If you’re planning to head out into the wilderness for bike rides with your dog, it’s important to have the proper equipment. A quality dog bike trailer can ensure a safe, smooth, enjoyable ride for both you and your pup.
It’s important to note that bike trailers aren’t just for small or senior dogs, either. Dogs of all sizes and fitness levels can appreciate a comfortable place to hitch a ride.
There are dozens of dog bike trailers on the market—but not all options are weighted equally. Read on if you want to know everything to consider when buying a dog bike trailer for your next outdoor adventure—as well as some of our favorite options available right now.
What is a Dog Bike Trailer?
“Dog trailers can be a really great option for dogs who enjoy being outdoors and going on adventures—but especially for dogs who have limited energy or are entering their golden years when they’re less active,” explains Meg Marrs, dog trainer and behaviorist.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of a dog bike trailer, it allows you to bring your canine companion on a bike ride without having to wrangle a leash or worry about them keeping pace alongside you, especially on longer or more rugged terrain.
Dog bike trailers come in many different shapes and sizes to best suit your individual dog and cycling style. Most dog bike trailers are made from a sort of slip-proof mesh material that will enclose your dog and connect to the back of your bike via a hitch. The majority of dog bike trailers are designed with just two wheels for ample speed and stability but there are a variety of styles to choose from, including collapsing trailers for travel and two-in-one trailers that can double as dog strollers.
Dog Bike Trailers: Our Top Picks
All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.
The best dog bike trailers will make a good ride even better. Here are our top picks that we recommend for outdoor adventures with your dog:
- Best Overall Dog Bike Trailer: Schwinn Rascal Bike Pet Trailer
- Best Large Dog Bike Trailer: vidaXL Dog Bike Trailer
- Best Small Dog Bike Trailer: Booyah Small Dog Pet Bike Trailer
- Best 2-Dog Bike Trailer: PetSafe Happy Ride Aluminum Dog Bicycle Trailer
- Best Budget Dog Bike Trailer: Best Choice Products 2-in-1 Pet Stroller and Trailer
- Best Travel-Friendly Dog Bike Trailer: Burley Design Tail Wagon Bike Trailer
6 Best Dog Bike Trailers for Outdoor Adventures
Here is a closer look at our favorite dog bike trailers and what exactly makes them stand out.
Best Overall Dog Bike Trailer
Our pick: Schwinn Rascal Bike Pet Trailer
The Schwinn Rascal Bike Pet Trailer is by far our top pick for dog-specific bike trailers. The compact and lightweight trailer has thousands of five-star user reviews—and for good reason. Not only is this option super affordable, it’s actually one of the easiest to use thanks to the folding frame design and a rear doggy door for easy walk-in entrance and exit. This option also comes with a handful of bells and whistles to make the ride even more comfortable for your pup, including an adjustable bug screen, a built-in adjustable leash system, and air-filled tires for added suspension.
- Lightweight design with an easy folding frame
- Great price point for the quality
- Includes a rear doggy door for easy entrance/exit
- Comes with an optional safety flag
Things to Consider
- This option might be a little tight for larger pups
Best Large Dog Bike Trailer
Our pick: vidaXL Dog Bike Trailer
Big dogs can enjoy the comfort of a dog bike trailer just as easily as smaller dogs can—as long as you’re opting for something that’s large enough for them to sit in and lay down comfortably. The vidaXL Dog Bike Trailer spans over 50 inches in length, which is more than enough for most dogs to get comfortable. It also features a laundry list of safety features designed to keep your dog safe even if your bike topples over. An optional safety flag, a rotating safety bar that stabilizes the trailer in case of an accident, and non-slip and moisture-wicking material make this option the safest and most comfortable for larger pups.
