Tooling around on your bike with your dog in tow is a fantastic way to spend time together while benefiting from exercise as well. Here, you can learn about our #1 favorite, the PetSafe Solvit HoundAbout Pet Trailer, four other great models, and useful information about biking with your dog.
What You Should Know
Let’s take a quick look at a few key issues involving bike trailers and vital safety tips to get you started on the right track for making cycling memories with your pooch.
Why Use a Bike Trailer With Your Dog?
Many people love to go for nice, long bike rides but discover that while their dog is great at short stints, he just can’t keep up the pace for the long haul. A bike trailer provides an ideal place for your dog to rest in between runs.
For dogs who love to be with their owners at all times but are too easily distracted to safely run alongside a bicycle, a bike trailer is the only solution, allowing the dog to be with their human while staying safe.
A bike trailer is just the thing for dogs who:
- Are recovering from a surgery or illness.
- Are too small or old to keep up.
- Have a short nose and flat face (brachycephalic breeds) and can’t run fast.
- Need additional mental stimulation.
What to Look For
It goes without saying that you should avoid poorly made, flimsy carts that won’t hold your dog securely. So, what should you focus on when searching for just the right bike trailer?
Proper Size and Convenience
The bulk of your decision will be dependent on how much your dog weighs. Each trailer comes with a maximum weight listed, so check to make sure your dog doesn’t exceed the limit.
Additionally, you’ll want to measure your dog’s length and height to make certain that the trailer will be a good fit. Remember that most dogs like to sit up when riding to take in the scenery, so factor that height into your considerations as well.
Some trailers only open from the top while others have a door in the back, front, or side. Decide what would be most convenient for you.
Here’s what to look for in a well-constructed bike trailer:
- A sturdy frame.
- Comfortable flooring that stays in place.
- A secure hitch that is simple to attach and remove.
- Good airflow (lots of mesh windows).
- Removable weather protection.
- Internal tether to clip to the dog’s collar or harness.
- Excellent handling and turning.
- Safety strap (acts as a backup should the hitch come loose).
- Good suspension system for a smooth ride.
Extras are a purely personal decision, but you may want to consider a bike trailer with one or more or these additional features:
- External pockets for water bottles or a couple of items after a trip to the grocery store.
- A removable divider to separate two dogs or to use half of the trailer for hauling home purchased goodies.
- A kickstand to prevent the trailer from resting on the hitch when not in use.
- Easy conversion to a stroller to use with your dog when walking or jogging.
- Ability to collapse for storage or sliding into your trunk.
Tips for Safety
To be certain that your bike trailer is highly visible, be sure to use reflectors and/or safety flags. Bright colors will also help.
Always secure your dog to the trailer to discourage him from jumping out after every squirrel that he spies.
Setting the parking brake is wise when loading or unloading your dog to prevent the trailer from rolling away and spooking your dog.
Plan on allowing more distance and time to slow down and come to a stop. That extra weight behind you will affect the way your bike handles, so take turns slower than usual too and only ride on smooth surfaces.
Chances are your new bike trailer will need some assembly. This is a great opportunity to begin introducing your dog to the strange, new equipment. Allow him to sniff all of the parts and lie beside you as you piece them together.
When the trailer is complete, encourage (don’t force) your dog to hop in. Placing a treat or favorite toy inside may be all the incentive he needs.
Once he is comfortable sitting inside the trailer, try buckling him in and gently pulling him by hand around the yard a few times. The next step is a very short bike trip to see how he’ll do.
Don’t worry. Some dogs adjust quickly and some need a bit of time. With patience, he’ll soon be an old pro.
Be sure to watch this adorable, short video of a pup experiencing his very first ride in a bike trailer.
The 5 Best Dog Bike Trailers
We know that it is no fun to leave behind your furry buddy when you head out for a bike trip. Take a look at our top five bike trailer choices to find the one that’s just right for you and your dog.
PetSafe Solvit HoundAbout Pet Trailer [Our Favorite]
Able to carry dogs up to 110 pounds, this blue and grey trailer by PetSafe is a great option for both large and small dogs. We love the added stability provided by the wide wheel base and that this trailer sits low to the ground so that older pets can enter and exit with ease.
- For dogs up to 110 pounds.
- Adjustable safety leash.
- Interior cushion is machine washable and dryer safe.
- Wide wheel base and low center of gravity for stability.
- Two gear pockets plus a bottle holder.
- Folds down for storage.
- Small front door with a mesh screen and a waterproof cover – both can be rolled down.
- Large, mesh rear door (18 inches wide, 16 inches tall) fully unzips.
- Sunroof panel can be used in the closed, half-closed, or fully open position.
- Rear and wheel reflectors included.
- Uses a universal hitch.
- Pre-filled 20 inch tires on aluminum wheels.
- Fabric is rugged 600d polyester.
- Waterproof floorboard.
- Hitch safety strap included.
- Sits low to the ground for easy entry and exit.
- Lightweight 25 pound rustproof aluminum frame.
- Also available in steel.
- Comes in a medium size as well for dogs up to 50 pounds.
- Stroller conversion kit sold separately.
- Safety flags not included.
We like that this orange and grey bike trailer supports dogs as large as 50 pounds and also will accommodate 12 pounds of additional weight which is great for a quick stop for groceries on the way home.
