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Riding with your Dog

Dogs already love the wind in their hair, so take them along for your next trip

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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.
Dog Helmet - 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.
Goggle Review: “These glasses are a GREAT buy and well made. My dog is 15lbs and the middle of the glasses bends to fit the dogs face. The bands to adjust to your dogs head size is easy and comfortable for your dog. The glasses have padding around the rim on the inside so it's comfortable for your dog. My dog usually doesn't like things on his face but he didn't really try to take these glasses off. They come in a nice cloth bag and they are really good quality! Highly recommend!"
Doggie Jackets - 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.
Raincoat Review: “The coat is adjustable to fit and colorful and cheerful on a rainy day. it’s easy to put on and waterproof. The fabric is flexible and comfortable for my dog to wear. I finally found, after trying two other company’s coats, a perfect doggie raincoat. My dog and I love it.”
Find a Good Carrier or Sidecar Option - To make sure your dog is safe and sound while riding, we recommend investing in a high-quality motorcycle pet carrier. The Saddlemen Pet Voyager is a great option for smaller breeds and can be easily mounted on the back of your bike. This carrier has multiple vents and access flaps as well as a removable and washable bottom tray and both food and water trays. There are also wearable carriers like the K9 Sport Sack. This backpack securely holds your dog in place while riding and they can take in all the sights and smells. The Sport Sack is made out of mesh material so your pup won’t overheat while riding and can accommodate small to medium breed dogs. If you have a larger dog, you might want to consider adding a sidecar to your motorcycle or finding a bike that already has one attached. Check out some of our sidecar options on Cycle Trader.
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