- Crafted from a lightweight and water-resistant fabric
- Includes a rotating safety bar that remains upright if the bike falls over
- Great price point
- Includes an optional safety flag for added safety
Things to Consider
- The mesh is soft and might not provide enough support for sensitive pups
Best Small Dog Bike Trailer
Our pick: Booyah Small Dog Pet Bike Trailer
You might assume that a small dog can get comfortable in any size dog bike trailer—but a smaller, size-appropriate trailer will help them feel much more secure while on the road. The Booyah Small Dog Pet Bike Trailer was designed specifically for miniature and toy breeds that weigh under 20 pounds and includes a myriad of bells and whistles to help make the entire experience stress free for both you and your pup. This option includes lots of windows and a three-layer sunroof that offers UV protection but can also be opened up to check on your pup from above. It’s also emblazoned with safety reflectors on the back of the trailer and the wheels, which will help oncoming traffic and fellow cyclists clearly see that you have your furry friend in tow.
- Features a three-layer sunroof for extra UV protection
- Outfitted with safety reflectors on the back and sides
- Lightweight and small enough to suit miniature and toy breeds
- Includes lots of windows to easily check on your pup
Things to Consider
- The doggy door is only secured with velcro rather than a zipper system
Best 2-Dog Bike Trailer
The PetSafe Happy Ride Aluminum Dog Bicycle Trailer is going to be your best bet if you have more than one pup that you’re hoping to bring on your next outdoor adventure. The lightweight aluminum and mesh design can support large dogs or multiple dogs weighing up to 110 pounds in total without causing discomfort for the dogs or uneven pull for the cyclist. This option also includes a handful of add-ons, including built-in pockets for storing poop bags, treats or house keys, tons of ventilation to make the ride more comfortable, and a back doggy door that makes entrance/exit much easier.
- Suitable for large dogs or multiple dogs weighing up to 110 pounds
- Features plenty of side ventilation for added comfort and visibility
- Includes built-in side pockets for poop bags or treats
- Very easy to connect and disconnect
Things to Consider:
- The initial assembly can be a bit tricky to navigate
Best Budget Dog Bike Trailer
Looking for a dog bike trailer that’ll serve just as well on city streets as it will on rugged terrain? The Best Choice Products 2-in-1 Pet Stroller and Trailer was designed to function as both a dog bike trailer and a fully-functional pet stroller. This makes it an excellent option for parents of senior dogs or miniature and toy breeds who might not have the stamina to keep up with long city walks. The multipurpose mesh enclosure boasts a ton of safety and comfort features for keeping your pups secure while on the go, including built-in cushioning, safety brakes, a built-in leash, multiple weather screens, reflectors on the wheels and exterior, and three different openings/doggy doors to best suit your pet’s needs.
- Versatile design is great for both rugged and city living
- Great price given the two-for-one design
- Outfitted with reflectors, safety flag, and safety brakes
- Includes a built-in interior cushion for added comfort
Things to Consider
- This option isn’t very compact and cannot be folded or collapsed for easy storage
Best Travel-Friendly Dog Bike Trailer
Our pick: Burley Design Tail Wagon Bike Trailer
The Burley Design Tail Wagon Bike Trailer might be a bigger financial investment than other options on the list, but it’s going to be well worth the extra coin for pet parents looking for an ultra-compact and travel-friendly option to keep Fido safe on the go. The lightweight trailer is suitable for dogs up to 75 pounds but features a fast-acting folding system that instantly packs down to the size of a carry-on bag for easy transport between destinations. We also love that this option includes convenient features that make maintenance and use easier, including a removable floor system for easy cleaning and waterproof mesh and zippers to ensure your pup stays dry for the whole ride—even in inclement weather.
- Suitable for dogs up to 75 pounds
- The ultra-compact design packs down to the size of a carry-on bag
- Features heavy-duty high-visibility mesh and waterproof zippers
- Includes a removable floor system for easy cleaning
Things to Consider
- This option is much more expensive than similar brands/styles on the market
Dog Bike Trailer Buyer’s Guide
Dog bike trailers aren’t just a fun novelty—they can be a highly practical way to bring your dog on the road while exploring the wilderness. Here’s what you should consider when looking for the right dog bike trailer for your specific circumstances:
Size and shape. There are plenty of different styles to choose from when it comes to dog bike trailers. Depending on the size and fitness level of your dog, you might want to opt for a trailer that includes a walk-in doggy door for ease of entrance/exit. Dog bike trailers with a top entrance, on the other hand, might be better for placing a smaller or senior dog who is used to being picked up. You’ll also want to keep in mind that most trailers measure the size of a dog by weight—so make sure to check weight restrictions before making a purchase.
