Are you someone that likes to ride bikes for exercise? Whether you’re into mountain biking or leisurely strolls through town on a cruiser, biking is an amazing way to take in scenic views and fresh air – something our dogs also crave!
Taking our dogs along on bike rides is no doubt a great way to get them some exercise as well (especially if you can’t afford a dog treadmill), but many dog parents leave them behind because they don’t know about the assortment of bike accessories for bringing dogs along for the ride.
Luckily there are a few different options for biking with dogs including bike trailers and towing leashes, and also countless additional accessories such as dog boots, water bowls for hiking/biking, and even dog backpacks. Before we dive into our top recommendations for each type, let’s first talk about the differences with a few pros and cons.
- Dog Bike Leashes: Great for exercise; dogs run along side your bike; great for mountain biking or casual rides through town; may not be suitable for very small or old dogs.
- Dog Bike Trailers: Great for scenic rides; allows you to travel with dogs and get fresh air on a leisurely ride; not suitable for mountain biking.
Dog Bike Leash
A dog bike leash is an attachment for your bike that allows your dog to run along beside you without requiring you to hold onto a leash. These towing leashes usually involve a sturdy metal or hard plastic piece that attaches directly onto your bike and then a more flexible “leash” on the end of it which attaches to your dog’s harness. I strongly recommend these – you’ll be amazed at how much exercise your dog can get from using a tow leash. Here’s our favorite:
Our Pick: Bike Tow Leash
The Bike Tow Leash costs a bit more than some of the light duty leash attachments, but for very good reason. The lower cost flexible leash attachments may work fine for your dog if they are very experience with this already. However, if you and your dog are new to riding together, the Bike Tow Leash is the only one you should consider buying due to its innovative construction.
If your dog is anything like mine, one sight of a chipmunk can send her on a hunt. Luckily, the Bike Tow Leash is constructed to reduce your dog’s ability to pull sideways and tip your bike. These are all amazing features for energetic and slightly “unpredictable” dogs, but there’s also great features for even relaxed dogs, including:
- Communicates direction to your dog
- Keeps them a safe distance away from your bike wheels
- Allows dogs to get behind the bike to avoid obstacles (great solution for riding on skinny mountain bike trails)
Dog Bike Trailers
But what if your dog is too small to run alongside a bike, or too old? If your dog falls into that category, you might think you’re out of luck. Recently though, dog bike trailers have become very popular and affordable, and are a wonderful way to take your dog along with you for bike rides!
Adding a dog bike trailer would also open up the possibility for you to use your bike not only for leisure/exercise, but also to transport your dog if you live close to your vet or a park you might want to take your dog to.
Another transportation option is a dog stroller – typically a three-wheeled stroller similar to what you would use for an infant. We will look at some options below that are bike trailer/stroller hybrids, perfect if you’re interested in both uses!
Hooking Up Your Pet Trailer to a Bike
If you’re thinking about getting a trailer, one of your first questions is likely “how does this attach to my bike?”
Most trailers use the same exact approach, and it’s pretty simple. On your rear wheel, there’s a nut on the axle securing your frame to the wheel. You can simple unscrew that nut, slide in a trailer attachment onto the axle, and re-tighten the nut. Overall it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes if you have the right wrench! Once you have that component attached to the bike, you can use a quick-release mechanism for attaching and detaching the trailer in just seconds.
Our Pick: Schwinn Rascal Pet Trailer
When we’re talking about bike accessories, why not start with one of the most successful companies in the industry? Schwinn is very well known and makes a pet trailer that might be just what you’re after.
It has a maximum capacity of 50 lbs, padded interior, and a washable no-slip liner. It also features a outer pocket you can use to transport treats, leashes, or any other items you mind need at your destination.
Another nice feature is the internal leash can be used to secure your dog to the bike trailer, decreasing the chances of your dog escaping without you knowing.
What we think could be a great selling feature for many people is how easily portable this dog bike trailer is. The wheels can release and the entire trailer folds down into an easily movable package. The entire thing weighs about 26 lbs, so most people shouldn’t have a problem with it.
Runner Up: Veelar Doggyhut for Large Dogs
Need something that can fit a big dog? Look no further than the Veelar Doggyhut!
This can be set up as both a stroller or as a bike trailer, and for dogs up to 90 lbs! If you plan to only use it as a bike trailer, you can remove the front wheel and push bar for less weight.
The inside dimensions of the trailer are 34″ long, 22.5″ wide, and 26″ tall. Most dogs should be able to fit comfortably, or even two medium sized dogs. There’s also plenty of room to add a dog bed in for maximum comfort.
This dog bike trailer can also fold up, and weighs ~39 lbs in total. The rear tires are 20″, which means a smooth ride for your dog!
Another we love: Aosom Elite II Pet Trailer
The Aosom Elite II is the most expensive trailer on our list and also the heaviest, but for good reason. It’s fully loaded with all the features you could ask for. It has a max weight limit of 88 lbs and weighs about 37 lbs itself. The interior dimensions are 30.5″ long, 23.5″ wide, and 21.5″ tall.
For starters, the front wheel can be left to swivel (good when using this like a stroller where you want high maneuverability) or it can be “fixed” so it’s always pointed forward – ideal for jogging when you want to keep the steering steady.
The rear push handlebar is adjustable to best suit your height and activity. It also features a break that you can use when pushing or jogging with the Elite II in case you need to stop quickly.
There are three different entrances you can use to add or remove your dog to the buggy, and those are in the front, back, or top. If you have smaller dogs that you will be lifting up, you’ll probably feel more comfortable using the top opening since there’s little chance your dog can escape as you work the zipper!
Another key feature than needs to be mentioned is the built-in shocks! That’s right, this trailer has a suspension system to help absorb some of the bumps for your dogs. The trailer can also fold up for easier transportation.