Are you ready to take Fido on a ride? Your pup needs to get out of the house, but a walk just isn’t on the cards right now—you want more intense exercise.
The solution—after they do their business, pop them into a bike trailer that’s specifically made for their comfort, and start riding.
We’ve found the best dog bike trailers for your pup’s next adventure. These trailers include comfort, protection from the sun, and ease of access, so your excited four-legged friend won’t have to wait long to hop out of the trailer once you stop.
The trailers below are our best picks.
Let’s start by highlighting the very best trailer. It’s no surprise that it comes from Schwinn. To describe this option—it’s a cut above the rest and solves the pain points of previous dog trailers. It’s the most effective option by far.
Best Dog Bike Trailers – Reviews & Buying guide for 2022
BEST OVERALL: Schwinn Rascal Bike Pet Trailer
Schwinn is at the top of the list because they have simply paid attention to quality in just about every facet you could think of.
The mesh on the window isn’t the best, but the interior dog leash link is fantastic (and we’re surprised more dog trailer manufacturers aren’t doing the same thing).
Attaching this to your bike is fairly straightforward. There’s enough room between your bike and the trailer to prevent any tire contact with the material. This also comes with 16 ” air-filled tires to ensure a smooth ride from start to finish.
- Interior Leash: Worried your pup might get excited and try to hop out? There’s a loop for an internal leash that keeps them put, so you don’t have to worry about them mid-ride.
- Quick Release Wheels: Got a flat tire on your trailer? These wheels have quick-release latches that are similar to most modern bikes. This makes repairs and replacements really simple.
- Dual Windows: There’s a window in the back for your pup to jump through, but there’s also a window on the top, so they can enjoy the wind while you ride.
- Not for Large Dogs: The interior compartment is more box-shaped than it is rectangular. This isn’t an ideal fit for larger dogs that need extra space.
- Weaker Mesh Screen: You’re never going to find indestructible mesh on one of these trailers, but even so, Schwinn appears to have used really inexpensive mesh. Expect to replace the mesh from time to time.
RUNNER-UP: PetSafe Happy Ride
There’s no other way to put it: Aluminum is the best frame material for a dog trailer.
It has superior durability that ensures you feel that your pet is safe, which is why PetSafe skipped the cheaper plastic frames that a lot of low-grade dog trailer companies are using.
Enjoy a nice smooth glide on these tires while your dog sticks their head out of the top flap. They’ll have comfort while you have an easy ride, just be sure that you check out for the weight limit—it’s not quite what you think it is.
- Aluminum Frame: Durable aluminum frame designed to withstand more shock and more pressure. Don’t settle for plastic when you don’t have to.
- Excellent Ventilation: With the multiple mesh windows, air flows through the trailer easily, cooling off your dog while you ride.
- Lightweight Construction: Riding a bike can be strenuous enough, but when you pull the weight of your dog and trailer behind, it gets rough. Thankfully, PetSafe has made this frame nice and light while keeping it strong.
- Weight Limit Issues: The limit is 110 lbs, but there are plenty of user accounts of failure around the 90 lb mark (sometimes lower)–don’t push this one.
- Low-Grade Tires: The tires on a dog trailer aren’t ever going to endure the same wear and tear as your actual bike tires, but these are still pretty basic and you should be careful with them.
ALTERNATIVE: Aosom Bike Trailer
You want the most for your pup, and so does Aosom. This bike trailer comes with durable built-in spoke reflectors. However, you might have some wobbly wheels that you’ll need to tighten before you put your pup in this.
Even with some minor adjustments right out of the box, Aosom’s dog trailer still brings you a durable steel frame that’s designed to last, great ventilation through mesh netted windows, and the wheels have a quick-release latch on them for easy storage.
- Built-in Reflectors: The spokes have reflectors already attached, helping cars and other cyclists have better visibility of the trailer.
- Simple Ventilation: There’s just enough mesh screen room to ventilate the interior of the trailer (even if it’s closed).
- Steel Frame: Designed to last and withstand rough weather (and roads), with durable construction.
- Odd Front Window: The window that your dog will use to look towards you, the rider, isn’t that great. It’s a see-through plastic material.
- Wobbly Tires: You have to adjust the tire placement, otherwise it’s a little wobbly out of the box. This is extra work that you shouldn’t have to think about with a brand-new product.
ALTERNATIVE: Best Choice Products 2-in-1
This is a stroller first and a trailer second, however, the hitch attachment hits the nail on the head. While the trailer hitch itself is a little narrow to install, it fits well and the attachment to the trailer itself is nice and secure.
Between the durable frame and safety features, such as the interior leash system and reflectors built into the spokes, Best Choice Products has your dog’s care in mind.
