For most of us, our pets are considered family. So, have you ever felt guilty leaving your furry friend at home when you’re taking a ride? Nowadays, you don’t have to leave them whining at the door. Dogs already love the wind in their hair, so taking Fido with you on your next ride could be a match made in heaven. Check out our tips for motorcycling with your dog and don’t forget, safety should always be your #1 priority.
Make Sure Your Dog is Comfortable
You know your dog better than anyone else so you need to make sure your dog is 100% comfortable with riding on a motorcycle. Some dogs are very easy going, while others can be skittish and scared. Your dog puts their trust in you – don’t abuse your power to force them into something they aren’t comfortable with. It’s also important to consider their health and size before riding. Typically smaller dogs are more comfortable being held, or placed in carriers, so keep that in mind before you attempt to take your St. Bernard on a road trip. We talk more about carrier and sidecar options a little further down, so just hang tight.
Start Them Young & Take it Slow
Starting a dog on a motorcycle while they are still young is one of your best bets to get them used to riding. To get your dog to warm up to riding on a motorcycle, try taking short/slow trips around the neighborhood. Once they get more comfortable with the bike, try extending the length of your trips slowly. Make sure to reward them with treats after each ride, no matter the length. Ease your pup into riding, and if they aren’t warming up to it after a few weeks or even months – you might need to stick to solo rides.
Outfit Them in the Proper Gear
Safety gear is important for any rider and man’s best friend is no exception. Check out some the dog-friendly gear we recommend.
You keep your head covered while riding (we hope), so it’s important to keep your dog’s head covered too. Helmets are not only great for impact situations, but they can also protect your dog’s head from small rocks that might come up from the road and can shield them from bad weather, such as wind or rain. Check out this doggie helmet from Lifeunion. Keep in mind, it might take some time for your dog to adjust to a having something placed on their head. Show them some pawsitive reinforcement with treats.
Helmet Review: “My Yorkie likes to take motorcycle rides with me, I wanted something that would keep the wind from blowing her bangs ponytail and tangle it but also that would give some protection from sun and rain. This little helmet did it. It is super easy to put on… the helmet stayed put on our long ride to Sturgis… and she was fine the whole time she wore it.”
Goggles AKA Doggles
Doggie goggles are a great way to protect your dog’s eyes from the wind, rain, rocks, insects, and the sun’s rays. We recommend trying out QUMY Dog Goggles. These goggles come in at a low price point ($8.99) and include mirrored lenses that offer protection and will have your pup looking very stylish out on the road.
Depending on the weather, you might want to consider investing in a dog jacket for your pooch. We recommend the Ruffwear Sunshower Rain Jacket to keep your dog dry during those unexpected showers. This jacket is lightweight and water-resistant so you can avoid that wet dog smell. If the weather is chilly on your ride, check out the Ruffwear Quinzee Coat. This jacket is made from recycled polyester insulation to keep your dog nice and warm.
Find a Good Carrier or Sidecar Option
Get Some Inspo
- @the_bike_dog – Follow along with “Sox” as he travels with his owner to 50+ national parks. They have already logged 71K miles and 30 States.
- @motorbikemilly – Milly is a rescue dog who prefers life on two wheels instead of four paws. She even has her own YouTube channel.
- @cricket_the_bostonterrier – Cricket started riding in 2014 and has since traveled over 300k miles and has been to 48 states.
- @baileybikerdawg – Bailey is also a rescue dog who is out of a cage and finally feeling the wind in her hair. She was once an ordinary terrier turned extraordinary biker dog.
Have you ever taken your pup for a motorcycle ride? Let us know some of your insider tips and tricks in the comments below.
Check out some of these pet-friendly bikes on Cycle Trader:
*Note: In some states, there is paperwork/documents required to drive a motorcycle with a dog. Keep in mind, there are also pet/motorcycle laws that vary state-by-state. For more information on the laws/paperwork required in your state, visit your local DMV’s website and be sure to always put the safety of your pet first.