With mesh screened windows and a rollback rain cover on top, your dog will stay dry and comfortable.
- Holds one dog up to 50 pounds and an additional 12 pounds of gear.
- Zippered door in rear.
- Washable non-slip trailer liner.
- Internal attached leash is adjustable.
- Hitch folds down to lie flat underneath trailer to save space when storing.
- Attaches to rear bike wheel with universal adapter.
- Steel frame is collapsible for compact storage.
- Two aluminum wheels have 16 inch pneumatic tires for a smooth ride.
- Tires inflate with standard bicycle pump.
- Quick release wheels for storage.
- Two-in-one canopy has a zippered mesh flap and a clear, plastic flap with Velcro tabs.
- Top can be opened completely to allow dog to sit up.
- Safety flag included.
- Reflectors on rear and wheels.
- Comes with safety strap for hitch.
- Weighs 25.9 pounds for easy lifting into vehicle.
- Does not convert to stroller.
- Users have reported it tipping over around turns causing bike to fall, fabric tears and minor injuries.
Designed for small or medium size dogs, this convertible bike trailer easily transforms from a bike trailer into a dog stroller and vice versa. All conversion parts are included with purchase as are reflectors, three adjustable interior tethers, a safety flag and rain cover. This trailer arrives conveniently pre-assembled and collapses nicely for storage.
- Recommended weight limit of 50 pounds.
- Front and rear zippered doors.
- Two large side mesh windows and sunroof for ventilation.
- Converts from bike trailer to stroller easily – all necessary parts included.
- Comes with detachable, clear, PVC rain cover with ventilation holes.
- Rear safety brake system.
- Three separate adjustable leashes included.
- Trailer tow bar can be connected or removed in just three seconds.
- Tow bar can be attached to either side of your bike.
- Folds for compact storage.
- Snap-and-clip quick release wheels are large to provide a smooth feel over rough pavement.
- Safety flag and reflectors included.
- Removable floor pad is machine washable.
- Large rear storage pocket and side cup holder.
- No complicated assembly required – just pump up tires.
- Heavy duty steel frame and sturdy floor.
- Slim enough to fit through most doorways.
- Slightly heavy at 29.5 pounds
- Users have complained of poor quality tires and zippers.
We love the high visibility of this bright red bike trailer/stroller that comes complete with all conversion parts. Bonus features include a suspension system for your dog’s comfort, two large side pockets to hold your gear, a hand lock brake system, and a back stroller handle that adjusts to fit your height.
- Weight capacity of 66 pounds.
- Front and rear doors plus sunroof.
- Two large, mesh side windows.
- Includes all parts needed to convert between stroller and trailer.
- Hide-away bike trailer hitch with backup safety strap folds down under unit.
- Removable front stroller wheel.
- Includes front, rear, and wheel reflectors and safety flag.
- Made of sturdy steel frame and water-resistant polyester fabric.
- Handle in back adjusts for a custom fit.
- Hand lock brake system keeps trailer in place.
- Universal hitch.
- Floor cushion can be removed for cleaning.
- Interior attached safety leash.
- Has suspension system for a less bumpy ride.
- Front opening has zippered mesh cover and a clear plastic rain cover.
- Sunroof has a mesh screen and thick fabric cover.
- Folds down for compact storage.
- Two side pockets.
- At 37 pounds, this trailer may be too heavy for some people to lift into their vehicle easily.
- Rollover bar may be difficult to install.
Loaded with extras, this bike trailer by Burley is equipped with a large cargo bag in the rear, side battens for stability, a flip-down tailgate, and a suspended floor to give your dog a gentle ride. The flex connector feature allows the trailer to stay upright even if your bike topples over.
- Holds dogs up to 75 pounds.
- Can carry one large or two small to medium dogs.
- Flip down rear tailgate for easy entry and exit.
- Floor removes completely for cleaning.
- Side battens for stability and a suspended floor for a comfortable ride.
- Quick release 16 inch alloy wheels.
- Only weighs 23.5 pounds.
- Large, mesh cargo pocket on tailgate.
- Heavy duty mesh coverings on all four sides and vinyl roll up flaps on front and rear.
- Both front and back open up completely.
- Flex connector on hitch lets trailer remain upright even if bike is tipped on its side.
- Interior rings to loop leash through.
- Parking brake included.
- Removable handlebar.
- Front, rear, and wheel reflectors.
- Comes with safety flag which can be mounted on either side.
- Quick release wheels and collapsible frame for compact storage and transport.
- Manufacturer offers multiple warranties.
- Stroller conversion kit and kickstand available but sold separately.
A Quick Recap
Our top five favorite bike trailers include several styles and weight capacities to give you an idea of what might work best for you.
The PetSafe Solvit HoundAbout Pet Trailer is our overall winner because of the high weight capacity and stability focused design.
Nothing is more important than your dog’s safety, right? This trailer’s low center of gravity and wide base greatly reduce the odds of tipping over.
Because comfort is important too, this trailer features lots of mesh screening, weather protection, large wheels, and easy entry to make sure that your dog thoroughly enjoys each bike trip.
Last update on 2020-09-25 at 12:38 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API