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We all hate leaving our dogs behind. As the days get warmer and cycling season comes upon us, you might find yourself wondering if there’s a way to bring your larger dog along on the bike ride.
While many dogs might enjoy bikejoring (pulling you on your bike) or just running alongside your mountain bike, many other dogs simply don’t have the stamina to keep up when you’re on your bike. Plus, it’s simply not safe to have dogs running with bikes on many country roads. Unless you’re on trails or quiet bike paths, it can be hard to bike with your dog.
Dog bike trailers are perfect for dogs who:
Are too old to keep up with the bike. Have health issues that mean they can’t keep up with the bike. Love joining for bike rides, but can’t keep up the whole way. Have smooshed faces (are brachycephalic), so running far and fast is dangerous. Like being outside, but aren’t exactly endurance athletes.
The reality is, even most of the fittest dogs out there aren’t ready to keep up on a 10 mile bike ride, especially on pavement or through any amount of traffic. A bike trailer allows you to bring your pup on your outings!
Unfortunately, it can be a real challenge to find dog bike trailers that are suitable for large dogs. If your dog is more than 40 or 50 pounds, it’s not easy to find large enough bike trailers!
We did the hard work for you and rounded up some of the
best dog bike trailers for large dogs out there.
Rage Powersports PT-20304-B Blue 2-in-1 Pull-Behind Dog Bike Carrier Bicycle Pet Trailer Two different doors make access easy The clear plastic top cover ensures plenty of airflow The secure attachment point & visibility flag ensures a safe ride Check on Amazon
PetSafe Solvit HoundAbout Aluminum or Steel Bicycle Trailer, Bike Trailer for Dogs With its third wheel, can be used as a stroller Top cover can be completely rolled up so that your canine friend can poke his head out The buckle option ensures maximum safety Check on Amazon
Schwinn Rascal Plus Bike Trailer for Dogs This spacious, durable trailer can be folded down easily To maximize airflow, unroll the plastic cover or keep it open for the dog’s comfort The strap attached with the leash & the rear reflective strips ensure dog’s maximum safety Check on Amazon
Aosom Elite II 3in1 Double Child Bike Trailer The plastic cover can be rolled up to maximize the airflow Reflective strips and visibility flag make the trailer safe for your pets With a swivel third front tire, it can be converted into a push stroller Check on Amazon
Rage Powersports PT-10117-R Red Pull-Behind Dog Bicycle Trailer This spacious trailer is great for large dogs The mesh side panels and roll-up clear plastic cover maximize the airflow in the trailer It also has a visibility flag and reflective tiles on both front and rear of the trailer Check on Amazon
DoggyRide Novel Dog Bike Trailer This comfy and specious trailer has all the dog-specific components The side windows and the moon roof allow your dog to enjoy a pleasant ride Being lightweight, you won’t face much inconvenience to pull it Check on Amazon Best Dog Bike Trailers for Large Dogs Description: This large, squarish large dog trailer has two different doors for easy access by larger dogs. It’s got massive windows and plenty of mesh for good airflow. Though it’s not the slickest-looking dog bike trailer on this list, it’s one of the most function (and most popular) Star Rating: 4.5/5 Price: $$$ Wheel Type: 20 inch inflatable rear wheels, optional third stability wheel for pushing. Top Cover and Airflow: Plenty of airflow, clear plastic top cover. Safety Features: Visibility flag, a secure attachment point for leashes. Bells and Whistles: Multi-purpose, made for both pushing while running and pulling on a bike. Weight Rating: 130 pounds as trailer, 85 as stroller. Inside Measurements: 29.25″L x 19.5″W x 24″H. The cabin is accessible by a front or rear door. The front door opening is 14.75″W x 20.75″H while the rear door opening is 16″W x 17″H for access. Weight of Stroller: 43 pounds Pros: Users reported that this stroller is ultra-easy to assemble. It’s quite spacious inside. Users reported that it seems well-made and tough. Cons: Some users reported that it’s difficult to steer this trailer when it’s in “running stroller” mode. It also can be tricky to attach to the bike properly. Several users reported that it smells quite strongly when you’re unpacking it, but it airs out nicely. Tall dogs should not stand up inside the cabin, as there is a rollover risk on turns. Description: This dog bicycle trailer’s more aerodynamic style has pros and cons. The small front door on this trailer won’t help your big dog, but the rear door is large enough to accommodate a big dog. It’s got less airflow than some other options on this list. PetSafe is a trusted brand, and this dog trailer is a bit cheaper than the Powersports option above. Star Rating: 4/5 Price: $$$ Wheel Type: Two 20 inch inflatable tires, wide-set for extra stability. A third, optional wheel for “stroller mode” stability. Top Cover and Airflow: The top of this dog bicycle trailer can be rolled completely open to let your dog poke his head out. The top doesn’t have a mesh option, though, so it’s either open or closed. Window mesh options are more limited than other trailers on this list. Safety Features: Visibility flag, buckle option to tie dog in. Bells and Whistles: Side pocket for storing keys, treats, leashes, or water. Weight Rating: Up to 110 pounds Inside Measurements: 33 in. x 22 in. x 26 in. Weight of Stroller: 39.6 pounds Pros: This trailer is reportedly easy to assemble. Many users reported that it’s well-made and stood up to consistent, heavy usage – even on gravel roads! Cons: The stroller conversion kit of this trailer is sold separately – which