system that prevents your pet from running away will also limit its ability to get away from predators or other aggressive animals. It’s very important to always keep a watchful eye on your fur baby when it’s tied outdoors.

dog zip line
Use a dog zip line with a harness to keep your pet’s neck safe from pulling and tugging.

How Do You Put a Zip Line on a Dog?

First, choose two posts or trees to which you want to attach the suspended line. Make sure this space is clear of obstacles and potential hazards. The two end posts should be sturdy and able to handle your dog’s weight and pull.

Second, screw an eye bolt into one of the posts. Make sure it’s high enough for you and anyone else to be able to walk under easily. We recommend hanging it at least seven feet off the ground. If you’re using a cable, put one end of the running cable into the eye bolt and tighten it with a clamp. Ropes and bungees may come equipped with a carabiner or other type of fastener.

Do a pull test to ensure that it’s nice and tight. Then repeat with the other end of the line. Once complete, make sure it doesn’t droop in the center. You want it to be taut.

Next, attach the rope or bungee you’re using for a leash to the horizontal line. Use a carabiner or pulley mechanism that will slide across the line easily without malfunctioning. Run the pulley along the line several times to ensure it’s working properly. Work out any kinks so that it glides smoothly.

Also, make sure the that leash is long enough with some slack to attach to your dog’s harness. It’s important that it’s sufficient for your dog to reach as far as you want it to go on the zip line system.

Finally, attach the other end of the leash to your dog’s harness. Do a test run and watch how your dog interacts with the system. Make adjustments as needed.

How Long Should a Dog Zip Line Be?

A dog zip line should be no shorter than 10 feet long. Any shorter than this really doesn’t give the dog much advantage over a regular tie out, and honestly won’t be worth the effort or cost to set up.

Most aerial tie-out trolley systems range from 50 to 100 feet. This provides ample play space while keeping your pet in the yard and away from danger.

dog zip line
No matter the size of your dog, make sure that the zip line provides enough room for adequate exercise and play.

4 Best Dog Zip Line Options

Not all dog zip lines are created equal. They vary in trolley setup, materials, weight ratings, and attachments. Depending on your dog and how rough they are on a tie-out, you need to find the system suited to their temperament and strength. Some systems are even convenient enough to bring with you camping or traveling, so your dog can have a leisurely tie out wherever you roam.

Below are four of the best dog zip lines we found on the market.

1. Snagle Paw Dog Zip Line

The dog zip line by Snagle Paw has a 10-foot pulley runner line rated for dogs up to 125 pounds. The system comes in either 75 feet or 100 feet long. This particular system also has springs that operate as buffers when your pet reaches the end of the line. 

In addition, the carabiner that attaches the line to a dog’s harness offers 360-degree movement for your pup to enjoy roaming around. 

Cost: Approximately $43. Check for the current price.

Rating: 4.4/5 stars

2. Pestairs Aerial Tie Out and Trolley System

The Pestairs system also has a 10-foot pulley runner line rated for dogs up to 125 pounds. It comes in 50-foot, 70-foot, or 100-foot options. The red trolley cable and runner line make it easy to spot the cables. 

In addition, this option also has buffer springs to reduce the risk of injury. Instead of a carabiner, this system uses a 360-degree swivel snap at the cable connection to allow free movement for your pet. 

Cost: Approximately $35. Check for the current price.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

3. Tumbo Trolley Dog Zip Line System

The Tumbo system has several options that range from 75 feet to 200 feet. There are home, travel, and Xtreme systems so that you can choose which is best for your needs. For larger, more energetic dogs, the Xtreme slider has three pulley wheels to keep it on the line for smooth rolling. 

The coiled cable of both the home and Xtreme system extends and retracts to remain tangle-free. The travel system comes with a lightweight Kevlar rope instead of a steel cable to provide a quicker, easier set-up. It’s still extremely strong, with a breaking strength of 825 pounds. The coiled cable of this dog zip line extends and retracts to remain tangle-free.

Cost: $85 to $175, depending on the length of cable and trolley type selected. Check for the current price.

Rating: 4.4/5 stars

4. Kurgo Ridgeline Outdoor Dog Run Zip Line – Best for Travel and Camping

Another travel-friendly option is this dog zip line by Kurgo. The system has a carrying pouch, a 30-foot tree-friendly line, four S-clips, and a swivel bungee tether to attach to the dog’s harness. 

The tree-friendly line isn’t made of rope, which can harm the bark. Instead, it’s flat webbing. In addition, all Kurgo products come with a lifetime warranty. This zip line is great for traveling, camping, or even taking out on a kayak or canoe trip with your dog. It packs down small but will give your dog plenty of freedom when you stop to set up camp or have lunch.

Cost: Approximately $65. Check for the current price.

Rating: 4.4/5 stars

Is a Dog Zip Line Better Than a Tie-Out Cable?

A dog zip line provides more roaming space for your pet. Tie-out cables are generally much shorter. As mentioned earlier, they also tend to wrap around objects and limit your dog’s movement until you free them. 

Having to constantly unwind the tie-out cable or rope as your dog plays in the yard can be a hassle. A zip line system gives your dog more room to play without interuption.

dog tie-out
Dog tie-out ropes mean constant unwrapping from objects in your yard.

Are Dog Zip Lines Worth It?

A zip line provides a larger, safer space for your dog to exercise. It’s a great addition to your pet gear. Not only will it make your life easier by not having to untangle a tie-out cable constantly, but your dog will enjoy the free-roaming nature of this aerial system.

Which dog zip line system do you like best?

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Petrics was born out of a love of helping animals and their owners live life to their fullest! Established in 2022, Petrics was founded by Caitlin and Tom Morton of Mortons on the Move, Discovery TV Show hosts and successful RV Travel Experts. They are a full-time RVing couple who loved traveling with their beloved rescue dogs. This Petrics team strives to share the most interesting questions answered, the most entertaining news and culture, and the most inspiring rescue stories. Additionally, our mission is to give back to animal welfare organizations so they can continue their good work in saving the constant stream of animals in need. In fact, 5% of all profits from Petrics are donated to animal-saving initiatives!

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