Animals are people too (didn't you know) and love to ride bicycles almost as much as humans. In this article I will outline some practical options for getting your pet on the road with you.
When putting your little dog buddy onto a bicycle be sure to remember eyewear. A dog wearing sunglasses is a site to be seen and will make even the most grinchiest grinch smile.
Considerations when selecting carrier type
There are several ways you can transport or cruise with your pet or pets and the different options depend on a range of factors. These are some of the points to consider when planning to take your pet for a ride on your bicycle.
* How big / small is the pet
* How experienced you are as a cyclist
* Where you are riding to / from
* What the weather is like
* Your pet's quirks and preferences
The options for carrying your pet on your bike
If you carry your pet around regularly such as on a daily commute to work, the method of carrying will need to be more adaptable to different weather and circumstances. For example if you are tired or its dark, safety should still be a key concern.
* Front basket
* Custom designed front handlebar bag
* Side car
* Cargo bike
* Bicycle dog leash
* Back basket or milk crate
* Front harness
* Bike trailer
General front basket
If you have a small dog and the dog is used to it, you can carry your pup around in your front basket where you can keep an eye on it and communicate with it whilst you ride around. This is a popular option.
Pros: Easy and versatile
Cons: May not be the safest option
Custom designed front pet carrier
There are other purpose designed pet carriers for the bicycle on the market. Here is an article that reviews a range of different products that range in price from £18-£50. Some of the features of these bags are that they have a specialised frame to carry the weight of a dog, they have fastenings to keep the dog secure and may also have covers to keep the dog dry if its raining. Some of these bags also feature reflective details for extra safety when travelling in the dark or on a road.
Pros: Easy and versatile, can also use it as a bag for your belongings
Cons: May be expensive
The sidecar is a bit more of a novel solution to carrying your pooch around, but very cool. Some people have made custom designs to match their bicycles. Your dog or cat can really ride along with you in style and it is a safe option like the cargo bike because you take up enough space on a road to be considered by cars and trucks (hopefully!)
Pros: Safety for pet, stylish and attention grabbing, good for long trips
Cons: Cost and versatility, how easy is it to remove in case your pet is staying at home that day.
I see this quite often, and carrying your pet around in your backpack does not require any special equipment. Unless you are investing in a specific pet colouring backpack which you can also use for hiking and walking. The trick here is to get a bag that the pet likes to be in and feels comfortable inside. When your pet is on your back it can throw you off balance a bit if it moves around, but on the up side, you can feel your pet and know if its calm or not calm through your back which can set you at ease whilst you pedal. With the backpack method you can also carry around your cat!
Pros: Easy and versatile, no extra equipment required
Cons: May not be the safest option, what if you need to carry other things as well in your backpack.
The cargo bike is great for carrying around larger pets. They are commonly used for transporting human children so it is a safe and proven method for carrying any kind of precious cargo including your dog, cat, canary, turtle, rabbit or whatever pet you might have.
Pros: Comfort for pet, good for multiple pets and carrying other things, safety
Cons: Storage of the bike could be difficult, expensive
Bicycle dog leash
Many people who want to give their dogs a work out trial their pets along with them whilst they ride their bikes. There are a few products on the market that make this slightly risky activity less dangerous one of them is the Walky dog bike leash. Here is an article that shows it in detail how it attaches to the bicycle and keeps a safe distance between your bike and your dog when cycling.
Pros: Easy and versatile, exercise for pet
Cons: May not be the safest option
Specialised dog bike seat
There are some very fancy high end products on the market which treat your pet almost like a child. This product is called the Buddyrider dog bicycle seat and there are many images around the internet showing this in action.
Pros: Safety and comfort for pet
Cons: Expensive and may be difficult to remove when not needed
The only thing with this bike seat is its price tag, at 189 pounds, its more expensive than many child bike seats on the market! But when you are riding a bike with thats worth a couple of thousand, i guess 200 quid is not too bad! The things that people will do for their pooches !
Back basket or crate
People have carried around luggage on the back of their bicycles for a long time. There are many bags on the market that can be attached onto the pannier rack such as our Goodordering bicycle pannier bag which could definitely take the weight of a small puppy. However, there are some great low cost ways to carry your doggy or cat around in style such as in this red milk crate below. You can use bungee cords to create straps.
Pros: Cheap and versatile
Cons: May not be the safest option, cannot see the pet
See our other blog post "Hacks for Urban Cycling" to read more about the magic of the bungee cord.
The front harness is commonly used for carrying little babies around and it also works with smaller dogs. You can get specialised harnesses for pets or you can use a home made sling version which a lot of parents use for human babies too. If you are using your bicycle to cruise casually around, this is a good method because it keeps your pet close to your body.
Pros: Easy and versatile, no equipment needed
Cons: May go off balance, mainly only for small pets
Bike trailers can be used to carry around all sorts of things and is perfect for carrying around a few dogs or a large dog. If you have more than just the one pet, then this method is perfect as it is safe and comfortable for the little yapping passengers too. Just check out the joy this dog is experiencing cruising around in this trailer below!
Pros: Comfortable and good for multiple pets or carrying extra items around
Cons: May not be the cheapest option
I have created this pinterest board celebrating animals on bicycles. Check it out and follow the board if you are fellow pinterestian.
Here are a few more images that i thought are definitely worth showing here.
This dog has definitely been practicing its balancing skills!
Both the dog and the girl look like they are having the most amazing time!
Send us your pics of your pet on your bike or any other comments you might have !