Love biking and want to take your dog on the ride with you? While some dogs are happy and capable to run next to a bike, for lots of dogs this might not be the best option. Having your pup in a bike trailer is an easy way to keep your dog by your side while adventuring.
Why get a bike trailer for your dog?
Your dog can’t keep up. If your dog is having trouble to run consistently for a longer time, you probably have been taking lots of breaks or have shortened your bike trips. With a dog bike trailer this is not a problem as you can give your pup a break while continuing your trip.
Your dog is older, sick or has injuries. You might still want your dog to be out and about with you and a little adventure with fresh air can be lots of fun for your dog even if he is older or injured. With your dog in a trailer, he will still be able to explore new places with you while being gentle to his joints and keeping his health a priority.
Your dog pulls in different directions while running. Some pups don’t like running next to a bike and pull away from it. Others run but then abruptly break or pull towards distractions. This can be dangerous for you and your dog.
Depending on your dog’s breed you need a different sized bicycle trailer. Make sure to measure your dog’s height and length to compare to dimensions. You want your dog to lay or sit comfortably in there. Also, take note of the maximum weight limit, especially if your dog is on the bigger side.
Most trailers for dogs have mesh windows to increase airflow inside.
You will need to get used to the way your bike moves with a dog trailer attached to it. A few things to keep in mind for a smooth ride are:
- Start slow
- Take wider angles when turning
- Stay on smooth surfaces, avoid rocky paths
- Break sooner to allow a smooth and timely stop
Some bike trailers can be converted into strollers or backpacks. If you would like to use it in different settings this is something to look out for.
With a bike you don’t take up too much space but it can be easy for cars to miss you. With a dog bike trailer in the back you need to be careful to be seen fully as most cars won’t expect a bike to have a trailer attached to it. Having a pet trailer with a brighter color is also a good idea to increase visibility.
You want to be seen during daytime, fog and when it gets dark or rainy. Having one or multiple reflectors help to be seen in bad weather conditions. Even with good weather, it usually brings more attention as well.
For a pet bike trailer it is important to have a leash connected to both the trailer as well as your dog. This ensures that your pet won’t jump out or fall out, whether it be by accident or because he saw something exciting and wanted to run to it. There might be a leash hook inside the trailer or already an attached leash that you can put on your dog when inside.
You want to look out for breaks while standing still so the pet bicycle trailer doesn’t move or tilt unexpectedly. It is better to secure it when you’re not on the bike.
Having a water bottle pocket or pockets for treats and other things can be very beneficial. On a long bike tour you will want to be able to give your dog water, or maybe a towel to dry if you’re heading to a beach or lake.
Depending on what is comfortable for your dog and you, you might have preferences as to where the entry and exit of the trailer is. A large dog for example might be harder to place into the trailer from a top entrance. He might prefer to walk into it himself from one of the sides.
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