Motorcycle riding can be an excellent way for you and your dog to spend time together bonding and discovering new destinations. These days, there are several devices available that can turn your dog into your biker buddy.
If you have a small- to medium-sized pup, you can purchase a pet carrier that is designed to ride directly behind you on the passenger area of the bike. There are several different type of models, including;
- Fully enclosed versions with an opening for your dog’s head. This carrier allows a dog to choose whether it wants to ride with its head out or, if it prefers, to lay down inside the carrier out of the wind.
- Pet-bed style. This type of carrier is open on the top and front.
A sidecar is your best option if you own a large dog. Just make sure to outfit the sidecar with a harness so that you can safely secure your dog in place.
Unlike a sidecar, trailers are designed to be pulled behind your bike. There are both specially designed open and enclosed trailers available for dogs.
You shouldn’t just strap your dog into a carrier, sidecar or trailer and take off on your first ride. It takes a little time to see if your pet is comfortable with the noise of your motorcycle’s engine and the more open feel of a bike as compared to a car. To train your dog, you should:
- Start by allowing your pet to sit in the carrier, sidecar or trailer with the motorcycle’s engine off. This is especially important for carriers as your pet will need to get used to the feeling of balancing while on a bike.
- Start the engine to see if your pet is comfortable with the noise level. If it is too frightened, don’t push the issue. The last thing you want to do is risk your life and that of your pet’s by taking a terrified animal on the road.
- Take short trips around the neighbourhood to ensure that your dog won’t attempt to jump out of your carrier or sidecar while moving.
For your dog’s safety, you should:
- Always strap it in with a safety harness. Even if your dog is smart and won’t jump out, you could hit a bump or get into an accident, which could throw your pet out of its carrier.
- Outfit your pet with a pair of goggles to protect its eyes.