Bike riding your dog

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This is the Monz Doggy Pet Dog Bicycle Trailer/Jogging Stroller 2 in 1 – approx. £120 but extremely versatile

Best Buy:  Amazon

Price:   approx. £70-£200

Amazon average rating: 4 – 5 out of 5

My rating:  9 out of 10

 

Overview

Since my Indy sustained a back injury in the early part of 2016, I have started looking at options to enable dog owners to be able to take their canine friends with them during their outdoor pursuits.  And along with the idea of a dog stroller, I have come up with the concept of bike carriers for dogs by seeing in fact parents trailing their children (human ones, that is!!) when going for their weekend or late afternoon bike rides.

I have gone through quite a few dog bike trailer reviews, but once again I have come across the best dog bike trailer within the range offered by Amazon.co.uk, where in fact you can find a double combination of dog stroller bike trailer at a very competitive price.

 

Why a dog bike trailer

Especially as my Indy is getting older, we are now looking forward to spending as much time with him and want him to share in as many activities with us as possible.  Dogs love their twice-a-day walks, but even more they love to be with their human family and to share fun times together.

Living with a Border Terrier I have learned that, wherever allowed (and yes, I have already touched on my disappointment that not so many places in UK are dog-friendly in my post Where Are Dogs Allowed), you can virtually take your hound with you in any circumstances.  A dog stroller is much handy for longer walks both when you have a puppy or if your dog is getting a tad too old.  In my previous review however I did express my concerns that the tyres might not be sturdy and not long lasting enough.  I also questioned whether the stroller may be suitable for muddy terrains.  For these reasons, I deemed the stroller particularly ideal for urban routes.

My mental process

I must admit, I am not a keen bike rider.  I used to be when I was a teenager.  And again, I started biking again when my son learned to pedal, which was when he turned 6.  We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend rides, which would take us all the way to the other side of town.  Now, to me that was the best way to keep fit!

What I did regret, then but now as well, is the fact that I never took the opportunity to get back on my bike when my son was smaller than school age.  Too many factors contributed at the time: the fact that we lived in the middle of London, so too busy for my riding skills, the lack of storage space to put away a bike (and a trailer), and last but not least, financial restrictions.  But on hind sight, I would have loved to be able to ride about with my son in tow when he was little!

When we adopted our Indy, the chance to exercise was offered to me by taking Indy for long walks.  But now that he is older and has all sorts of ailments, my mind has gone back to the possibility of starting biking again, taking Indy with me.

 

Watch the video if you don’t believe it

The suggestion of taking your dog in tow with you came to me when I came across a review of such items.  I then started searching online to see if anyone out there had had the idea of using a child-bike-trailer-like for hounds.  The result was outstanding!

Not only I found videos that teach you how to convert a child trailer for canine use, but I came across many videos showing our canine friends being towed about by their owners on pleasant and enjoyable bike rides.  It turns out dogs love to be taken for a spin!!

If you still have concerns for your dog safety and well being, watch this very short video (only a minute, I promise) to put your mind at rest:

 

Features

As I mentioned, I believe Amazon offers a vast range in models, functions and prices.  The trailer in most cases is none the different from a trailer you would use for your child, in size and shape.

The trailer will be made of an aluminium or similar metal frame and chassis which you will connect to the back wheel of your bike.  The frame is covered by hard wearing cover, generally in polyester, with multiple zipped doors to make access easy for your dog.  Both frame and cabin are normally water proof, so as to protect your dog if you get caught in the rain.

The trailer can have only 2 wheels, in which case it can only be used as trailer.  However many models do come with 3 wheels, 2 lateral and a front one, which will guarantee better stability but may enable you to use the cabin as stroller as well.  Naturally, given the dual function of these models, their retail price is expected to be higher.

All the models I checked on can be folded in the boot of your car, although some require that you remove the front wheel, if the model by you chosen does have one.

I would like to spend one final word on the wheels.  These, unlike with the stroller, are like bicycles tyres, as made of the same rubber material.  And they are equally similar in size to the tyres of a child bike.  For these reason I strongly believe that this type of product would be ideal on all terrains, including uneven ones typical of woods and countryside.  You might still want to remember that at the end of the day you are still carrying a dog, who may not like to be shaken about cross country.  But you could still ride your bike and the trailer across a field without fear for the tyres to wear off!!

The price

As mentioned, Amazon UK suggests different models in different sizes and with or without the option of using the trailer as stroller.  With dog trailers it is just the case of ‘you pay for what you get’.  On Amazon UK the starting price is in the region of £70 approximately, versus the average stroller coming at approximately £30.

It is to be noticed, for starters, that trailers are certainly more expensive than strollers.  And that is because trailers are bigger items.  But it is also due to the fact that they are sturdier in structure, I suspect.  Trailers are deemed to be subjected to heavier wear and  tear action by being towed in a bike ride, i.e. on all sorts of terrain.  For their very nature, therefore, trailers have to be built in such a way to ensure the safety of the dog whilst he/she is carried, and of their owners.

