For the keen cyclist and dog-owner, a dog bike trailer is a great way to take your pet along to share the fun! And a sturdy dog bike trailer can double the family’s enjoyment of a camping trip. Perhaps you do most of your cycling locally, and want to take your pet along to visit friends, instead of being left home alone. The fact is that a dog bike trailer allows you to spend a lot more time with your pet, increasing your bond. So whether you need a dog bike trailer for long or short excursions, this guide will help you choose the best one for you and your pets!
The hitch connector
This is a very important factor in your safety on the road, because it affects how the trailer runs. A bad trailer hitch can cause your bike to topple over, if you take a corner too fast and the trailer tilts or tips. In addition, the hitch will affect your ability to stop safely, so put this at the top of your list of safety features.
It’s difficult to judge how a trailer’s going to feel until your dog is inside and you hit the road. However, you can research user reviews for dog trailers you’re interested in, to get more information about road handling. You need a dog bike trailer that turns well and responds to your steering. And this is especially important if you’ll be riding on roads with car-drivers – of various capabilities – all around you.
A good dog bike-trailer will be large enough for your pet to sit-up and lie-down in and move around a little. You don’t need to buy a trailer that’s any bigger than this, just ensure your pet won’t be cramped and uncomfortable.
Look for a trailer floor that stays in place and doesn’t get folded-up by the dog’s movements. A scrunched-up floor will be uncomfortable and make your dog restless. And although a dog-blanket can help with comfort, a good quality floor is important. Memory-foam mats with washable cover are included with some dog trailers, making them very comfortable and easy to wash.
Depending on the local climate, you may need to spend a little more to get a water-proof enclosure around the trailer. And water-proof cushions on the inside make it easy to maintain the carrier clean and hygienic.
Many cyclists go by car to their chosen area for a healthy bike riding session. So bike trailers that are foldable and have removable wheels are the right choice for stowing in the trunk. And foldable trailers are also great for easy home storage.
Dog bike trailers are available to haul dogs weighing up to 110 lbs. And for that weight you need a trailer with a wide wheelbase that rides low on the ground. A low gravity center makes for a smoother ride and greater overall stability. A kick-stand is essential to prevent the trailer tipping-over, when a large dog jumps down.
And if you’ll be hauling your dog during hot weather, you’ll need to be very careful to prevent them over-heating. To keep your pet cool, look at trailers with an open front and a wide-mesh enclosure. And to stop your dog jumping down from the trailer, choose one with a strong, leash-loop inside. Anxious pets travel better in the dark, so there are enclosures you can have open or closed to keep your passenger calm.
For trail riders and campers, trailers with a useful cargo-rack on top are perfect. Especially as they can also double-up as sleeping accommodation for your dog. And trailers with large pockets can be great for shopping trips in town, too!