As dog parents, we all know that going on a short walk with our dog’s is easy. But what if you want to go on a cycling adventure with your pet? This is where bike trailers come in handy – after all, you don’t want to be holding onto your dog’s leash while trying to balance on your bike.
Dog bike trailers make cycling safer not only for you, but also for your dog, as he or she cannot escape and cause trouble. But bike trailers come in many different shapes, sizes and varieties according to your dog’s size and breed, which can make purchasing the perfect pet carrier a bit of a dilemma.
So if you looking to buy a dog bicycle trailer, but need help to decide which one is best for your pet or perhaps you are just curious if trailers are safe for dogs? Either way, this is the guide for you since we will answer these questions regarding pet bike trailers and many more.
We will explore the ins and outs of trailers according to their safety, design, durability, and the overall details you should look for when considering a trailer for your dog.
We even review our best dog bike trailers for 2022 – and below is a sneak peak of our top 5:
- Schwinn Rascal Bike Pet Trailer – Best overall dog bike trailer
- PetSafe Happy Ride Steel Dog Bike Trailer – Best dog bike trailer for Labradoodles
- Retrospec Rover Waggin’ Pet Bike Trailer – Best dog bike trailer for Cavapoos
- Aosom Bike Trailer Cargo Cart for Dogs – Best dog trailer for Maltipoos
- Booyah Pet Bike Trailer – Best dog trailer for Toy doodle dogs
What is a dog bike trailer?
To begin, it is fairly self-explanatory as to what exactly a bike trailer is; it is a device that is durable enough to hold a small, medium, or large dog and that attaches to the back of a bicycle.
As a family with two energetic children, we love to explore the local countryside on our bikes but didn’t want Rosie to miss out on it too. This is why we decided to get a dog bike trailer for Rosie, and after some trial and error, we found that purchasing a trailer tailored towards small dogs was the ideal match for her and us!
Dog trailers are easy to use and easy to set up. Most are collapsible with removable wheels, and most carriers have universal attachments, also known as a universal coupler, which means the trailers wheels can be inflated easily with a standard bicycle wheel pump.
These attachments may sound simple, but all of this makes most dog bicycling trailers easy to use. The next question you may be wondering is do trailers work with all dogs? Unfortunately, no, not all dog breeds can be transported in dog trailers, and a lot of this has to do with safety concerns.
Are bike trailers safe for dogs?
If your dog weighs more than 105 pounds, it can’t be transported in a dog bike trailer, simply because of the weight.
When buying a new dog bike trailer, pay attention to the capacity as some are designed only for small dogs, some for medium, and some for large dog breeds.
Most of the safety concerns for trailers relate entirely to your dog’s disposition. It can sometimes be easy to forget that trailers can be stressful for dogs.
While bike trailers can make life easier for you they can cause stress to your pet. So, that’s why we would recommend you introduce your dog to the trailer first. Start with your home and yard, and go for a short ride, and after some trial and error, only then should you venture out for longer rides.
We were lucky with Rosie, because she is still crated at night. Therefore she was used to having her own enclosed space to rest and the motion of the bike moving actually made her incredibly calm.
As to whether dog trailers are safe, there are some safety tips that you should bear in mind:
- When biking with your dog in a bike trailer, make sure you secure your dog’s harness to it.
- Attach one end of the leash to your dog’s harness, and the other end to the bike trailer.
- I strongly recommend using a harness instead of collar, just in case your pet gets frightened and tries to jump out, so that it won’t choke your pet. To find out which products we recommend, please check out our review guide to dog harnesses.
What should I look for in a dog bike trailer?
When deciding how to choose the best dog bike trailer for your pet, the main thing to keep in mind is comfort for your dog as well as safety.
It takes a firm understanding of a product to make the best informed decision, and therefore, we will tell you all you need to know about bicycle trailers through various categories.
Bicycle trailer features
Essentially, almost all dog bike trailers are pretty much the same. Most trailers feature several windows with mesh screens, a weather-proof roof which can be rolled-up, some accessory pockets, interior leash or a D-ring, non-slip lining, removable floors, and quick release rear wheels and reflectors.
