If you have a large dog and love the idea of riding together, then the PetSafe Solvit HoundAbout dog trailer is the bike trailer for you.
I have scoured the Internet for a bike trailer with a high enough weight limit to hold a 100+ lbs dog, and the PetSafe HoundAbout is the only trailer on the market with such a high weight limit at this price point.
It has an impressively high weight capacity of 110 lbs for an affordable price.
Seeing as the average weight for dogs such as German Shepards is between 66–80 lbs, most bike trailers on the market will not hold an average dog size.
The thrills of bike trailers are not only reserved for chihuahuas and other such small dogs.
What makes the PetSafe HoundAbout bike trailer the best for large dogs?
The PetSafe Solvit HoundAbout bike trailer costs around $210 and has an impressive weight capacity of 110 lbs (50 kg), which is more than double the weight limit of most other dog trailers. In addition, it has large 20-inch wheels, which makes it an extra-smooth ride for a large dog.
- Highest weight capacity on the market
- Affordable price range
- Large 20-inch wheels
- Standard hitching system for easy attaching
- Heavy to pull with a bike (due to more weight)
- Some customers have reported wear and tear (although the company seems to respond well to replacement requests)
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the HoundAbout bike trailer!
Introducing the PetSafe HoundAbout bike trailer
Don’t let the cheesy name of this trailer fool you! If you can get past the name and take a look at the stats on this thing, you’ll see why it’s an impressive dog trailer for a reasonably affordable price.
|Weight Capacity||110 lbs (50 kg)|
|Price||Around $210 (check on Amazon)|
|Wheels||20 inches, treaded|
|Attachment System||Same as Schwinn and Instep|
I have been using bike trailers for the last 6 years to pull around my two kids, and I have yet to come across a bike trailer that has a weight capacity as high as the HoundAbout bike trailer.
In this article, we will cover a few important factors to consider when purchasing any bike trailer.
- Weight limit
- Attaching to a bike
Price: Affordable bike trailer for a high weight limit
Is the price tag of $210 justified for the HoundAbout bike trailer?
For some comparison with kid bike trailers, you could get a cheap entry-level kid trailer for the same price, and it would not have nearly as high of a weight capacity as the HoundAbout. Most kid bike trailers will only have a maximum weight limit of 80 lbs (for two kids!).
With that said, the price point for the HoundAbout is absolutely a good deal for the amount of weight capacity that you get.
Design: A light-weight but sturdy steel frame
How the bike trailer is made should be one of the first indicators of whether or not it’s a good option for you.
Let’s dive right into the design of the HoundAbout trailer.
Trailer Weight: 27 lbs
For a bike trailer that holds an impressive amount of weight, the HoundAbout dog trailer is actually very lightweight! At just 27 lbs, this trailer is on the lighter side of bike trailer weights.
Wheels: Treaded 20 inches
The PetSafe dog trailer comes with treaded 20-inch wheels, which is the gold standard for bike trailer wheels. 20-inch wheels offer a smoother ride for both you and your dog, as opposed to smaller 16-inch wheels that are found on most bike trailers of this price range.
In addition to being larger, these wheels also are treaded, which is a nice surprise for a bike trailer in this price range.
Please note that only the “large” version of this trailer comes with 20-inch wheels. The “medium” version only comes with 16-inch wheels, which are not as comfortable or smooth for your dog.
Potential issue with the wheels…
With that said, there are a few things to note about the wheels on the PetSafe trailer in particular. Several customers have reported that the PetSafe trailer wheels have bent or warped over the course of a year or a few years.
A bent wheel on a bike trailer is a fairly common issue with bike trailers, including some of my own trailers. The best way to remedy the situation is to ask their customer service for a replacement. The company seems to be very responsive to customers requesting replacements.
I would not let these reviews scare you from getting this trailer, as there are no other dog trailers of this weight capacity and quality at the $210 price point.
Cover materials: mesh quality
The PetSafe comes with a mesh-type cover surrounding the entire trailer frame. Some dogs may not be comfortable sitting or laying on the mesh flooring of the trailer, so it is a good idea to bring your dog’s favorite pillow to act as a floor for added comfort.