isn’t 100% clear from the advertisements on Amazon. Some users found that the bottom seemed flimsy for a large dog, but most easily reinforced it with some extra base work. Another user reported that the trailer tipped over going just 10mph around a bend, spooking their dog badly. Description: This spacious green trailer seems promising, but hasn’t had many reviews yet on Amazon to test it out for us! This trailer folds down nicely, even allowing you to remove the tires for storage! Made by a trusted bike company, it’s surprising that this trailer hasn’t gotten more love. Star Rating: 3 Price: $$$$ Wheel Type: Two 20-inch air tires Top Cover and Airflow: The top “sunroof” can be closed with plastic, unrolled to allow airflow through the mesh, or totally opened to let your dog poke his head up. Safety Features: This trailer lacks the safety flag that others on this list have. It does have a strap that you can attach your dog’s leash to for safety. Red rear reflective strips help with visibility. Bells and Whistles: This large dog bike trailer has a velcro-closed pocket for holding leashes and treats. It does not convert into a running or walking stroller. Weight Rating: Up to 100 pounds Inside Measurements: 32″ L x 21″ W x 21 1/2″ H, large rear door for entry. Weight of Stroller: 36 pounds Pros: The bike trailer seems well-made. It can be universally attached to any normal bike and is made by a trusted bicycle manufacturer. Cons: One user attempted to use this trailer with an e-bike and ruined the e-bike due to incompatible parts. The same user also reported that the trailer does not fold down as easily as advertised. Description: Advertised as a child bike trailer, this item will also work well for dogs. It’s not as square as some others, meaning tall dogs won’t have as much head space. But its tool-free setup and extra child safety ratings will attract some buyers! Star Rating: 4 Price: $$$ Wheel Type: Inflatable bike tires with full suspension. Swivel third front tire for stroller mode. Top Cover and Airflow: The clear plastic front/top can be rolled up for extra air flow, but that isn’t very safe as it leaves the entire front of the trailer open. The side panels are also clear plastic instead of mesh, so airflow is quite limited. Safety Features: Visibility flag, red reflective strips on the rear. This trailer also has “car seats” for kids, but no real safety setup made for dogs. Bells and Whistles: Can be converted into a push stroller as well; no tools needed for assembly or breakdown. Weight Rating: 88 pounds. Inside Measurements: No interior cabin dimensions given. Weight of Stroller: 45 pounds Pros: This stroller/bike trailer has a huge door to allow dogs to enter or exit easily. It seems stable and well-built. Users reported that it runs great for hundreds of miles. Cons: The airflow in this bike trailer is pretty dismal. That’s a bummer for dogs who enjoy scenting the air while they ride! It also only has a front door that also opens on the roof, so there’s no way to open the roof without also opening the door. Description: This bike trailer is great for large dogs. Users reported that it’s stable and spacious. While it doesn’t have pockets, it’s got plenty of reflective tiles and lots of airflow! Star Rating: 4.5/5 stars Price: $$$ Wheel Type: Two 20-inch pneumatic air tires, made to deal with gravel as well as pavement. Top Cover and Airflow: There’s plenty of airflow in this trailer! It’s got mesh side panels as well as a roll-up clear plastic front. The rear can be opened to mesh, and the top can be opened to mesh. The front is only solid plastic and cannot be opened for airflow. Safety Features: Visibility flag, reflective tiles on the front and rear of the trailer as well as on the wheels. Bells and Whistles: None Weight Rating: 85 pounds Inside Measurements: 29″L x 20″W x 24.5″H Weight of Stroller: 38 pounds Pros: Buyers reported that this large dog bike trailer is easy to assemble and use. It feels stable to them, unlike a few others on this list that are reportedly a bit wobbly on turns. Cons: One user reported that the zippers are not watertight in the rain. Like the other Rage Powersports option on this list, it’s got a strong chemical smell when first unboxed. Description: This large dog bike trailer is almost three times the cost of others on this list. It’s got a lot of great dog-specific components, but it’s not entirely clear why it’s so much more expensive than the competition. Star Rating: 4/5 Price: $$$$$$$ Wheel Type: 20 inch air tires with quick release mechanism for breakdown. Top Cover and Airflow: This trailer has nice side windows as well as a moon roof that opens completely. The main front window can be open completely or enclosed with mesh. Unfortunately for some users, you can’t really open anything but the tiny moon roof without also opening the front of the trailer. Safety Features: This trailer has reflective tiles on the wheels, but does not have a visibility flag. Bells and Whistles: This trailer has a large rear pocket with space for water, leashes, or treats. Weight Rating: Up to 110 pounds Inside Measurements: 31.5″ L x 21″W x 25.5″ H Weight of Stroller: 30.7 pounds Pros: This trailer is quite a bit lighter than others on this list, meaning you may have an easier time pulling it. Cons: Some users reported that this bike trailer isn’t very easy to assemble (Though others said it was quick and easy). It’s not tall enough for a 60-pound dog to sit or stand, though most bike trailers aren’t that tall either. The Making of a Great Dog Bike Trailer: Things to Look For
When choosing the best dog bike trailer for you and your dog, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. Even if you don’t go with one of the suggestions we have for you, make sure you’re checking off these boxes as you go!
