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5 helpful tips for motorcycling with dogs

Pets travel everywhere with us these days, including hitting the open road on a motorcycle. If you plan to ride with your dog, make sure he feels comfortable on or around a motorcycle (or motorized scooter).

Check out these helpful tips below to make motorcycling with your trusty canine companion a fun and safe adventure.

1. Make sure your dog is a good fit for a motorcycle

Consult with your vet to ensure that your dog is healthy enough to ride on a motorcycle. Consider the size, weight, breed, and personality of your pooch before you put him on a motorized bike. An 80-pound Great Dane or a skittish toy poodle may not be a good fit for motorcycling.  And check your state’s motorcycle laws to find out if it’s legal for pets to accompany owners on a motorcycle.

2. Use a carrier or side car designed for dogs

Keep your furry family member safe by using a sturdy pet carrier attached to the back of your motorcycle. Another option is a side car that’s made specifically for dogs. When using a motorcycle pet carrier or side car, make sure it can handle your dog’s size and weight and that is tightly and safely secured to the motorcycle. Check with your local pet supply store or go online for motorcycle pet carriers and side cars

3. Start slowly with short rides

Ease your pup into motorcycling by taking him on short, slow trips around the neighborhood and then gradually build up to a safe speed and distance. Before taking a long-distance trip, train your dog to feel comfortable around the bike’s loud noise and the wind blowing in his face. Make sure he gets used to being inside the carrier or side car – see tips above.

4. Dress your dog in protective safety gear

Just like human motorcycle riders, take the same precautions with your beloved pet. Keep him or her safe by dressing them in dog-friendly, protective motorcycle gear including:

  • Canine motorcycle goggles
  • Protective helmet
  • Doggy jacket or sweater (for cold weather)
  • Booties to keep paws protected

5. Bring plenty of pet supplies along for the ride

Keep your dog well-hydrated and fed during your travels, especially if you ride long distances or take an overnight trip. Stop frequently at pet-friendly rest areas so your dog can exercise and take potty breaks. Before heading out on your next motorcycle ride, stock up on the following pet supplies:

  • Warm blanket
  • Travel food and water bowls
  • Leash
  • Disposable pet waste bags
  • Food and water
  • Favorite toys and treats
  • Pet first aid kit