Bringing a pet into your life is a big decision that requires a lot of responsibility. But with that responsibility also comes the opportunity to share in many of life’s experiences with a pet. Doing so gives you an appreciation for a canine’s neverending sense of joy, behavioral purity, and the simple happiness he associates with being by your side as a companion wherever you go. I can tell you that when I’ve had a rotten day, just going out for a walk with my dogs on a leash makes me feel better. Just the same, if you want to get out of the house with Fido and take a ride on your bike, but you’re afraid he may not be able to keep up with you, a bike trailer designed just for him is your next best option.
The bike trailer is defined as a motorless, enclosed, and wheeled frame equipped with a hitch system for transporting precious canine cargo from one place to another. The framing for a majority of dog bike trailers is constructed from steel or aluminum for durability and superior weather resistance. These trailers are typically equipped with large alloy wheels and breathable mesh screens that provide both superior airflow and protection from the elements. Many trailers also come with removable flooring, making them easy to clean.
So what benefits does the bike trailer afford your furry friend? In addition to providing a large pup the convenience of resting within an enclosed and shaded space, this accessory is also quite useful for safely transporting aging, disabled, or temporarily injured pets. For example, a highly-active pooch suffering from a torn ACL ligament is normally required to remain confined to a crate for several months during rehabilitation. During that recuperation time, one can imagine that he might be going stir crazy in the house because he can’t get out and breathe that fresh air. Dog bike trailer allows him to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors without having to resort to strenuous physical activity while he heals. Next, the trailer offers a convenient way to expose young puppies to the outdoors and other animals while they’re still being trained. Just to be on the safe side, always make sure a puppy is up to date on her vaccinations before you take her anywhere.
While it’s important to understand that many dogs will be a bit reluctant when first riding in a bike trailer, there are several possible conditioning methods you can try to get Fido comfortable with entering and sitting inside the enclosure. The positive association goes a long way in this sense. By nature, dogs are inquisitive and intelligent creatures. That said, the simple act of allowing your pet to be around you and watch as you hitch the trailer to your bike will help to inspire his curiosity.
Hitching A Ride For
Comfort and safety are of utmost importance when investing in a bike trailer for your pooch. That said, there are several considerations to keep in mind. When it comes to comfort, the trailer should have easy-access, zippered entry and exit points and a cab with enough interior padding, space, and support to accommodate your pet’s height and weight. Many bike trailers support a total weight capacity of between 50 and 110 pounds with durable polyester fabrics and removable cushioned floorboards that are machine-washable in case Fido has an accident while in tow. If you have an older pooch suffering from arthritis, definitely spring for extra-thick interior padding. Depending on the climate in which you live, a large sunroof will also be a big help in terms of ensuring superior airflow for your pet as well as giving him the option of peeking out and looking about as you ride down the street.
That said, there are several considerations to keep in mind.
In terms of safety, make sure to find a trailer with a top-quality hitch that is compatible with your bike’s rear axle. Remember that the quality of the hitch plays an important role when it comes to keeping the trailer secured to the bike, making tight turns around corners, as well as providing as smooth a ride as possible for your furry friend. Hitch hardware should always be made from sturdy metals, minimizing the chance of a potential disconnect.
Additional convenience and safety features to consider include a built-in hook, designed to accommodate a dog’s leash or harness; a dependable suspension system, used to absorb impacts on rough terrain; large pneumatic tires, which range in size from 16-20 inches in diameter for added stability; and an ability to fold the trailer down, making it easy to store when it’s not in use.
Finally, if you plan to ride with a particularly large dog, look for a trailer that offers a low center of gravity, as this can help keep the trailer stable and prevent it from wobbling or toppling over.
A Brief History Of Dog Bike Trailers
The bicycle has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century, with the first verifiable claim for practical use credited to German forest official Karl Freiherr von Drais, inventor of the two-wheeled draisine.
Over the last two centuries, the bicycle has undergone many anatomical and functional design changes, including a modern focus on making the bike lighter, more aerodynamic than its predecessors, and more specialized in its applications.
The Burley Design company developed some of the earliest bike trailers in 1978.
The focus on specialization has helped pave the way for the modern use of the bike trailer as a means of transportation for both human children and pets alike, particularly over the last 40 years.