Check the bike compatibility. Most dog bike trailers come with a universal hitch design that can be attached to any bike, so you shouldn’t have an issue with connecting the hitch to your bicycle. That said, you’ll want to be sure to read the fine print to ensure you won’t have any issues connecting the trailer to your bike.
Breathable material. Airflow is considerably important for dog bike trailers. You want to make sure there’s adequate ventilation in the trailer. “On a hot summer’s day, it can get hot sitting inside a bike trailer, so they need to have plenty of mesh to allow for airflow,” explains veterinarian David Littlejohn.
Non-slip flooring. Dog bike trailers are relatively stable and shouldn’t cause your dog to fall over or lose their footing while on the go, but you can ensure added comfort with non-slip flooring. The anti-slip design will help them stay stabilized while they readjust or while standing to enjoy the view.
Consider a collapsing frame. There’s no getting around it: dog bike trailers take up a lot of space. If you plan to travel with your dog bike trailer or you have limited storage space, you’ll want to consider buying a trailer that features a collapsing frame that can be packed down and stored.
Proper suspension and brakes. You’ll want to ensure the dog bike trailer you pick includes proper suspension and a high-quality braking system—especially if you plan to hit uneven terrain or wilderness trails. Look for high-quality air tires to help minimize impact and a braking system that includes a parking brake.
Dog Bike Trailer FAQ
How do I attach a dog trailer to a bike?
Dog bike trailers are, for the most part, universal, which means that most bike trailers should attach to standard quick-release bike axles. In most cases, you should be able to attach a dog trailer to your bike by simply removing the bolts on your bike, lining up the holes on the hitch, and reattaching the bolts securely.
Can you use a child bike trailer for a dog?
The short answer is yes, you can use a child bike trailer for a dog. The only major difference between a child bike trailer and a dog bike trailer is the method of entry/exit and the built-in leash. If you do convert a child bike trailer into something fit for Fido, be sure to properly weave a leash into your child bike trailer to ensure adequate safety for your pup.
Can my dog jump out of the trailer?
Although almost all dog bike trailers are designed to keep your dog from being able to get out of the enclosed space, you should always use the built-in interior leash function when prepping your dog to hit the trails. While most dog bike trailers come with protective paneling and secure zippers, using a leash or harness is still prudent to ensure they won’t be able to paw their way out of the enclosure while on the move.
Can I bring multiple dogs in my bike trailer?
Yes, you can bring multiple dogs in your bike trailer as long as you’re not going over the weight limit stated on the trailer you’ve purchased. You’ll also want to ensure the dogs you’re putting together are comfortable with each other and get along well—the last thing you want is two fighting or irritated pups enclosed together while you’re on the road.
Using a Dog Bike Trailer: Tips and Advice
Here are a few more tips to set you up for success when using a dog bike trailer:
Acclimate your dog to the trailer. “First and foremost, make sure your dog is comfortable being in the trailer before taking them on a long bike ride,” says Dr. Littlejohn. “Get them used to being in the trailer while it’s stationary, then progress to walking your bike with them in the trailer, and eventually start slowly riding your bike. This way, they won’t get overwhelmed and feel anxious.”
Carefully select trailer-friendly biking routes. Cycling through winding roads or on city bike paths might not be the best bet while you have your pup in tow—especially if you’re not used to the added heft of a trailer. You’ll want to select trailer-friendly biking routes that don’t have too much rugged terrain to ensure both you and your dog have a comfortable ride.
Consider wearing reflective gear. Taking your dog on the road requires added safety precautions to ensure both you and your pup stay safe while on the move. Consider wearing reflective gear and outfitting your trailer with reflective strips (if it doesn’t already come with them) to ensure motorists and cyclists see both of you. It also helps to bike during times when there is good visibility. Know when your dog has had enough. According to Dr. Littlejohn, if your dog is having difficulty adjusting to a bike trailer, they may show signs of stress or anxiety. Things to watch for include excessive whining/crying or barking, not being able to sit still, excessively licking themselves, ears pinned down, tail tucked, general low body posture, etc.