Ensure that the trailer you’re getting will fit with your bike. Many dog bike trailers are not suitable for e-bikes, for example. Most of the trailers on our list should work for the majority of major bicycles. Contact the manufacturer if you’re not sure.
2. Smooth Ride Wheels
Different types of trailer tires are designed for different types of activities. If you’re looking for a trailer that will handle well on long trail rides, pick air tires rather than solid plastic tires. These tires will need inflating like bike tires but are much better suited to shock absorption. Solid plastic wheels are fine for shorter, easy rides, but won’t hold up well going over cracks, gravel, or roots.
3. Protective Top Covers
Almost all decent bike trailers will have a protective top cover – you just have to decide whether you want mesh or solid! These covers keep your pup safe from strong sun rays, flying rocks, and rain. Even more importantly, a protective top cover keeps your dog from hopping out of the bike trailer.
4. Air Flow vs. Dryness
Some bike trailers for dogs will close with a mesh hood, giving your dog plenty of airflow. Others will have plastic window panes, which keep your dog dryer but prevent good airflow. In general, more air flow (and therefore more mesh) is better, since dogs learn so much about their environment through their noses. Who wants to go for a bike ride in the rain, anyway?
SEE ALSO: The 6 Best Dog Strollers for Large Dogs
Weigh your options and decide which is more important to you! Whichever option you choose, do make sure that your dog has plenty of air circulation.
5. Folding Trailers
Many bike trailers are really large and cumbersome. Unless you’ve got a ton of spare garage space, you’ll want to look for a bike trailer that can fold down a bit. Each of the large dog bike trailers on this list will fold down for transport or storage, so this won’t be as much of an issue!
However, if you already have a tough time assembling Ikea furniture, you may want to opt for the simplest, more streamlined folding method possible. It’s a balance.
6. Size & Weight
When looking at a dog trailer, you’ll want to examine a few different size elements. Confirm that the trailer’s cabin is big enough for your dog to fit comfortably inside. Many trailers are rated to fit an 85 pound dog, but won’t fit a dog that large inside comfortably! Ensure that the trailer is also compact enough and light enough for you to use and carry well.
7. Multi-Purpose Trailers
Many trailers can also transition to push-strollers for running. If that appeals to you, make sure you find a trailer that can do both. If you’re planning on long, bumpy rides or runs along gravel paths, be sure to look specifically for strollers that are made for jogging, running, and off-road travel.
While these dog bike trailers will likely be more expensive, they have the durability required for more strenuous activities. If you just want a trailer for the occasional short ride, surgery recovery, or short jaunts around a local park, save your money and skip the multi-purpose trailers.
8. Safety Features
Many dog bike trailers for dogs come with visible flags to keep you safer in traffic. Others have safety belts or other safety features. Keep an eye out for these, especially if your dog isn’t used to trailers and may be a bit wiggly inside!
9. Bonus Bells and Whistles
Many dog bike trailers boast of extra storage space or fancy colors. Consider how important these bonus features are for you – if you want to take a morning stroll with your pup and a Starbucks coffee, you’ll likely want a cup holder handy!
As with all products, keep an eye out for dog bike trailers that are generally easy to use, sturdy, and safe. A dog bike trailer that is complicated to put together, fragile, or unsafe is a bad bike trailer!
How Do I Teach My Dog to Ride Inside the Trailer?
One of the biggest complaints about many dog bike trailers is that the dog doesn’t like it. If your dog doesn’t like car rides, there’s a good chance that a bike trailer will be even scarier.
When you first get the bike trailer, don’t just load your dog up for an hour-long ride! Expect it to take at least a few days for your dog to feel comfortable inside the trailer.
Start out by just letting your dog investigate it and explore – much like you would for crate training. Reward your dog for checking it out. Don’t lure or drag her inside.
Set up the trailer so that it’s stable, and reward your dog for stepping inside. If she seems comfortable, close it then. Let her out right away. Repeat that step a few times.
Once your dog is comfortable sitting in the trailer for a minute when it’s still, start adding in movement. If she seems totally comfortable with that, then you’re good to go! But if she seems nervous and is panting, whining, or trying to get out, you’re pushing her too fast and need to slow down. Go back to the last step in training and repeat that several more times.
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