The Ultimate Guide to Biking With a Dog In a Bike Trailer

If you love cycling but wish you could take your dog with you, then a bike trailer might be the perfect solution.

Bike trailers are a healthy and safe way to get around with a dog (and I’m sure he/she wouldn’t mind either!).

But there are some important things to consider before riding with your Bud in a bike trailer, and often it takes time for a dog to trust the trailer enough to feel comfortable riding it.

This article covers what you need to know about riding with a dog and how to help him/her acclimate to the bike trailer.

Can a dog ride in a bike trailer?

A dog can be acclimated slowly to a bike trailer by filling the trailer with the dog’s favorite things before starting to ride. If a dog is slowly introduced to riding in a bike trailer, then it is perfectly safe for a dog to ride with you.

It usually takes days or sometimes a few weeks for a dog to trust the bike trailer enough to enjoy riding in one, so be sure to take the appropriate amount of time to slowly introduce the trailer.

I reached out to several dog owners who have been riding with their dogs for a while and asked for their best advice.

One of them shared this tip:

Dog trailer or kid trailer? 

Dog trailer vs kid trailer, which is better? There are a few bike trailer manufacturers that make trailers specifically for dogs, but they are often more expensive than the cheapest kid bike trailers.

Dog trailers have the added benefit of being designed just for dogs, which usually include these features: 

  • A door flap that is easier for your dog to jump in and out of
  • More flat interior space
  • Dedicated place to tie a leash while the dog is inside the trailer

However, some dog trailers are a bit more expensive than the entry-level bike trailers designed for kids. For this reason, and perhaps because some dog owners also have kids, many people who are riding with their dog in a bike trailer seem to be using a regular kid bike trailer (check out the video of Jenna Marbles wheeling around with her dogs below!).

If you don’t mind spending a little extra on a dedicated dog bike trailer, then you will probably like the added benefits it offers. If you want to spend under $150 on a budget trailer for kids, then that’s a solid option as well. If you also have kids, then using a kid bike trailer would be a logical choice. 

How to train a dog to enjoy riding in a bike trailer

A dog can be trained slowly to ride in a bike trailer by placing the trailer inside the house and filling the trailer with the dog’s food and favorite things. Gradually, start pulling the bike trailer around the house and then eventually around the neighborhood at low speeds.

5 steps to train a dog to enjoy riding in 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. 

The keyword here is enjoy. If you and your dog are not enjoying the process of learning to ride with the bike trailer, then there is little point in attempting to pull it off.

Here are the steps to make it enjoyable and fun for you both.

Step 1. Place bike trailer on the floor inside the house

Help your dog get used to the bike trailer. Remove the wheels from the trailer and place it on the floor to let your dog explore the inside of the trailer. Being inside your house or garage will also help him/her feel comfortable with the new trailer.

You can leave the bike trailer in the corner of a room or in the garage for a few days or until your dog feels comfortable enough to explore it alone.

Step 2. Place your dog’s favorite things inside the trailer

Get some of your dog’s favorite things and place them inside the trailer.

Only you know what your dog likes, but some ideas would be some favorite toys, a pillow, and some food of course! You could even place his/her food bowl inside the trailer for a few days. 

This is one of the most important steps in the acclimation process because you will also be placing treats and toys in the bike trailer when you start riding outside.

Step 3. Attach the trailer to your bike

Put the wheels back on the trailer and attach it to your bike. 

Just be sure to attach it to the bike before your dog gets in the bike trailer, as to not scare him/her with the sudden change of movements.

If you need help understanding how your specific bike trailer attaches to your bike, I wrote an in-depth article on how bike trailers attach and what you might need to know about your specific trailer.

Step 4. Walk the bike (not ride) around the neighborhood

Help your dog get used to the motion of the trailer by first walking the bike around the house or neighborhood. 

You can just push the bike and trailer up and down the driveway or around the neighborhood.

Pay attention to see if your dog is itching to jump out or feels relaxed.

At this point, it’s best to tie a leash to the inside of the bike trailer to reduce the chances of your dog jumping out. Although all bike trailers have covered to limit the dog’s ability to jump out, some trailers are easier to escape from than others.

