What to look for when buying a pet bicycle trailer
Warranty. Most brands have different warranties for the fabric parts and the metal parts. Check the warranty to make sure they replace parts if you find wear-and-tear on your trailer. If not, you’ll be left with worn out and potentially dangerous parts.
Dimensions and Weight. Weight capacity varies based on the design of the trailer. Make sure the trailer has the weight capacity to safely transport your pet. Also pay attention to customer reviews. A trailer may claim it can hold a 100lb dog, but customers may report that their 90lb dog does not fit comfortably. Keep dimensions in mind as well. A German Shepherd and Greyhound are both considered large dogs, but a Greyhound is taller with longer legs. While some dimensions may fit a “big dog” like a German Shepherd comfortably, a Greyhound may not have room to lie down.
Storage. Most dog trailers are collapsible so they can travel in a car or be stored in a garage or closet. Check user reviews to see how easy storage is. Storage can depend on weight and size. For example, some trailers have wheels that come off for easy collapsibility.
Comfort Features. Dog trailers have fairly standard interior features to keep your pet comfortable in rain, heat, and cold. Most come with mesh screens, bug screens, or sunroofs that can be rolled up. The interior of these trailers tend to have some sort of cushioning, but user reviews may say otherwise.
- Different pet trailers come with different safety features. Standard features usually include a leash attachment so your pet doesn’t try to jump out of the trailer, cushioning in the interior of the trailer, and a brake system.
- Additional features sometimes include reflective fabric or bright-colored flags for visibility.
- Check to make sure the connecting hardware is compatible with your bike. Some models come with two connections for added safety. You may need to purchase hardware that’s adaptable to your bike.
Know your Pet. There’s no one-size-fits-all for pet trailers, even if they are standard models. Your dog might get nervous in smaller spaces, so look for a trailer with a larger cabin. For dogs with hip issues, some trailers ride lower to the ground so they can get in easily. If your dog likes to ride with his head out in the open, look for trailers with sunroofs that open up. No one knows your pet like you do!
Burley Design Tail Wagon Bike Trailer – Comfortable trailer for large dogs, an easy ride and compatible for more than just transporting your pet!
Customers are saying: The trailer provides a smooth ride no matter the terrain. While a little pricier than other models, it has a much sturdier build and customers prefer the quality over value. Most large dogs are comfortable whether they are sitting or lying down. The braking system is aggressive depending on how quickly the rider stops. The model folds down for easy storage, and can be used for more than just hauling pets. With the stroller extension (not included) it can be used as a jogger.
- Removable, washable floor
- Cargo pockets included
- According to customers, the trailer can also be used as a jogger (if stroller kit extension is purchased)
- Compatible for large dogs to be comfortable and lie down
- Braking system is aggressive on tires, could cause damage with sudden braking
- Narrow design might be uncomfortable for larger dogs to turn around or lay on their side
- Kickstand is NOT included
- The hitch is not compatible for all bikes
Overview: Overall, Tail Wagon is a high-quality design for a pet bike trailer, and is compatible for large dogs. Some customers are not comfortable using it for their bigger or senior dogs who like to lay down, so know your dog’s temperament before purchasing. The trailer does NOT include a kickstand, and the brakes are very aggressive. If you purchase this trailer, be aware of your stopping distance and avoid making sudden stops.
PetSafe Solvit Houndabout Pet Bicycle Trailer – Low-riding trailer optimal for small dogs and slow, low-impact riding
Customers are saying: This is a great trailer for small dogs. The aluminum model is lighter, but takes on more wear-and-tear than the steel frame. This model does have the tendency to tip over. Customers have reported the trailer has tipped while moving and their dogs sustained minor injuries. Assembly is fairly smooth, according to most buyers. Customer experiences vary depending on the model they choose. For example, the models for larger dogs are a bit more difficult to fold down and store. Some customers have complained about low quality materials being used (product arrives damaged, difficult to assemble, does not last longer than a year, etc.)
- Sits lower to the ground; easy for arthritic dogs to enter
- Washable materials
- Can be hooked to any bike (universal hitch)
- Extendable leash to keep pet safe
- Customer service available 6 days a week
- Lower center of gravity makes it easier to tip
- Low quality materials
- Difficult to store, depending on model
- Warranty available only by request
Overview: The overall value for the PetSafe model is good, but customers frequently complain about the quality. The smaller models are best used for small dogs only, so make sure to check the weight restrictions on each model before purchasing. Customers have reported that the product arrives damaged, but PetSafe also has a 6-day-a-week customer service line that is very responsive. Depending on the model, assembly and storage ranges from very easy to difficult. Overall, this is a good value for a pet trailer as opposed to great quality.
