Check your state’s laws to find out if it’s legal for pets to accompany their owner on a motorcycle. Pillion Pooch includes a list of links to some of the laws in the U.S. related to transporting an animal on a motor vehicle. While riding a motorcycle with your dog may not always be the safest choice, there are steps you can take to prioritize safety. Make sure your dog feels comfortable on or around a motorcycle (or motorized scooter) and follow these helpful tips to make riding with your trusty canine companion a fun and safe adventure.
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, do everything you can to ensure the comfort and safety of you and your dog while on your bike together.
1. Make sure your dog is a good fit for your 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 compatible for motorcycling. Pet Helpful lists the types of dogs that do well riding motorcycles.
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 it is tightly and safely secured to the motorcycle. Check with your local pet supply store or go online for motorcycle accessories for dogs, including 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 motorcycle gear
Just like human motorcycle riders, take the same precautions with your beloved pet. Shop for the best dog motorcycle accessories, and keep him or her safe by dressing them in dog motorcycle gear, including:
- Canine motorcycle goggles
- A protective helmet
- A doggy jacket or sweater (for cold weather)
- Booties to keep paws protected
Learn more about motorcycle protective gear in our guide.
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 with the following:
- Warm blanket
- Travel food and water bowls
- Disposable pet waste bags
- Food and water
- Toys and treats
- Pet first aid kit
Following the tips listed above, including obtaining dog motorcycle gear, are great ways to safely enjoy riding with your dog. Finally, remember to take it slow, so that your dog can become accustomed to the speed, wind, and noise of a bike ride. Learn more about traveling with your dog.