Still Summer - Hit the Road with a Doggy Trailer

Bike riding is a fun way to get fresh air and get a good workout, especially in the summer months.

Exercising with your dog is fun as well, but dogs can’t keep up with a bike (at least, not for long). However, biking and bonding time don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

If you’re hitting a bike trail, you can take along a doggy trailer, which is both fun and safe. It’s a great bonding experience.

Your dog gets to enjoy the sights as you whiz by them. Plus, the added weight of the trailer provides wind resistance so you get an even better workout. It’s a win-win.

If you've never been cycling with your dog, a trailer can be a great way to introduce him to it.

Think of a doggy trailer as a mobile kennel. They are den-like and provide your dog with the security that he requires to feel safe.

Hit the Road with a Doggy Trailer
Photo: Tina Roselle

Most trailers are equipped with mesh windows that allow him to see what's going on around him and a window in the front of the trailer so he can still see you.

RELATED: Why You Should Be Proud of Your Dog Stroller

Many people think dog trailers are silly and not worth the expense, but once you see how useful they are and how much enjoyment you and your dog will get from bicycling together, you will change your mind.

We'll discuss doggy trailers in more detail and tell you a few of the top recommended models on the market.

Road with a Doggy Trailer infographics

It's Still Summer! Hit the Road with a Doggy Trailer

Hauling your dog around like they’re in the royal carriage may not seem like the most fun thing to do, but it actually can be a really good time. If you’re out bike riding and decide to stop for a break, you can take your dog out and play with him, giving you a chance to rest and your dog a chance to stretch his legs. Not to mention, exploring new places is a great bonding experience.

If your dog doesn’t like the car, toting him around by bike may seem a bit medieval, but it’s really a novel idea. Wheeled trailers are easy to pull because they’re aerodynamic, and your dog won’t get hit by any wind because not only will you be blocking it, there also will be a covering over him. He might even take a nap while you’re pedaling.

RELATED: 2015 Top 5 Best Dog Trailers for Bike

Walking or running with your dog is great, but if you want to go for long distances, that might not work, especially if your dog has short legs and gets tired easily. If you're up for going a few miles but your dog has trouble making it to the mailbox, a doggy trailer may be great for you to explore together.

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Trailers are also great for dogs with mobility issues. Disabled dogs, senior dogs, and other canines that cannot easily move around are able to get in on the fun of the outdoors if you have a dog trailer. Since exercise is often difficult for them, but you don’t want to lock them in the house, taking them in a trailer allows them to get fresh air and see nature without straining anything or having to do any hard physical activity.

Hit the Road with a Doggy Trailer
Photo: Roy Blumenthal

An added bonus of biking together is safety. If you’re alone and take a break in the middle of the woods, that can be pretty intimidating. However, having your dog with you adds a sense of comfort and company, so you don’t feel alone and paranoid.

Are doggy trailers safe?

The question of whether or not trailers are safe has the same answer as it would for any product, really. It all depends on what you buy. If you buy a well-constructed, solid piece of equipment, you shouldn’t have any problems. Like with any other product on the market, you need to make sure that you're purchasing a quality doggy bicycle trailer.

Check reviews from other consumers and make sure that the trailer attaches securely to the bicycle. Check the material and make sure the trailer will support your dog comfortably and won't be easily ripped or torn. Also, look at the other hardware on the trailer like the wheels and supports. Are they strong, sturdy, and securely fastened to the trailer?

RELATED: 10 Items You Need When Traveling with Dogs

As long as you do a little research and select a trailer that is well made and meets your needs, you and your pooch should be on the road in no time. In the next section, we’ll give you product recommendations that were selected based on consumer reviews. We have not tested these products ourselves, but consumers who have purchased them were very pleased with their quality, safety, and functionality.

Selecting a doggy trailer

Keeping in mind structure and comfort, the Pacific Cycle InStep Sync Single Bicycle Trailer is definitely at the top of the list of well-reviewed doggy trailers. It’s for a single passenger and attaches to your bike with a strong coupler that is both sturdy and flexible, meaning that you can take turns with it without worrying that you’re going to fishtail.

Hit the Road with a Doggy Trailer
Photo: Amazon / Pacific Cycle

The canopy has a bug screen and a weather shield, so if it starts raining, your cargo will be protected. It’s usable for both kids and dogs, so it’s made with human-grade materials (i.e. more effort was put into it). The InStep Sync Single Bicycle Trailer is designed to fold in quickly and easily for travel and it stores efficiently.

Many consumers also commented on how easy this doggy trailer was to put together, something that all owners and users can be grateful for. The InStep is excellent for any type of terrain, including the beach. It has straps inside for you to attach a dog harness to in order to provide extra security.

Another highly recommended trailer is the Aosom Elite-Jr Dog Pet Bike Trailer. Its maximum weight is 45 pounds, and it has three wheels. It’s easy to assemble and store, and the wheels are quick-release, meaning that if you have to stop and start frequently, it will be able to handle that.

Hit the Road with a Doggy Trailer
Photo: Amazon / Aosom

The benefit of having one wheel in front is that it easily conforms to how you’re steering. This trailer comes with a pin and safety strap that attaches to the rear of the bike. The inside is roomy and can fit two small dogs (or one medium-sized one) comfortably. The fabric is made of polyester and can withstand the elements; it’s water-resistant.

The cargo compartment of the Aosom Elite-Jr Dog Pet Bike Trailer has both front and rear flaps, so you can load your pet in from either side. The frame is solid steel, so the construction of it is sturdy and safe. The only complaint from consumers was that the weight limit is a little light, but if you have a medium or small dog, this trailer is a great choice.

RELATED: Hiking with a Dog? Here's What You Need to Know

A third trailer to take a look at is the PetSafe Happy Ride Steel Dog Bike Trailer. It’s a bit expensive, but the high quality makes it worth every penny. This doggy trailer is suitable for pets up to 110 pounds, meaning that large dogs can fit in this option. The frame is made of rust-proof aluminum, and the fabric covering the cargo compartment is heavy mesh and water-resistant. It keeps out bugs and any other elements, so your pet will be kept warm and dry.

petsafe trailerIf you're taking a bike ride on a nice sunny day, there’s a sunroof you can put down so your pet can enjoy the warm breeze. There is also an adjustable safety leash included that will allow your dog to stick his head out into the fresh air without the chance of jumping or falling out of the trailer. Your dog can also look out the mesh compartments and see the sights around him without feeling intimidated by how fast you’re going.

Despite the size of the PetSafe Happy Ride Steel Dog Bike Trailer(the dimensions are 17” x 20” x 26”), it actually is able to fold in very easily and store away without taking up too much space. It can also be used as a stroller if you want to walk your dog around the neighborhood. That's right, this is a two-in-one piece of equipment.

Hit the road with a doggy trailer

Regardless of which trailer you choose, just remember that the point is to have a great time and be safe. Check and make sure that the construction of the trailer you choose is heavy-duty and durable in all types of weather and conditions. Also, make sure that your dog will be comfortable in the trailer that you've selected.

You may even want to bring your dog shopping with you when you go to purchase your trailer. Remember that your pet may have some anxieties about riding in a doggy trailer at first, but if you start with short rides around the block, you'll work your up to riding miles before you know it.

Have fun and enjoy your ride!

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