With that being said, some of the best dog bike trailers are a bit different from the standard ones in that they are versatile and can be converted to a dog stroller.
Maximum weight capacity and size variations
Dog bike trailers come in several sizes. There are trailers for really small dogs (15-20 lbs. / 6.8 – 9 kg), and there are trailers for large, 100 pound (45 kg) dogs. Make sure you pay attention to these variations when buying a new dog bike basket.
The max weight capacity of the trailer can also be an easily forgetful aspect for most dog owners who do not factor in how much weight to allow for the dog according to the trailer’s capacity.
Always read these details before buying.
Trailer hitch compatibility
Most bike trailers come with a universal hitch or coupler attachment. That makes them compatible with nearly all adult bicycles.
But still it’s a good idea to make sure you can attach such a device to your individual bicycle and to ensure the trailer hitch quickly connects.
Pet owner budget concerns
Make sure you decide upon your budget at the very start, and choose the best bike trailer that fits into it. Remember, that often the more expensive the dog bike trailer, the better the quality.
So if you are planning to use it often, we would suggest investing in a good quality trailer. And if you decide so, go for one that is versatile – a 2-in-1 dog bike trailer that can also be used as a stroller.
How to ensure my dog will adapt to a dog trailer?
Some factors can determine whether a bike trailer will be safe for your dog. To ensure maximum safety, leash your dog inside.
Also, ensure you have bought the best bike trailer made from sturdy and quality materials. Resist the urge to buy other versions of bicycle trailers, such as those intended for kids, as these will not be suitable.
Additionally, you need someone who is responsible to ride the bike with the trailer. Trust me it can be hard work pedalling a bike and pulling a dog in a trailer at the same time. This is why it is best left to the adults and not children of the house.
Remember, don’t be too fast when riding your bike in heavy traffic.
Although it often does not take long for some dogs to accept getting inside a dog bike trailer, conversely for others, introducing them to a pet bicycle trailer can be a challenge.
So how do you introduce a bike trailer and ensure your dog is well safe inside?
- First, put the dog bike trailer in a place that is safe and open at this point, you can detach the wheels off the trailer, as well as the universal bike hitch and the dog bike trailer frame.
- Let the dog come near the trailer and let it explore it on their own terms.
- To entice your dog, you can throw in some of his favorite toys or treats.
- If the dog accepts getting inside, remember to praise and reward him.
- At this point, don’t be in a rush to put your dog inside the trailer. Patience will be critical at this point.
- When your dog is comfortable staying inside the trailer on the ground, take the next step. Attach the wheels and try pulling the trailer with your hands while observing your dog’s reaction.
- Worth noting, don’t be in a rush as you want your dog to have a positive association with this dog carrier.
- If everything seems to move smoothly, safely put a leash on your dog, then hook it on this trailer’s D-ring or straps. You can also put your dog’s favorite treats and toys inside.
- At first, when hitting the road, don’t be too fast. And again, only do short cycling sessions.
Tips for senior dogs and those with health concerns
What if you have an old dog who still loves hiking with you? Senior dogs may at times lack the energy to accompany you as they often become tired, or their bodies are too weak to walk for long.
With this in mind, such reasons should not deter you from taking your dog for hiking or cycling sessions when you have a dog bike trailer.
Having a dog bike trailer will help your old dog enjoy his or her golden years to the fullest. Similarly, if your dog is suffering from joint issues, or they are injured, trailers are also worth considering as a way of getting them to still enjoy the great outdoors. Also, check out the dog foods that can aid a dog with joint problems.
You can let your dog enjoy every bike riding session with you when you get on of the dog bike trailers highlighted in this article. Your dog can even peek its head out and catch a breeze, or when the weather is harsh outside, you can roll down the waterproof cover that most companies provide, to keep them cozy and warm.
Are dog bike trailers hard to push?