This is one of the pricer trailers on this list, yet despite that, we still have to wonder why they went with a cheap plastic window on the top of the trailer–it will show paw scratches fairly easily.
- Alloy Steel Frame: Steel is as durable as you can get for a trailer frame. If you have any slight collisions or accidents, the frame should still be okay.
- Interior Leash System: You don’t want your dog to hop out while you’re riding. Use the interior leash system to latch them into place for the duration.
- Removable Pillow: This comes with a pillow/cushion that your dog can sit on in the back to keep them comfortable—this isn’t something that every brand includes.
- Max Capacity of 66 lbs: 66 lbs is a relatively low-weight cap for a trailer like this. Ideally, we’d like to see around 80 lbs or higher, especially since this isn’t marketed as a specific small dog trailer.
- Safety Flag is Low-grade: You get a safety flag included with your purchase, however, the pole is prone to bending and warping after a high-speed ride. If you plan on using a safety flag when you ride, consider buying a different one.
ALTERNATIVE: Retrospec Rover Waggin’
Dog trailers don’t have to be the most spacious attachments in the world, but even by the marketing material on the sales page, you can tell this is a smaller dog trailer.
Retrospec Rover uses a relatively simple material for the exterior of the trailer housing, so some users have reported tears from their dog’s paws.
With mesh windows and an easy-open door, everything stays ventilated and extremely easy for your dog to access. This trailer is entirely weather resistant and includes an internal leash extension so your pup doesn’t get overly excited and try to hop out.
This trailer works with just about every bicycle that has between a 20 ” and 29 ” wheel diameter, so you shouldn’t have to worry about compatibility.
- Internal Leash Extension: Safety first! Having an internal leash extension means your pup is safe when they get too excited during a ride.
- Durable 16 ” Wheels: Nobody expects the world of bike trailer tires, however, these ones are fairly good, with a nice thick exterior that grips the ground while you ride.
- Foldable Frame: Need to pack it up in a hurry? Whether you’re going on a trip or just want to save space indoors, the frame completely folds to keep everything compact.
- Size Constraints: Just looking at the marketing images, you can tell this is a very small trailer. It doesn’t fit most medium- to large-sized dogs.
- Low Max Capacity: Dogs can only be a maximum of 50 lbs, and if we’ve learned anything from bike trailers, it’s that you should always aim for 20% lower than the max capacity.
ALTERNATIVE: Rage Powersports Pet Trailer
Rage Powersports isn’t the brand name you would expect to be behind one of the best dog trailers on the market, yet here we are.
With reflectors built into the spokes, excellent airflow for your dog, and a great maximum weight limit, you get a little bit of everything.
Despite having a plastic frame (which concerned us at first), there are a few inconsistencies on their sales page.
It’s a solid trailer with a varying weight capacity and stroller attachment, giving you all the versatility you need as your dog grows and learns how it likes to ride.
- Three Wheels: For extra stability and fantastic gliding capabilities, three wheels are just better than two. This also helps the weight limit (when in stroller mode).
- High Max Weight: Your dog will fit as long as they’re below 85 lbs. That’s a pretty fair weight limit for most dog trailers. Depending on the circumstances, Rage Powersports claims that it can be used for dogs up to 130 lbs.
- Top-tier Airflow: Thanks to the mesh screens on either side, you’ll get plenty of airflow. Riding will help your dog cool down, even if the hatch has to be closed.
- Plastic Frame: Frame constructions vary, but you can really tell this frame is made out of plastic during use. It’s not as durable as we’d like it to be.
- Incorrect Weight Distribution Information: On the sales page, it clearly states that the maximum dog weight is lessened if used in three-wheel (stroller) mode—this doesn’t match up.
ALTERNATIVE: Booyah Small Dog Bicycle Trailer
Last but not least, we have the perfect addition for little dogs. Booyah made this specifically for small breeds, and thanks to the ultralight design, it’s not that hefty to tow behind you while you ride.
With an exceptional sunroof to help protect your pup from blazing rays, reflectors to ensure visibility, and a compact design, it’s great for small-breed dogs.
Just keep in mind that the weight limit is low, and if your dog is near it, it could cause damage by sitting in one spot of the trailer for too long.
- Lightweight Trailer: Nothing is worse than having a heavy trailer and then adding the weight of your dog to it. Thankfully, this trailer is lightweight and doesn’t produce much drag on the back of your bike.
- Triple Layer Sunroof: This helps protect your dog against harsh rays throughout the entire ride.
- Reflector Strips: Scared that the trailer won’t be expected by motorists? There are reflective strips on the front and back and built into both tires—put those fears to rest.
- Oddly Long Connector: You’re relatively far away from your dog while you use this. The connector/tow bar on the back puts a great deal of space between your back tire and the dog trailer.