Best Choice Products 2-in-1 Pet Stroller and Trailer – A great choice for older, smaller dogs for a stroller or a bicycle trailer
Customers are saying: This stroller is optimal for dogs under 50lbs. There is no cushioning on the interior of the cart, so buying a pet bed to place inside is optimal. The cart rides well on smooth, even terrain. Depending on where your dog likes to sit in the stroller, it has a tendency to tip if weight isn’t evenly distributed. According to customers, when parts arrive damaged, Best Choice will replace it quickly and free of charge. It is easy to fold down and transport through doors and into garages. Customers find that this cart is best for older dogs with leg problems that are under 50lbs.
- Affordable price includes both trailer and stroller capabilities
- Brightly colored for safety
- Leash can be attached to harness on the inside
- Easy openings in the front and back
- Easy to store and transport
- No kickstand or locking break for loading and unloading
- Interior is not cushioned; bowing can occur
- Not optimal for dogs over 50lbs
- Can tip over if weight is not evenly distributed
- Zippers are low-quality
Overview: The 2-in-1 capability of this product makes it convenient for dog-owners. While the cart can safely transport dogs who are 66lbs, customers have found the 50lb range more optimal. While the stroller extension is included, other safety features like a kickstand and stopping brake are not included.
Customers are saying: The assembly instructions are very unclear, but once you figure it out, the trailer works like a charm. It works great for one or more small dogs to ride along. The wheels pop off easily, which customers say is good for car storage. The inside padding is passable, but many customers have preferred to buy another lining for their pets’ comfort. Most buyers tend to prefer this model as a stroller rather than a trailer. The three wheels make it easy to use as a jogger, and the design makes it easy to walk or jog without hitting your legs against a crossbar.
- Three wheels add stability and traction
- All-weather plastic mesh door and rain guard
- Features suspension wheels
- Wheels pop off for easy storage and transportation
- Works better as a stroller than a trailer
- Instructions not included
- Additional padding typically needed
- Flattering for storage is occasionally difficult
Overview: Overall, customers love this design and what they get for the price. The model is sturdy and good for all-terrain. However, it works best as a stroller instead of a bicycle trailer, because the wheel in the front can be tricky to remove. This design works best for one or more small dogs (under 30lbs.) Just be aware that for a lower price, you may not get the exact quality you’re anticipating.
What customers are saying: This model can tip easily, depending on your dog. If your dog likes to sit up or stand, she might tip the trailer forward and risk injury. Customers say it is easy to assemble, but tires do need to be pumped upon receipt. Most reviews tend to be happy with the way their dog fits and how the trailer rides. The biggest complaints from consumers are the danger of tipping, tearing of the fabric, and quality of the zippers. It seems to be best for smaller dogs (pugs, beagles, etc.) and not larger dogs like golden retrievers.
- Easy ride with shock absorption
- Quick release wheels
- Adaptable for most bikes
- Easy to store
- Easy to assemble
- Smells like burnt rubber upon receipt
- Can tip easily depending on dog
- Not made for larger dogs
- Fabric shell is easily damaged
- Zippers are flimsy
Overview: Customers have overall reacted positively to this design. As with purchasing anything for your dog, it’s best to know your dog’s temperament and personality before making a purchase. Most customer complaints come from situational issues, such as a dog who likes to sit up in the trailer as opposed to lying down. The price is a good value, but beware that the fabric might tear and the zippers might not be very strong. However, customers do praise this model for its smooth ride and ventilation for their pet.
PetSafe Solvit Houndabout Pet Trailer (Aluminum) – A lightweight option for large dogs comfortable enough to accommodate weight and height.
What customers are saying: Customers enjoy using this trailer for their large dogs, including German Shepherds, Dobermans, and multiple small dogs. The one restriction is the inner dimensions of the cabin can be a bit small for big dogs that like to lay down in the cabin. Assembly also seems to be tricky according to buyers, as the instructions are unclear. The tires do not come pre-inflated, and the stroller extension is not included. Customers mainly complain that the material is not durable, the hitch is not compatible with their bike, and the material does not hold up well in the rain.
- Compatible for large dogs
- Rides smooth on flat terrain
- Completely washable
- Multiple entrances
- Material not very durable
- Hitch not compatible with some bikes
- Instructions for assembly unclear
Overview: This lightweight version of the Houndabout is a good model for large dogs who prefer sitting up in a pet trailer. While not very durable, the aluminum frame is strong and easy to carry and store. The hitch is compatible with most bicycles, but most customers warn not to use this in the rain. Most customers say it’s a great trailer for older, bigger dogs who have hip issues and can no longer walk well.