When you have a sturdy trailer and you fasten the hitch correctly, it will be easy to pull or push the trailer when out and about. However, the materials of your trailer can determine how hard it will be for you to push or pull it.
The trailers made of steel frames can become harder to pull for most individuals than trailers made of lighter frames like aluminium.
Do dogs enjoy bike trailers?
Dogs will enjoy bike rides on a bicycle trailer if they have associated this trailer with positive experiences.
However, if your dog associates a trailer as a way of imprisoning them then they will not enjoy any of the bike riding sessions you have together.
If you find it hard to cycle your bike while holding your dog on a leash and the last thing you want is to leave your dog at home, you may need to purchase a dog bike trailer.
What are the best dog bicycle trailers?
Now that we know the ins and outs of what a pet bicycle trailer offers, what are the best dog trailers to consider for your pooch? Below are top 5 recommendations by breed – all of which can be purchased online.
Schwinn Rascal Bike Pet Trailer (Best overall dog bike trailer)
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The Schwinn Rascal pet trailer provides a perfect and safer way to take your furry friend with you for a bike ride.
The unique folding frame and quick release wheels pack up neatly for compact storage and transport, and the frame Material Steel Coupler easily attaches to almost any bicycle for added versatility.
The rim material is made of aluminium, and the air filled tyres inflate with a standard bicycle wheel pump. Plus the internal leash is adjustable so you can affix it so you dog can not leap out of the trailer.
We have one of these for Rosie, and we particularly like the peace of mind brought by the adjustable safety leash and flag.
- Holds one pet up to 50 lbs
- Plenty of air ventilation
- Safety flag is included
- Rear doggy door allows for easy entrance and exit
- Adjustable bug screen
- The included Schwinn Universal Coupler makes it easy to attach the trailer to just about any bicycle out there
- Unique collapsible folding frame is perfect for family vacations and tidy compact storage and the internal leash is adjustable to prevent pets from leaping out of the trailer
- The towing mechanism is not well-engineered
- Can sometimes tip over far too easily
PetSafe Happy Ride Steel Dog Bike Trailer (Best dog bike trailer for Labradoodles)
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One great thing about the PetSafe Happy Ride Steel is that if you want to get in a bike ride, but your pet isn’t up to it, you can still take them along. This pull behind bike trailer is perfect for cycling to the dog park since you get a workout there and back, and your pet stays safe while you’re on the road.
For those who are nervous about leashing their pet to a bicycle, this trailer solves that problem and your pet will love the ride since the design features an extra-wide wheelbase and a lower center-of-gravity, to provide outstanding ride stability and easier access for pets getting in and out of the trailer.
Furthermore, there are special pockets to hold plenty of gear including cellphones, keys, leash, water bottle, treats, and more.
The front door on the trailer includes a zippered, mesh screen layer plus a zippered, clear vinyl layer to block wind and weather, and you can use these features in different configurations depending on your riding conditions.
The over-sized sunroof provides ample airflow and room for pets to peek their heads out and look about.
This model has all the best features of a small dog bike trailer but is best-suited for larger breeds like Labradoodles.
- A removable, washable cushion keeps pets comfortable on long rides
- Assembles quickly and folds down for easy storage or transport
- The durable, steel construction of the frame lets you go for bike rides with your best friend behind you as you clip the safety tether to your furry friend’s harness to keep them safe and secure inside the bike trailer
- Your dog will enjoy the ride with a view looking out the ventilated side, front and rear windows
- Pack your dog’s leash, water and treats for the adventure and store them in the 3 storage pouches on the outside of the bike trailer
- At the end of a fun-filled day, the bike hitch quickly disconnects from your bicycle and you can collapse the sides of the trailer for easy storage
- Easily prone to tipping over
- Can be difficult to assemble
Retrospec Rover Waggin’ Pet Bike Trailer (Best bike trailer for Cavapoos)
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If you have a Cavapoo or another medium-sized breed, the Rover Waggin’ is a great model to consider. Cruising with your four legged friend is easier than ever with Rover’s unique folding design, which is an attractive trait to seek out when it comes to a bicycle trailer. With a few easy steps, this model’s durable frame encloses into a compact, portable size for easy storage and travel.