Once you’re confident that your dog feels comfortable and will not jump out, you can move on to the final step: starting to ride!

Step 5. Start riding slowly with the trailer

Once the dog has found a newfound enjoyment inside the trailer, jump on the bike and start pedaling slowly, no more than 5 mph (or 8 kph). Speed up to 10 mph once you and your dog feel comfortable and happy with your progress.

Be sure to ride consistently, taking your dog out for a ride ideally once a week at least.

Also Helpful: How Hard Is It to Pull a Bike Trailer? 7 Tips to Make It Easy

How long does it take to train a dog to ride in a bike trailer?

It usually takes days or sometimes a few weeks for a dog to trust the bike trailer enough to enjoy riding in one, so be sure to take the appropriate amount of time to slowly introduce the trailer.

The most important thing is that it is enjoyable for your dog. So be sure to not get frustrated or stressed if it is taking longer than expected. The end result is a fun and healthy activity that you can both enjoy doing together.

Some dogs are just a bit timid than others, just like some people are. It can be expected that any dog will be confused and maybe intimidated by the idea of being constrained inside a small space while moving at semi-fast speeds.

That’s why it’s important to introduce the trailer gradually by first letting your dog meet the trailer while inside the house and letting him/her play inside for a few days.

How to ride safely with a dog in a bike trailer

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.

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.

1. Relax and remain calm

Dogs are hypersensitive to your emotional state, especially stress and frustration. So try to relax when you’re riding around and try not to get impatient if your dog is taking longer than you hoped to get used to the new activity. 

2. Give it some time

It may take days or weeks for a dog to build trust with the trailer and feel comfortable. Be sure to follow the above steps to slowly introduce the bike trailer.

If you rush into it too quickly, your dog might be very uncomfortable and stressed during the ride. As a safety benchmark, before you go on your first ride together, make sure that you’re confident he won’t try to jump out mid-ride. 

3. Close the bike trailer door cover

Most bike trailers (for kids and for dogs) are designed to keep the precious cargo inside, so your dog will have a hard time jumping out. Be sure to close and zip/lock the door to avoid any unwanted incidents.

4. Tie your dog’s leash to the inside of the trailer for added protection

The leash is a safety precaution in the event that your dog is able to jump out of the trailer. However, most trailers will have a cover that prevents the dog from leaving. 

Before you take your dog for a first ride, you should feel confident that he/she won’t try to jump out of the trailer mid-ride. If he does jump out, the trailer might tip over. 

Top 5 best bike trailers for dogs

The best bike trailer for a dog has a higher weight limit of over 60 lbs (30 kg) and costs less than $400. Dog trailer weight limits range from 50 lbs (22.6 kg) on the lower end to 110 lbs (50 kg) on the highest end. The price of a dog trailer ranges from $150 to $400.

These are all dog-specific bike trailers that have at least 4.4 star average reviews on Amazon. 

I recommend these bike trailers based on affordability as an important factor for most dog owners. Considering that kid bike trailers can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000, these dog-specific bike trailers offer excellent functionality and enjoyment for an affordable price.

1. Burley Design Tail Wagon
Best overall dog trailer$400 (check on Amazon)75 lbs (34 kg)
2. Schwinn Rascal
Best affordable dog trailer$150 (check on Amazon)50 lbs (22.6 kg)
3. Aosom Bike Trailer
Best trailer for mid-size dogs$180 (check on Amazon)66 lbs (30 kg)
4. PetSafe Bike Trailer
Best trailer for large dogs$210 (check on Amazon)110 lbs (50 kg)
5. 2-in-1 Pet Stroller and Trailer
Best dog stroller & trailer$180 (check on Amazon)66 lbs (30 kg)

1. Burley Design Tail Wagon Bike Trail
Best overall dog trailer

Price: Around $400 (check on Amazon)
Weight Limit: 75 lbs (34 kg)
Doggy Door: Yes

Best Features: 

  • Highest quality of a trusted brand
  • High weight limit
  • Weather-resistant

If you want the best of the best for your dog, then Burley is the way to go. Burley is a top-of-the-line bike trailer manufacturer that always produces has excellent quality trailers at a mid-range price.

