Nothing beats a cycle in the great outdoors with your favourite four-legged friend, however many factors can sometimes make this a challenge. Whether your little pup lacks the discipline to run alongside you or your older canine cutie no longer has the energy to keep up, help is at hand with a dog bike trailer.
Dog bike trailers are cabins that attach to your bike for your dog to sit in, allowing both you and your furry friend to enjoy the luxury of long bike rides, camping trips and visits to the local park with ease. The majority of dog bike trailers are two-wheeled and feature a third wheel attachment for the option of a walking stroller, as well as side battens and reinforced floors to stop your pup from escaping. Whether your pooch wishes to sit and watch the scenery or curl up and enjoy a snooze, he or she will be safe, secure and with you for the ride.
Due to its design, a dog trailer for bikes also serves a range of other purposes. When not in use, simply fold up the bike dog trailer, use it as luggage store or attach the third wheel for the option of a dog stroller. The uses and benefits are endless!
The best dog bike trailer - our top pick
Our personal pick and current favourite is the Trixie Bicycle Trailer. Built from a solid metal frame, it assembles and dismantles easily thanks to its quick-fix wheel system and easy-to-fold mechanism for space-saving storage. Sturdy and secure, the Trixie features hard-wearing and easy-care polyester and is available in small, medium and large in both red or black colourways to suit your style.
With net inserts ensuring good circulation, extra wind and rain protection and a removable padded base, your pup will be super-snug and protected from the elements at all times. Its top net insert with a removable cover gives your doggie the option to soak up some rays, while an integrated short leash stops him or her from jumping out. And as you cycle along, rest assured that drivers and fellow cyclists know your pup's in the back thanks to the trailer's reflective stripes and reflectors neatly highlighting the design.
- Solid metal frame with hard-wearing polyester.
- Net inserts for improved circulation.
- Top net insert with a closeable cover.
- Front and rear door.
- Reflective stripes and reflectors.
- Integrated short leash.
- Signal banner with reflective motif.
- Removable padded base.
- Trailer hitch included.
- Hand wash the base layer up to 30 degrees.
How to choose your dog bike trailer
With so many trailers available on the market, it can be a challenge picking the perfect bike trailer for dogs. Doing your research beforehand is always key.
One of the most important considerations when buying the best bike trailer for dogs is, of course, size. From small dog bike trailers to large dog bike trailers, there's a suitable option for every size and weight, with the maximum weight limit usually clearly stated. You'll also need to think about whether you'll be carrying more than one dog as you'll require a larger model if there'll be four extra paws. You'll also need to decide your budget as the price of dog bike trailers vary anywhere from £70 for basic models right up to £500 for more precisely engineered designs.
Consider how often you'll be using the dog trailer and where you'll be storing it when it's not in use. For example, a foldable dog bike trailer that assembles and dismantles easily is the ideal choice if you'll be using the trailer regularly. If you have a small car (and a small dog!), a compact dog bike trailer for easy storage might be the way forward.
Next, consider the hitch and connection. Dog trailers for bikes have different connections, so make sure you select a design that will hook up easily to your bike. A useful pointer is to look for designs that have a secondary strap or attachment point - this will stop the trailer from rolling away in the unlikely event that the primary hitch breaks.
Maneuverability is another important consideration. Naturally, you want the ride to be as smooth as possible, particularly if you'll regularly come across potholes, moving cars or other obstacles. Here, it's a classic case of you get what you pay for, with higher-priced bike trailers for dogs generally offering better handling and maneuverability than budget options.
Also keep an eye out for the trailer's flooring (you don't want your dog to slip around inside because of a flimsy floor) and seek out sturdy metal frames and hard-wearing polyester as they'll stand the test of time better and provide a more comfortable ride. Entry is another consideration; the best dog trailers for bikes have a front or back door for easy embarking, while some models have a top door entry, which can prove challenging if your dog's on the heavy side.
Finally, choose a style you like the look of and a shade that matches and complements your bike. Reading online dog biker trailer reviews for unbiased information is another useful tip, checking out what your dog-owning peers seem to recommend.
Best dog bike trailer reviews
PawHut Folding Dog Bike Trailer
This classic black dog bike trailer is strong and sturdy and perfect for anyone looking for a helping hand when taking their small dog along with them to the local park or supermarket. Easy to assemble, the product feels robust and reliable thanks to its high-quality solid steel frame. Its waterproof fabric is also ideal, as it protects pets from the elements and keeps them safe and secure while in motion.
This trailer feels smooth as you cycle, with its two wheels offering flexible movement once in use (this is a great feature as it makes the bike really easy to ride). The trailer is well designed, but it might be a worthwhile idea to place a blanket inside to make it that little bit more comfortable for your canine companion.
When it came to dismantling the trailer, the wheels came off very easily and slide nicely into the trailer, which then folds flat after undoing just one clip. It's worth doing this before you bring the trailer home as it won't fit through a standard house trailer when the wheels are on. The tyres are high quality and easy to pump up, too.