One customer of the PetSafe reported that the flooring tore through when their dog stepped into the corner of the trailer. This seems to be an isolated incident.
Comfort for your dog: Bring a pillow
As mentioned above, bike trailers in general are not particularly designed to be comfortable for your dog. It is generally expected that owners will do what is best for their dog to provide comfort in the form of their favorite things and even a pillow from home. Whatever will make your dog feel more at ease is a good idea.
Be sure to also read 5 Steps to Train Your Dog to Enjoy Bike Trailers. It is most important to ensure that your dog is enjoying the bike trailer acclimation process.
Attaching to your bike
Now for the boring stuff… but it’s important!
The PetSafe dog trailer attachment system is one of the most compatible of all bike trailers. It uses a very similar standard hitch arm and coupler system as all Schwinn bike trailers and Instep bike trailers.
The only issue you might come across is if you have disc brakes with a thru-axle of at least 12mm in diameter (because the thru-axle will not fit through the coupler that comes with this trailer). In that case, you will need to get a coupler attachment (this one from Amazon). More on disc brakes can be found here.
You can learn everything you need to know about attaching your specific bike to your bike trailer by reading this article.
Are bike trailers safe for dogs?
Bike trailers offer a protective cage that helps protect the dog in the event of a crash. In comparison to alternative options, such as cargo bikes, bike trailers are the safest way to ride together with a dog.
With a name like “PetSafe” there had better be some pretty good safety features to help owners feel at ease when pulling their dog around. Well, this dog trailer has everything you should expect from a bike trailer manufacturer: a sturdy steel frame, a doggy door, a standard hitch attachment (similar system used by Schwinn and Instep), and of course the high weight limit.
Here are a few tips to safely acclimate your dog to a bike trailer. I also wrote an in-depth article on how to make riding with a bike trailer even safer.
Is it difficult to pull a large dog in a bike trailer?
Pulling an additional 40–130 lbs of weight (the bike trailer plus your dog) is significantly more difficult than pulling just yourself. However, the difficulty of pulling a bike trailer will decrease over time as you become stronger and follow a few riding tips.
Especially if you will be pulling a larger dog of up to 110 lbs, then pulling the bike trailer will be quite the workout (in the beginning).
But don’t let the difficulty of pulling a bike trailer scare you off!
It’s best to view bike trailers as a form of exercise, as well as a form of transportation. The more you ride, the easier it will become and after just a few rides you will have a handle on how to ride efficiently while pulling the bike trailer.
How to help your dog get used to a bike trailer
The key to introducing your bud to a new activity like riding in a bike trailer is to do it slowly. As you probably have guessed, dogs are highly sensitive to your emotions, so try to be patient and calm during the process.
It sometimes can take days or even weeks for a dog to get used to riding with you, but your dog will thank you later when you have a new outdoor activity to share together.
You can start to slowly acclimate your dog to the trailer by keeping the trailer in the house and adding your dog’s favorite things.
Read the step-by-step guide to acclimating a dog to a bike trailer.
Conclusion: You get what you pay for (plus a little extra)
The PetSafe dog trailer is a steal of a deal for the amount of weight capacity that you get—an impressive 110 lbs!
It really has a lot more going for it, like those large 20-inch wheels and the standard attaching system found on the most popular bike trailers on the market.
Just be mindful that you always get what you pay for when it comes to bike trailers. There have been several reports of the wheels and mesh covering not holding up over time, which you might have to contact customer support about at some point. In all fairness, the company has been very responsive.
But overall, I would say that the PetSafe dog trailer is above average in terms of what you get for the price point. Not to mention, there are very few dog trailers on the market with such a high weight capacity.
Need help finding the right bike trailer?
If you need help finding the right bike trailer for you, my recommended trailer for most people is the Swhinn Joyrider, which is an affordable double-seater that converts beautifully to a stroller. Check out my full review with photos here.
Check out the Ultimate Guide to Buying a Bike Trailer for more help with choosing a trailer. I also have compiled a list of the top bike trailers for every common situation, which you can check out here.