- Max of 20 lbs: Look, we know it’s for small dogs and all, but there should be a little more leeway for dogs who hit around 15lbs or higher. The weight limit doesn’t take into account that the weight is centralized, not spread out across the entire trailer.
Dog Bike Trailers FAQ
So, you’ve found the perfect dog bike trailer, but you’re still left with some questions. That’s perfectly okay—we’re here to answer them. Let’s talk about owning and maintaining a dog bike trailer, as well as the legality behind them.
Is it legal to cycle with a dog?
Yes, it is legal to cycle with a dog in many areas in the United States. However, local municipalities may have their own rules, which is why you should always check your local law before riding with a dog trailer.
In some areas, it can be seen as akin to skateboarding and rollerblading. Certain areas (usually privately owned business developments) are known for having strict rules, however, these differ from local laws.
If you’re planning stops on your ride with your pup, it’s important to know where you’re planning to make pit stops and if they’re okay with dog trailers.
How far can I bike with my dog?
This all depends on your dog and what they’re comfortable with. Your dog will let you know when they’ve had enough by acting restless and moving around a lot. Some dogs simply love riding around, similarly to sticking their head out of the car window.
You can reasonably bike for 3–10 minutes (round trip) with your dog if they’re willing to be patient and enjoy the ride. This is something you have to work up to and is the journey you have to take to know how far you can bike with your dog in a trailer:
- Train Them: Dogs have to be trained to hop in trailers and go for a ride with you. At first, this might be scary for them, so you should only do it in front of your house or in a local, safe area. Work them up to five minutes, then ten, and see where it goes.
- Escalate Slowly: Once you ride away from home, only go a short distance. No further than where you and your pup could walk home from. If they get restless or don’t enjoy the ride, you can walk your bike home while they walk by your side.
- Plan Your Route: If your dog is used to smooth rides, avoid off-road trails. Make sure you plan out your route so the ride is fairly consistent the entire time, otherwise they might get restless or defensive.
- Judge Your Dog: Larger dogs tend to stay calm for longer (just a general observation), while smaller pups have more room to move around and act up. Just judge your dog’s performance after each ride and slowly increase the time and distance as you see fit, until you’re happy with the results.
How can I comfort my dog with a bike trailer?
Ease them into the experience, it’s going to be difficult to get them started. Start by offering a treat if they get into the trailer, and slowly increase the time they spend in the trailer.
As time goes on, move the trailer manually without your bike attached. Look at your dog and give them verbal confirmation that they’re safe and okay. While they can’t understand what you’re saying, the tone will help soothe them.
Eventually work up to moving a little faster while looking ahead, not at your dog. See how they react to this. If this begins to startle them, they’re not ready. Give it more time with direct eye contact.
Attach the trailer to the bike and ride around with it empty while your dog watches. Excitedly ask them to hop in and ride around slowly, nearby to your home.
You should avoid long-distance traveling at first until they’re comfortable with it. Work up to longer distances and times from there.
How does a bike trailer attach to a bike?
Bike trailers have to attach to the axle of the rear wheel. There are three different types of axles, and knowing which one your bike has will impact how you attach a trailer to it.
- Quick-release Axle: Quick-release axles are extremely common and actually excellent for bike trailers (most of the time). To add your bike trailer, undo the axle from the rear wheel, and align the tow bar over the axle hole. Then, place the quick release lever and axle through the hitch adapter, and secure it in place. It’s as simple as that. Then, you have a hitch to attach the trailer to.
- Bolt-on Axle: The axle goes through the rear wheel, and it’s secured in place by the bolt on the end. Remove the bolt and keep the axle in place. Slide your hitch adapter over the axle. Then, replace the bolt and screw it on. The nut on the end should be just tight enough to allow for gentle adjustments without being completely stuck on.
- Thru Axle: These ones can be tricky. Similarly to the bolt-on axle, you have to remove a nut off the end, but you also need a thru-axle adapter which is normally purchased separately (since it’s specific to your bike). Each of these will have its own separate instructions, but essentially, you need to remove the bolt, add the adapter, and screw it back on.
Remember: always use a secondary safety strap to ensure your trailer is secured to your bike. Over time, your axle can loosen the connection to the bike trailer hitch.
While it’s unlikely that it will simply give out and detach, you really don’t want this to happen! Secondary safety straps help you to ensure safety in the event that the hitch gives way.
Your bike is missing one critical attachment—a dog trailer. Once you purchase one, your furry friend is about to have the time of their life.
While Schwinn is the clear winner here, each of these options is excellent, depending on what size your dog is. We hope our reviews of each of our chosen bike trailers have helped you to choose one.
Keep your dog secure, let the wind ruffle their fur, and travel farther than ever before with your canine companion.
Last Updated on July 28, 2023 by Danijel Cakalic