Often called man’s best friend, some dogs like to stay with their owner at all times. If you ride a motorcycle often, this may seem hard to manage. But did you know that you can safely ride with your pup in tow? Here are a few rules and tips from dog expert Dave Miller of Cozy Crates that you should follow the next time you think about taking your dog on your motorcycle with you.
Can a dog ride on a motorcycle?
Absolutely! But you need to be a good motorcycle rider, and your dog needs to be trained for it. It’s important to make sure your dog is comfortable and habituated to being around or on a motorcycle. You will also need to pick up specific dog gear like a doggie helmet. Make sure you address all the potential issues before you hit the road to ensure your pup’s safety.
Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe on a Motorcycle
While it may seem pretty adorable to see your beloved pup on the back of your motorcycle with you, it’s not the safest way for him to ride. Plus, if your dog is very small, it won’t work well. Here are a few tips to keep your dog safe when you are on the road.
IF you own a motorcycle, chances are your dog has been around when you rode out of the driveway, but can you be sure he’s comfortable with riding on it? Some dogs can panic around the sound of a loud engine, so you may want to make sure you have an exhaust system that isn’t super loud.
Having your dog in a two-seater can require a lot of concentration, and you need to stay focused if your dog is riding with you. Make sure that your dog is comfortable around and on your motorcycle, particularly as you are driving and when your body is moving to control your bike. If your dog is not relaxed and calm, he could panic, which will distract you and may cause an accident.
Take Short Rides at First
It’s super important that before you go on a long ride that you take your pup for short trips first. unless you have a dog that is used to riding on a motorcycle, you shouldn’t go for a hard or long bike ride. You can make your dog more comfortable on your bike by starting with slow and shorter trips in your immediate area.
After a few trips, increase your distance, speed, and duration gradually. Soon, your dog will be used to the loud motor and the wind blowing on his face. This will help to remove anxiety and panic down the road.
Buy a Pet Carrier
With the many styles of pet carriers on the market, you can easily find one that is appropriate to attach to your bike. You can also find styles that are similar to a baby carrier that you wear on your back or front. This design allows your dog to slip inside and only exposes his head and paws.
Other options include cargo carriers or pet sidecars. These units attach to your bike and keep your dog completely secure with an area where they can stick out their heads and see what’s going on. You can also purchase a basic backpack and put your pup inside zipping him up securely with just enough room to stick his head out.
Just like you, your dog will need protection for his eyes. You don’t’ have to get anything fancy, just a simple pair of safety goggles that attach securely in the back with a thick strip.
Follow the Law
You may not have considered it, but it may not be legal to ride a motorcycle with your pup depending on the state you are in. In some states, it’s not legal to ride your bike with your pet, so it’s important to check any other states you may be riding through on your trip to make sure you won’t get pulled over and ticketed.
It’s absolutely imperative that you buy a doggie helmet for your pup. Without one, your dog won’t have any protection in the event of an accident. Just like for humans, the helmet will ensure that your pup is protected with all possible measures. Make sure your dog has the right gear including a helmet, goggles, booties, and sweater to keep him safe on the road. All of this gear is pretty inexpensive and worth the investment.
Trip to the Vet
Before you head out, make sure your dog is healthy enough to go on a long trip. Visit your vet and make sure that your dog should even be riding on your motorcycle. You don’t want your trip to end up being a health hazard for your pup, and your vet will be able to consider your dog’s personality, habits, breed, size, and weight to ensure it’s safe for your dog to go. Also keep in mind your dog’s size, if he’s pretty large like a Great Dane, it may not be an appropriate activity for his size.
Take Along Supplies
After you have made sure everything is legal, comfortable, and safe, you are ready to hit the road. Wherever you go, make sure you bring along some basic supplies for your dog, particularly if it’s going to be a long or overnight jaunt. Throughout any ride, you want to make sure your dog is hydrated and well-fed, which means he will also need to go to the bathroom. Here are a few basic pet supplies you should bring along for a long-distance ride:
• Leash and collar with ID tag
• Water and dog food
• A comfortable and warm blanket
• Toys and treats
• Pet first aid kit
• Disposable bags for potty breaks
It’s vital that you know how to carry your pup on your motorcycle before you go out on a ride you’re your dog. It’s not a hard process, but it does take some time and patience as well as proper gear to keep your dog protected and comfortable.