Adding to this convenience, this model sports a deep rear storage compartment large enough to house toys, treats and food that both you and your furry friend need while you’re on the go.
The Rover Waggin’ has element and weather-resistant fabric and 2-in-1 canopy and mesh shielding so your dog can enjoy the ride without pesky pests getting in the way.
Additional features include a unique folding frame and low maintenance, easy-to-remove, 16 inch, 1-piece molded nylon wheels with air-filled tyres. These tyres easily inflate with a standard bike pump.
- Compatible with nearly all adult bicycles with included coupler
- Fits 20-29-inch wheels
- Includes internal leash to keep your dog safe and secure while along for the ride
- Rear doggy door provides easy entry and exit and securely zips for added safety. Plus, you can store treats, toys, and everything else you need with Rover Waggin’s pooch-pouch
- Interior dimensions: 30″L x 19″W x 17″H
- Maximum weight capacity 50 lbs.
- Not recommended for bikes with thru-axles
- The most listed dog bike trailer reviews cite tyre issues as the biggest con with this model
Aosom Bike Trailer Cargo Cart for Dogs (Best bike trailer for Maltipoos)
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Don’t let old age stop you and your pet from having fun outdoors as the Aosom Pet Bike Trailer is a great way to maintain an active lifestyle for your small to large pets. This pet bike trailer can be set up in minutes.
To attach the trailer to your bike you simply attach the bike hitch to your rear wheel axle, then slip the arm onto the hitch and attach the pin and safety strap. The mesh zippered screen on the front and back and the meshed windows on the side allow for maximum airflow for your pet. To protect your pet from the rain a clear plastic cover is included for the front door.
In all honesty, this trailer is perfect for pets, groceries, or other supplies. This dog bicycle trailer is an easy to way to take your pets with you, regardless if you are camping, hiking, walking, cycling, or anything in between. With a weight limit of up to 66 lbs., you can bring even medium size dogs wherever you go.
- The Oxford fabric built on a steel frame is super strong with plenty of durability to fight the weather, water, and UV rays. Plus, the dog trailer provides great shade
- With zippered doors on the front, back, and top, your pet can stick their head out of this bicycle pet trailer and have the time of their life. Plus, it provides amazing ventilation so it doesn’t get too stuffy
- A D-ring is included, so you can keep your dog nice and secure inside the pet carrier (a leash is not included)
- Two 20-inch rear wheels provide a smooth ride on pavement and are off-road capable for those adventures into the wilderness
- The flag on the dog carriage and reflectors on the wheels provide visibility in traffic and low-light conditions
- The wheels on this bicycle pet trailer are quick releasing and can fold flat for easy storage and transport
- Tyre issues have been reported by some purchasers
Booyah Pet Bike Trailer (Best dog trailer for Toy doodle dogs)
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As an honorable mention, and as a good option for toy dogs, the Booyah model, much like the Burley Tail Wagon, is a popular and durable model to consider. It holds up to 66 lbs comfortably, which means small and medium-small dogs have enough room to lie down and turn around.
The handlebar is adjustable for different heights and no tools are required for the breakdown and set up.
One great aspect of this model is the mesh that closes down on all sides of the trailer. The mesh side and front panels provide plenty of opportunities for your dog to enjoy gentle bursts of air on their face. It is easy to forget that just like us, dogs can partake in too much sunlight, and catch colds as well.
- Interior dimensions 21l x 15w x 14h inches inches, 16 inch quick release rear wheels
- 3 layer sunroof
- There are no stroller accessories for this model, in addition to no front tire or handlebar
- No safety flag
Summary: Best dog bike trailer models
There you have it, the best bicycle trailers for your dog based on size and breed examples. All of these models are durable and convenient thanks to easy setup and usage.
Make sure you keep our safety tips in mind for using dog trailers, and it really does help to pick a model based on the size of your dog.
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