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Updated April 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for Best dog bike carriers

Humans love to spoil their furry friends.  They let dogs jump onto the couch, lick plates, and have one too many treats. Many people take dogs everywhere from the office to the beach.

There are doggie seat belts for the car, fashionable dog handbags for easy carrying, and dog bike carriers that are perfect for taking Fido or Fluffy on the go. People who own small to medium dogs can sport backpacks or attach baskets to their bikes that pups can ride along in.

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You will likely need to measure your pet to buy the appropriate size dog bike carrier. Measure from your dog’s collar to the base of the tail for length, and measure around the widest part of the chest for girth.

Key considerations

There are several different styles of dog bike carriers available. Choosing a style mostly depends on how big your dog is and how comfortable you want to be while biking.

Backpack carriers

Backpack-style dog bike carriers are worn on the back like traditional backpacks. They have holes for your dog’s legs to stick out. These carriers can carry dogs that weigh as much as 30 pounds. Use this type of carrier if your dog has a relaxed personality and won’t mind having limited movement.

Front-facing backpack carriers

Front-facing backpack carriers are worn on the chest like baby carriers. The front-facing style offers you more control over what your dog is doing. If your pooch starts to struggle, then you can comfort her and offer soothing words. Your dog may also feel more comfortable close to your chest and face rather than facing backward on your back.

Basket carriers

Basket-style carriers are the best choice for squirmy dogs and slightly larger dogs. Basket carriers are attached to either the front or back of bikes for dogs to sit in and enjoy the ride. They are square, made from mesh-like materials, and can be used as shoulder bags when detached from the bike. Basket carriers are the most versatile dog bike carriers. You’ll need to keep your dog’s weight in mind when shopping for a basket carrier, but you won’t need to take any other measurements.

Features

Weight capacity

Dog bike carriers are generally for dogs that weigh less than 20 pounds and are short in stature. It’s recommended that you weigh your dog before purchasing a carrier. Don’t guess or estimate. It’s unsafe to carry a dog that’s too heavy or too tall because the lack of support could result in injury.

Materials

Most dog bike carriers are made with a tough exterior material and mesh panels for air ventilation. The best exterior materials are weather-resistant and can’t be scratched by your dog’s claws or teeth. The sides of a dog bike carrier are often mesh, allowing for airflow. Basket dog bike carriers will most likely have some sort of padding for the dog to sit on as well.

Color

Almost every dog bike carrier comes in a number of colors. Choose your favorite color or match the color of the carrier to your bike. Fastidious owners may also want to keep in mind the dog’s fur color so that they don’t buy a carrier in a color that will clash.

Dog bike carrier prices

Dog bike carriers range in price from $15 to $100.

Inexpensive

If you’ve never used a dog bike carrier before, you may want to start with a less expensive option until you are sure your dog enjoys the carrier. Basic carriers range from $15 to $30.

Mid-range

If you know your dog will be okay with riding along with you, go for a mid-range carrier. These dog bike carriers have extra features like different carrying straps and hidden pockets. They range from $40 to $60.

Expensive

If you take your dog biking daily, it’s a smart idea to buy a high-end dog bike carrier that will last for years. These carriers cost $70 to $100, have a number of extra features, and tend to be more durable and weather-resistant.

"Be sure you can fit two fingers between the straps of a dog bike carrier and your dog. If you can’t, the straps are too tight and won’t allow for any movement."
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Tips

  • Before going on an actual bike ride, try out the dog bike carrier at home. Be sure you know how to operate it and that your dog is comfortable when strapped in.
  • Extra pockets come in handy for storing treats, collapsible water dishes, kibble, or waste bags. Examine how much storage is available before purchasing a dog bike carrier.
  • Some dog bike carriers come with washable inside pads. These are useful because they can be easily cleaned or replaced.
  • Do not use your dog bike carrier for any other purpose. Do not carry children in it or any items. The safety standards and weight limits of dog bike carriers apply only to dogs.
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You may also have to measure your dog’s inside leg distance and outside leg distance when buying a dog bike carrier. Measure the distance from inside the front legs to inside the back legs and from outside the front legs to outside the back legs.

FAQ

Q. Can I carry two dogs in a dog bike carrier?

A. If you have two very small dogs, it may be possible to fit them both in a basket-style carrier. But there aren’t any backpack-style carriers available that allow you to bike with two dogs at once.

Q. Why can’t I just use a regular backpack for a dog bike carrier?

A. Regular backpacks don’t have holes for legs or tails, and they aren’t made of breathable fabrics. If you used a regular backpack, it’s possible your pet could become too hot. It’s better to purchase a dog bike carrier that is made to carry a dog rather than risk anything happening to your beloved pet.

Q. How do I prevent my dog from jumping out of a basket dog bike carrier?

A. There are straps on some basket carriers that work almost like a seat belt. Other dog bike carriers require the use of a leash, which hooks to the dog’s collar and to the carrier. It’s also a good idea to train your dog to stay seated while traveling in a basket dog bike carrier.

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