Dogs love the outdoors because they get to see new things. But do you know of an activity that dogs like more than being outdoors? Being with you!

And there’s an activity that combines both these things – being outdoors and bonding time. This activity is biking! But as much fun as this activity is, you should think like a pet parent first. So, from choosing the bicycle with a dog sidecar to using it, think about your dog’s comfort and safety first. Legal and regulatory considerations and etiquette are another angle to think about.

So, stick around as we learn how you can go cycling with your dog in a way that is safe and legal.

Tips for Biking with Dogs

A bicycle dog sidecar is a safe way to go cycling with your dog. We’ve gathered some tips that will help you choose the best sidecar for your dog and equip it with accessories and customizations that will make your experience unforgettable. Don’t forget to check our article biking with dogs for more information.

Girl on bicycle with Dog
Girl on bicycle with Dog

1.Choosing the Right Bicycle and Sidecar

A pre-made bicycle sidecar comes with a range of brackets. The length of the chainstay determines the type of bracket you should order for your sidecar. Similarly, the chainstay size also matters if you’re taking up a DIY project for a sidecar.

Most pre-made sidecars fit over 80% of bicycles. But before you order, you could share a picture of your bicycle with the company to ensure that the sidecar is compatible with it.

The next most important factors to consider when choosing a sidecar are size, comfort, and safety. If your dog is a big Labrador Retriever, they won’t be comfortable in a small sidecar, no matter how padded the interior is.

Next to consider is safety. If your dog gets excited easily, it is important to invest in a sidecar that has a hood which brings us to the next point – safety features.

2.Safety Features to Consider

There are different kinds of sidecars available on the market. Some are made of fiberglass and have a plastic windshield (exactly what you’d expect a sidecar to look like); while others are made of synthetic yarn with zippers and a canopy to keep the passenger safe.

Some sidecars even come with safety harnesses for the passenger. Since the passenger in your case is your dog, you might want to consider dog sidecar safety features like protective coverings that allow your dog to look out through a mesh or poke out their head like they’re in a convertible.

While you’d want to look cool with a fiberglass sidecar, you must consider your dog’s comfort and your safety too. If you’re too busy making sure that your dog doesn’t jump out of the open sidecar, you won’t be concentrating on the path.

3.Training Your Dog for Sidecar Rides

Sidecar rides can be fun only when your doggo is having fun. However, you probably won’t get to witness their excitement the first time around. As much fun as this activity seems to you, your dog won’t understand its purpose unless you acclimate them to it.

Training Dogs for Bicycle Sidecars

  • To help the dog get comfortable in the sidecar, put them in for a few minutes at first and then ride around a place where it isn’t busy.
  • Take them out and talk to them about how fun the ride was.
  • If the sidecar has a canopy, don’t close it up on the first ride, otherwise it will scare your dog.
  • Increase the time your dog spends in the sidecar little by little then consider closing the zippers and securing their leash to the sidecar to acclimatize them to a closed environment.

4.Preparing for the First Ride

To ensure a safe and enjoyable first ride, make sure the carrier has a non-spillable water bowl, especially if it’s hot. Secure your dog’s leash to the sidecar or your bicycle.

The first trip should be taken after training and should be short. Reward your dog with treats or praise to make them feel happy about the experience.

rough collie in a bicycle dog trailer

5.Dog Comfort and Accessibility

If your sidecar doesn’t come with cushioning, you might want to add it yourself to make sure that your dog can sit down comfortably if they feel like it. On a sunny day, make sure you use shade for the sidecar and give water access to the dog, so they don’t overheat.

-Ensuring your dog’s comfort in the sidecar, including the use of cushions, shade, and water access.

6.Cycling Etiquette and Safety

Cycling with a sidecar in a less crowded space is easy. But in public, you might be compelled to move about through the crowd if you’re not yet used to cycling with a sidecar. It takes time to acclimate yourself to ride with a sidecar.

For safety reasons, it is also important to add reflective tape to the sidecar so others cannot overlook it. Go slow, but at the crowd’s pace to navigate through traffic and crowded areas safely.

7.Accessories and Customizations

Most sidecars don’t come with accessories. Depending on your dog’s needs you could choose a sidecar with extra storage compartments or invest in accessories like anti-spill water bowls to keep them hydrated throughout the journey.

Similarly, you can invest in weather shields for the sidecar and other accessories for dog bicycle sidecars like doggles to keep your dog safe from the wind and direct sunlight.

shiba inu in the nature while owner is driving a bike

It is legal to ride a bike with your dog in the sidecar as long as your dog doesn’t get out. However, you might want to check and adhere to the local cycling laws to make sure that you’re not doing anything that could cause you fines.


The joy of cycling with your dog is unmatched. You both get to witness the outside world with a new lens. Plus, your dog’s cycling adventures will create memories and an unmatched bond between you and your pet.

However, before you think about embarking on such a journey, make sure that you have prepared beforehand, have trained your dog, equipped the sidecar with all the necessities, and are riding safely.

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