If you look at the features, the wheels in themselves are far higher quality than the wheels of a stroller.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not dismissing the more classic stroller that I have recommended in my previous review.  As pointed out above, a stroller is a very good purchase and more than adequate for every day walks to the shops.  But trailers give you a sturdier feeling of security when you carry your dog on uneven terrain.  And as a dog owner, you want to ensure that the quality of your trailer guarantee that feeling.

The price of course will increase if you end up purchasing a trailer that you can also use as stroller.  Again, a higher end trailer at an approximate price of £180 is nothing more than a very good quality item which you can use for dual function also as a high quality stroller.

 Pros and Cons

I cannot see any faults to any of the models proposed by Amazon UK.  They all fulfil different functions, and are catered for everyone’s pockets.  The price varies also depending on the size of the trailer, but as far as I am concerned, all models portrayed in this review do come with assembly tools.

I have compared my impression of these items with the reviews posted on Amazon, and am pleased to confirm that the many reviews I have read are all extremely positive.  Some customers have ended up purchasing more than one trailer in order to be able to carry all their dogs attaching one trailer on their bike and the other on their partner’s bike.

The only negative I can think of is in fact, possibly, the price.  But again, looking around you also find strollers at the same price, which however do not convert to trailer function.  And the dearer figure grants you higher quality.

My final verdict

To me the purchase of a dual function trailer / stroller will be the natural next step, now that my Indy is older and is undergoing cancer treatment – by the way, watch this space as I am soon to post an update.

Yes, I may have to start saving towards one of the models sold by Amazon, but I do not want to miss out on bike rides with my dog when the weather gets a little milder in ‘sunny’ UK.  My Indy can no longer face long walks, but still embraces the joys of walks in the woods.  Riding him to the edge of some woods, and then following him in the woods with the trailer com stroller in tow, so he can jump in when tired, sounds to me like the perfect solution!!

 

Best Buy:  Amazon

Price:   approx. £70-£200

Amazon average rating:  4 – 5 out of 5

My rating:  9 out of 10

 

 


 

I hope you found the above review and advice helpful.  Please leave your comment below, and let us know how you are getting on with any models of dog bike trailers you may have been using, or indeed if you have come across other equally valid mobility aid solutions for your dog.

10 Comments


  1. // Reply

    I love the bike trailer. When my son was small, I had a bike trailer for him, and my little dog sat in there with him. It was perfect and they both enjoyed. I now have two little dogs who both love to be outside. I don’t know why I haven’t thought about getting another bike trailer for them. They would absolutely love it! Thank you so much for sharing, and I will look into this one 🙂


    1. // Reply

      Excellent Matts Mom, I’m glad you liked the idea. I forgot to mention that, like with children’s trailers, the trailers for dogs have their own safety devices: normally a couple of leads which you can connect to your dog’s collar to prevent him from jumping out in a bout of over enthusiasm.
      Let me know how you get on trying a trailer with your dogs!


  2. // Reply

    This is such a great article and idea for those of us who have dogs who can’t keep up anymore. I remember how much I missed going for walks with my mini schnauzer when he got older and was sick. Tagging along like this is something I bet smaller dogs in this situation would love to do!


    1. // Reply

      There seems to be the misconception, Jamie, that a trailer may only be suitable for smaller size dogs. Wrong!! I’ve watched videos showing massive dogs being ridden about, and they all seem to love it, whilst it doesn’t seem to cause any additional effort to their owners pedalling them in tow.


  3. // Reply

    Wow, if my husky needs a trailer, I will definitely be getting a lot of exercise. I hope it never comes to that, though. This was an awesome article and excellent review.


    1. // Reply

      Thank you ever so much, Brent. Yes, I guess your dog may be heavier to tow than my Terrier. But you would be surprised at how light these trailers are. I have watched other videos showing much bigger dogs being towed about. Very funny how they enjoy the ride, and very feasible by their owners!!


  4. // Reply

    Bike riding a dog

    Now that is a thought. I have a black lab and that really makes me want to do this. She is so hyper so I’m not sure how well it would go, but hey I might as well give it a shot lol. It does sound like a hoot, just hope she does not knock me over LOL.


    1. // Reply

      All trailers are equipped with leads which you must attach your dog to by the collar or harness. I have watched other videos, AJ, where the trailers were being shown with bigger dogs, more or less same size of labs, and it seemed to work. I expect the leads security attached to the trailer can be adapted in length depending on the size of the dog. And I expect you would want to ensure that your dog has freedom of movement, but not too much so your dog can jump out (!!).
      If you decide to get a trailer for your lovely lab, AJ, let us know how you and she get on. And send us a pic!!


  5. // Reply

    Hi Giulia,

    I’m not really familiar with these dog strollers as I don’t see them a lot in Singapore. But I understand why you need it as Indy is getting on in years. I think most dogs would love having a ride on these strollers too. I watched the video and it does seem safe but is there anything that would prevent the dog from jumping out of the stroller?


    1. // Reply

      Oh yes Yvonne, all stroller/trailer products are provided with leads which are safely secured to the item and you must connect to your dog’s collar or harness, to prevent your dog from jumping out.
      I hope this helped, and thanks for your interest!

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