Eazi Grip

Can I take my dog on a motorcycle?

How to carry a dog on a motorcycle

When taking a dog on a motorcycle, we need to ensure the dog is safe and comfortable.

  • Dog seat: This is like a baby seat which can be attached (usually to the back) of the motorcycle. The dog can sit in it comfortably, but it will need some sort of restraint. Tethers can be attached which click on to a harness on the dog. Their movement will need to be restricted, so this attachment is likely to be quite short.
  • Backpack or carrier: For very small dogs, it is possible to buy a carrier which can be attached to your person. This can be difficult as you will need to keep the dog comfortable, but being strapped in might be difficult for them.
  • Carrier: A carrier is one of the safest methods for dogs riding on motorcycles. It may not always be the most comfortable. If the dog is small enough, a small cage or carrier might be attached to keep the dog restrained. They will not likely be able to move much, so it’s not necessarily good for longer journeys. Others might be specially adapted for the dog to keep their head out while travelling. Carriers can be attached to the tail or the tank, but it will depend on how it affects the ability to ride.
  • Side car: A side car is one of the best methods for transporting dogs on motorcycles. It will provide plenty of room and adds extra stability in general. The dog cannot ride in the side car without being restrained. A harness will be the likely solution to this problem. This is better for larger dogs which cannot easily ride on the main body of the motorcycle.

Some dogs might be trained so they can ride on a motorcycle unrestrained. However, not only is this illegal, it is very dangerous. If they get distracted they might try to jump off. If a sharp turn is taken, they may not be able to keep their equilibrium. They can also be very distracting for the driver. It is incredibly unsafe to have a dog unrestrained on a motorcycle, so you should not do it.

Not every dog will be able to ride on a motorcycle, even if they are restrained. We don’t just mean due to size, but their temperament may not be suited to it. A dog which has been poorly educated or experienced trauma in the past may find it too frightening to ride on a motorcycle. Even if this doesn’t apply, they may simply be too scared. Some dogs may even get dizzy.

You will need to train them a little and reward them for good behavior. However, don’t push it and find another way to transport them if necessary. Getting them accustomed to the carrier (if you use one) is also important. You can try keeping the carrier in the house and rewarding them for spending time in it. Start on very short trips (even round the block) and see how the dog responds both on the bike and afterwards. If they are OK with it, you can then make longer trips.

For longer journeys you will need to ensure you make plenty of stops. This will allow the dog to relieve themselves and also get a drink of water etc. 1 to 2 hour journeys are about as long as you should have and you may need to stop every 15 to 20 minutes. This may vary according to the personality and health of the individual dog.

Accessories for dogs on motorcycles

Harnesses and carriers are not the only accessories which might help adog riding on a motorcycle. In an effort to keep the dog both safe and comfortable, there are other items you can purchase. You may need to get them from a specialty pet store or online. The availability and suitability of these dog motorcycle accessories will depend on various factors, particularly the size of the dog. They include:

  • Dog helmet: There are many brands out there dedicated to providing a helmet for dogs. Some of them, however, are only for show and may not provide much protection. Look for a rigid helmet which has space for their ears to rest comfortably.
  • Dog bike glasses: These need to be flexible so they can wrap around their head properly, so will likely have an elastic strap. They protect the dog from insects, dirt and anything else which might come their way on the motorcycle ride. Some may have an anti-fog option.
  • Dog clothes: Although dogs have fur coats, they can still be negatively affected by the cold. When on a motorcycle, cold winds can provide an increased wind chill.Clothes for dogsmight be needed to keep them warm, even if they are on the tail and protected somewhat by your body.
  • Saddle bag: Either a saddlebag or some other type of carrier will be required for the dog’s other accessories. These should include food, water and treats for the dog as well as any other necessary accessories.

What does the law say?

While the highway code addresses taking your dog in a car, motorcycles are not specifically mentioned…

“When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”

Your dog must be suitably restrained while on the bike or in a sidecar, whether it be with a harness or pet carrier/bag. Never take your dog on your bike without any restraints, as this is extremely dangerous for both yourself and your dog. Also make sure your dog is comfortable and has any accessories they need, whether it be goggles and/or a special helmet, and they are kept warm if it’s cold weather.

If your dog is happy to go on your motorcycle, then it’s a great way to share biking adventures together.

Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2022 in News

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