The Burley Tail Wagon dog trailer has high-quality materials, a sturdy frame, and a Burley-style hitch arm. This trailer also comes with a handlebar for easy stroller conversion (stroller conversion is sold separately here).

Regarding the stroller conversion, at that price point, I would expect Burley to provide the stroller conversion kit included with the trailer. I guess they can justify this decision with the fact that not many people use a bike trailer to stroll around with a dog (why not just walk?).

2. Schwinn Rascal Bike Pet Trailer
Best affordable dog trailer

Price: Around $150 (check on Amazon)
Weight Limit: 50 lbs (22.6 kg)
Doggy Door: Yes

Best Features: 

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Large metal wheels
  • Striking orange color

The Schwinn Rascal is my recommend bike trailer for budget-minded dog owners. It has all of the features that a solid dog trailer should offer at an affordable price. A doggy door, large 20-inch wheels, and a bright-orange color for just around $150 make it a steal of a deal.

Schwinn is a popular and affordable bike manufacturer brand that makes entry-level products for everyday use. You will most likely find Schwinn products in Walmart and Target.

3. Aosom Bike Trailer Cargo Cart
Best trailer for mid-size dogs

Price: Around $180 (check on Amazon)
Weight Limit: 66 lbs (30 kg)
Doggy Door: Yes

Best Features: 

  • Affordable
  • High weight limit
  • Safety flag for better visibility

The Aosom dog bike trailer is a great option for dogs that are above the 50-lbs limit on most bike trailers. With a weight capacity of up to 66 lbs and massive 20-inch wheels, the Aosom trailer is a great choice if your budget is under $200.

4. PetSafe HoundAbout Dog Bike Trailer
Best for large dogs

Price: Around $210 (check on Amazon)
Weight Limit: 110 lbs (50 kg)
Doggy Door: Yes

Best Features: 

  • Super high weight limit!
  • Durability

Wow, a 110-lbs weight capacity! Even kid bike trailers don’t go that high!

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.

Not only does it have a high weight limit, this trailer also has plenty of interior room for your dog and even space for storage.

At around $210, it’s surprising that it doesn’t cost more, seeing as kid bike trailers of that size and weight capacity usually go up to $350 or more.

Read my full review of the HoundAbout here.

5. Best Choice Products 2-in-1 Pet Stroller and Trailer
Best dog stroller & trailer

Price: Around $180 (check on Amazon)
Weight Limit: 66 lbs (30 kg)
Doggy Door: Yes

Best Features: 

  • 2-in-1 convertible stroller
  • Safety flag for better visibility

If you’re looking fora dog bike trailer that also converts to a stroller, then consider this trailer.

With affordability as an important consideration, there are not many dog trailers on the market that also convert to a stroller. The Burley Tail Wagon (mentioned above) does have a stroller conversion, but it has to be purchased separately for around $100.


In this article, we’ve covered what you need to know when acclimating your dog to a bike trailer and how to do it properly.

We also covered and five recommended dog-specific bike trailers that will help a dog get used to the idea of riding in a bike trailer.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is making it enjoyable for you and for Fido. Try to relax and avoid getting frustrated throughout the training process.

Some dogs are more timid than others, but you never know until you try. And you never know, bike trailers just might be your new favorite mutual activity.

Any of the dog trailers mentioned in this article will add a fun and healthy activity for you and your dog. Looking at the weight limit of the trailer will likely be the most helpful metric for the best trailer for you.

If you’re looking for a stroller-convertible trailer, then the Burley Tail Wagon is the highest-end option if you can swing for the $400 price tag. If not, then a great budget option would be the 2-in-1 Pet Stroller.

Looking for a kid 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.

Ride on!

Benjy Suzaki

Hi, I'm Benjy Suzaki and I love cycling with my kids. Biking has been a big part of our family life ever since I decided to bike everywhere instead of drive, including to my job in NYC from New Jersey. is all about how to make biking a priority in your daily life through bike commuting, bike maintenance, and riding with kids.

Recent Posts