The 10 Best Pet Bicycle Carriers
This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in October of 2016. If you don't want to leave your four-legged friends behind when you go on your cycling adventures, check out our selection of pet bicycle carriers. We've included a variety of models that can hold a cat or dog weighing as much as 130 lbs, as well as smaller options that are lightweight and can double as a transport bag. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best pet bicycle carrier on Amazon.
Why You'll Be Glad You Have A Bicycle Carrier
A carrier gives your animal a comforting, protected escape from hectic city sidewalks.
If you've ever seen a cyclist riding down the street with one of these carriers in tow, part of you may have thought at first that it looked a bit silly. But this is one product that every animal parent should have. You likely know that having a pet is good for you — in fact, studies suggest dog owners have healthier hearts and live longer lives. And anyone with a furry companion understands the wonderful emotional support they provide. So, make the most out of that beneficial relationship by bringing Fido along with you everywhere you go, including on your bike rides.
Now, you're convinced Spotty should come along, even when you go car-less, but you may be wondering why you shouldn't just let him run alongside you. That could be fine for shorter joy rides. But think of days when you'd like to combine exercise with transportation, you hop on a mountain bike and take the city by storm, for hours. It can be hard on your animal to run alongside you for too many miles. No matter how athletic your buddy is, he just can't run from your house, to the coffee shop, to your barber, to your friend's apartment, full speed ahead. A carrier lets your four-legged friend come along for the ride, without putting physical strain on his body.
Even if you're just planning a breezy day of running errands downtown, bike riding with a dog by your side through busy urban streets can be stressful for you and your pet. There are a lot of hazards to look out for, like other loose animals who may jump at your pal, potholes, food on the ground that Fido may try to pick up, and more. When you're on your bike, you cannot get in front of these situations as swiftly as you can when you're on foot. If your dog is outside of a carrier, simply walking alongside you, it's too easy for him to get in harm's way. A carrier gives your animal a comforting, protected escape from hectic city sidewalks.
Carriers Vs Baskets
Some pet owners think they've already solved the riddle of how to bring their little buddy along by attaching a simple, open basket to the front of their bicycle. These can actually provide a nice experience for Fido, as they allow him to enjoy the sites and sounds. But they are best for rides in nature, removed from traffic as research has found that keeping pets in the front of a vehicle is a top cause of distracted driving. If that's true for operating a vehicle, it can be true for riding a bicycle. It's hard not to look at Fluffy's cute face when you should be looking at traffic signals. So, only use open baskets in less congested areas, or consider a covered model to stop yourself from looking at your pup.
While many of these types of carriers are available in both open air and confined models, some furry friends are too fussy for the freedom of an open air model.
If you know you simply can't look away from your furry baby when he's in a front basket, try a carrier that attaches to the back of your bicycle. Some even give you the option to put them in various places, eliminating the chances that Fido will look you in the eyes and distract you when you're trying to focus. While many of these types of carriers are available in both open air and confined models, some furry friends are too fussy for the freedom of an open air model. You know your animal, so ask yourself if he's the type who might lunge towards a squirrel, or a friend he sees across the street. If he is, you shouldn't take such any chances; opt for a carrier that confines your pet in a cozy, secure environment. They feature safety constraints, such as four walls and harnesses, ensuring Spotty stays put until the ride is over. Plus, they have room to hold some of your pet's toys to keep him further preoccupied during the trip.
Whether you go with a carrier with more of a trailer design or a front basket, always be extra careful when riding with an animal. If you were to get into an accident, Spotty would be very vulnerable to injury. He doesn't know how to brace himself for impact as you do, and is probably much smaller than you are. Remember that going on bike rides with your furry companion is a joy that comes with responsibilities, so choose your carrier wisely.
How To Choose The Best Carrier For You
With so many pet carriers to choose from, you'll need to think about your habits and preferences, as well as your animal's. You've likely noticed that many dogs love to stick their head out the car window when you're driving. This has a lot to do with their incredible sense of smell and all of the fascinating information their noses take in on the road. If your canine does this, then you may want a bicycle carrier with a more open design. Many have mesh sides that let plenty of scents inside, which is a pleasure for Fido's olfactory system.
Some are so well lined that they'll feel just like your animal's own bed.
If you find your pet is overwhelmed by all of the stimulation of a bicycle ride, you may want a more closed model. Some have flaps that you can zip up, covering the mesh sides, creating a cocoon-like environment for your dog. If Spotty needs extra comfort on the ride, there are carriers with cushioned and cozy interiors that will help the furry passenger relax. Some are so well lined that they'll feel just like your animal's own bed.
Your pet has just as much important luggage as you do for a full day out. Between his pop-up water bowl, favorite toy, treats, and sweater, Fido will need somewhere to store his belongings. Fortunately, some carriers have plenty of pockets that close via snap buttons, zippers, or velcro, to prevent items from flying out on the road. If you get the right carrier, your pet will be just as excited to get the bike out of the garage as you are.
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