Are you someone who has a passion for bikes and canines in equal measure? There must have been many times when you wished you could have fun with both at the same time. The problem is that animals as inherently playful and adventurous as dogs are will generally have trouble mixing with bikes.
Pulling a leash on is out of the question, unless you want to perform a less-than-graceful face-dive into the dirt or tarmac of the road. Of course, if your dog is trained well, you could just let them run off the leash, by your side.
A solution that does present itself though is to carry your dog with you. This way you get to have just as much fun while minimizing the risk that you would be taking. However, stuffing your dog into a backpack with their head poking out is not the way to go.
Dogs are, after all, inherently wild at heart. You can’t restrict their movement to the point that they can’t even scratch themselves! In addition to this, imagine how silly you would look riding down the road with a German Shepherd in your rucksack.
The better answer, if you are a city cyclist, is to get yourself a dog trailer. There are many types of dog trailers and dog bike carriers out there. You need to choose one that is perfect for your mutt.
Dog Bike Carrier
If you have a smaller breed of dog, this is definitely the best option for you. These baskets attach to the handlebars or luggage rack of your bike.
When you have a single dog, or one that weighs roughly in the area of 25lbs, you should consider a basket. They are less expensive, and can be insanely cute when you have a Scottie or a Terrier in there with their tongue lolling out.
There are 3 main types of dog baskets out there. Based on the material, they vary in cost and durability.
For someone who likes pretending to be from a vintage 1940s movie, cycling along on your upright bike with a cute handmade wicker basket in front or on your luggage rack.
While they may look flimsy, they are actually pretty durable. They will be able to withstand your fluffy friend jiggling about. Wicker is also airy, keeping your little terror cool in the summer.
If your dog is adventurous or a wild hunter, you are going to have some problems with wicker. It can be hard to get dirt and other unmentionable bits of dead animals out of the wicker fibers.
Being made out of wire gives these baskets extra strength. They also are far easier to clean, and can hold bigger dogs. They are usually attached to the front, either to the handlebars or forks. While wire baskets are airy, they aren’t as comfortable as their wicker counterparts. Consider padding for the base for extra cushioning.
These are made of the same material as military-grade rucksacks. Tough, rugged and full of pockets and pouches, these baskets are also generally waterproof. While this may tempt you to go mountain biking with your dog, it’s best to stick to the roads.
Fabric baskets are not rigid, so they tend to swing and bounce a lot. You don’t want your dog feeling like they are in a large sack, do you? If you have a small dog, this might be a great option, as long as you maintain balance.
These are made for the larger breeds of dog, weighing over 25lbs. They can also be used for multiple dogs, or even for your smaller canines to have more leg room on their journey. The problem with trailers is that they are heavy and add extra length to your bike.
Couple this with the size of your dog and you are going to be in a bit of a dilemma. However, with the right training for both yourself and your dog, you should be able to manage quite well with a dog trailer.
Which one is right for you?
You need to think about a number of things when making this decision. Here is a handy checklist of 5 things you should consider before buying a dog carrier:
- Where are you taking your dog?
Make sure the trailer or basket comes with a dog harness! You need to make sure your dog doesn’t leap out when they see fit to.
Have a few test runs with your best friend on four legs, and see which trailer or basket they actually like. If you aren’t going to think about your dog’s feelings, you’re barking up the wrong tree.