InnoPet Multi-Functional Dog Bike Trailer
One of the key concerns for dog owners using bike trailers is keeping their pet safe while in motion. Thankfully, the multi-functional dog bike trailer by InnoPet offers total peace of mind, thanks to its interior leash, which safely and securely keeps the pet inside the trailer. Meanwhile, its roomy size allows them to move around comfortably inside - it's a win-win!
This trailer is really easy to get started - simply open the frame, push on the wheels and off you go. It accommodates dogs weighing up to 30kg and even when the trailer ias fully loaded, it pushes and turns really easily. It also folds flat and slots into the car without trouble.
This trailer is particularly handy if you're often found cycling on tough, uneven terrain; the bike's large tyres makes it easy to manoeuvre on everything from sand and gravel to rocky grounds and forest floors. The design also features a pocket, which comes in handy for storing bottles of water and other small items. Finally, the trailer's fit for use in any weather condition thanks to its water-repellant fabric and mesh feature, which offers utmost protections in harsh and windy conditions.
DoggyRide Novel10 Luxury Bike Trailer
A premium product that's well worth the price tag, this lightweight dog bike trailer benefits from a cargo roof rack for easy storing of carrying gear and outdoor essentials - ideal if you're on a cycling holiday or camping weekend. It's so easy to use, folding without fuss with the release of just one pin. The removable black legs are particularly handy if you ever plan to use the trailer in tent mode.
Holding up to 50kg, this really is the crème de la crème of dog bike trailers, making a contemporary statement in the great outdoors with its sleek black and orange design. The luxury pet mat inside ensures one stylish adventure for your fluffy friend. On top of this, it offers all-round ventilation, a padded front headrest, a pocket for water bottles and a multi-purpose screen to shield your four-legged bestie from any rain, wind and dust.
The trailer does come with reflective stripes to the rear, but it might be an idea to add red LED lights for improved sight after dark. Otherwise, this sturdy trailer is hard to improve, with its removable cover easy to wash after a long day's adventure.
DoggyRide Pet Dog Bicycle Trailer
Easy to use both as a dog bike trailer and dog stroller, the DoggyRide pet dog bicycle trailer features both a front door and back door, allowing your dog to conveniently enter through one side and exit through the other. The trailer is equipped with a zippered mesh screen, which keeps your little pal protected from the elements during his/her ride.
Though the trailer's capacity is 40kg, it's worth noting that larger dogs might be a little squashed inside, so it's recommended that this trailer is used for small and mid-sized dogs to avoid any doggie discomfort. The reflectors and flags are great features, as is the anti-slip leather floorboard and jogging kit which offers the bonus of multiple usage. The adjustable safety leash is also a great feature, as owners can rest assured that their pet is secure during motion.
This trailer lacks a pocket for storing car keys and poo bags. There also aren't any brakes installed, so users need to take care if leaving the trailer on top of a hill, or even on flat surfaces should it be a particularly windy day....
How to use your dog bike trailer
Assembling a dog bike trailer varies from model to model, but the best engineered designs will be easy to construct and dismantle. Most models will require lifting the cabin into the correct position and locking it via the detent pin and cross bar. The next step would be to convert the cabin into trailer mode by adding the two wheels and tow bar, installing the hitch onto the axle and finally adding the safety flag for visibility (very important). Models should include easy-to-follow instructions, so make sure to always read them before setting up your trailer.
If this is the first time your doggie is using a trailer, it's important to make sure they're used to the design before you go on any adventures. As some pups may be nervous, introduce the trailer slowly and gradually - a good idea is to place it in an empty room, letting them explore the trailer at their own pace. As they check it out and have a sniff, reward him/her with praise and then open the trailer up to let them see inside. Once your canine bud is comfortable and content with the trailer, try strapping them up and closing the trailer, assuring them they're safe inside. Begin pulling the trailer by hand and if all continues to go well, you'll both be ready for a little ride out. Start slowly at first and build up to longer adventures from there.
Some trailers will be more hard-wearing than others, but as a rule try to stick to smoother terrains where possible, avoiding any potholes and rough grounds if you can in order to get the most out of your trailer. As you cycle, start slow and short and keep the extra weight in mind and remember it'll take longer to stop. Sharp corners should also be avoided where possible and when you do turn a bend, remember to do so slowly.
Keeping your dog safe in the trailer is paramount. Make sure your dog's securely attached, positioning them to the centre to balance out the weight if possible. Quality bike trailers will feature polyester fabric to help keep your dog cool and mesh panels to shield them from any rain, wind, dust and flying insects. Leave the windows open or closed depending on the weather to keep your dog at prime temperature, and if temperatures are scorching, make regular stops for shade and place a cool wet towel inside to offer some relief. Place a blanket inside on colder days to keep them super-snug.
So, now that the ins and outs of dog bike trailers have been explored, it's safe to say they make a great addition to the lives of both dogs and their owners - particularly if your canine companion lacks the control or mobility strength for energetic outings.
With a wide range of prices and sizes to choose from, there's a style and design to suit everyone. So next time you fancy a trip out, leave the car at home and take the bike and bike trailer. While you cycle along, your four-legged friend will be having their own fun experience at the back!