Are you thinking about taking your dog on your bike rides?
Plenty of dogs enjoy biking!
There are right ways and not so good ways to go about it though – safety first. Once you’ve found a safe, comfortable and of course FUN method that works for both you and your dog, you’re set for plenty of awesome biking trips together. Whether it’s a quick ride down to the local store, or a longer adventure – there are a number of ways to get your dog on the bike with you and share the experience together!
Let’s look at the main options we have to get our dogs safely on to a bicycle:
Pros & Cons of Different Types of Dog Bike Attachments
|Good for small dogs
||Accomodates larger dogs
||Suitable for any sized dog
|Lightweight, minimal effect on your cycling
||May slow down your cycling
||All terrain suitable
|Not for big dogs
Baskets are generally the easiest and most common way you’ll see a dog cruising along on a bike.
There are some limitations here to consider, namely:
- Baskets aren’t suited to large dogs, or even most medium sized dogs
- You’ll need to be confident in your riding skills and avoid any situations where there’s risk of becoming unbalanced
With that aside, for anyone with a small dog a basket can be an awesome choice to get your dog out on the bicycle with you.
While the traditional wicker or cane basket is what immediately comes to mind (and are still a great option if you love that old style look), we now also have significantly more choices at our disposal – many not looking like baskets at all but still functioning in the same way.
There are some truly luxury dog bike baskets which are more like portable doggy beds, or you can just stick to the very basics.
A dog bike basket can be put on either the front or rear of your bike – of course, you need to choose one that’s made to be put where you want it to go.
Additionally, rear baskets are only suitable for some styles of bicycles that have the appropriate setup to support it securely.
A lot of the best bike dog baskets double up as a carrier. This makes it really simple to attach to your bike for the ride, then simply remove it (with dog in place) and use it as a comfortable carrier – many come with shoulder straps that are padded.
Dog Bike Trailers (also called Joggers or Carts)
Dog trailers will extend the length of your ride by allowing you to tow your dog behind your bicycle in a secure carrier.
Unlike baskets, a trailer or cart can usually safely accommodate a larger sized/weight dog – so if you have a bigger dog this is one of your only options.
However: remember you’ll need to use your pulling power to cart your dog along behind you.
Easy bike rides on smooth, relatively flat inclines don’t present a problem for most people wanting to use one of these trailers.
Fitter, more experienced cyclists can obviously cope with more challenging terrain – you’ll soon get a grip on your limitations (and they will improve over time), the first time you take your dog out in his new bike trailer.
Leash or Springer Attachment
Out of all the choices available to us for biking with our dogs, using a leash or similar type of attachment that allows your dog to run alongside the bike is certainly one that has a lot of potential risks associated with it.
Some people understandably just aren’t comfortable with this sort of setup.
Using a normal everyday leash that’s just attached to your bike is not how to go about it.
Special leashes have been designed specifically for use as a bike attachment – and these are the only ones we should consider using for such purposes.
The risks involved with using a regular leash are obvious:
- Potential entanglement in the bike frame or wheels
- No control over the slackening or tightening of the leash as your dog runs besides you
- Allows your dog to get far too close to your bike – resulting in a big risk of being struck
In short? Never use a regular leash to walk your dog attached to a bicycle.
Bike leashes on the other hand are designed to keep your dog at a safe minimum distance from the bike at all times. I’ll cover several different products here (only the best ones, but will also mention any that might be best avoided). The benefits of using this style of bike leash include:
- They don’t make it possible for your dog to tug or pull on the leash – preventing her from going too far or too close to your bike
- They keep your dog at a safe minimum distance from your bicycle
- Can be used for any sized dog