Best Dog Basket for Bike Riding: Cycle Safely With These 5 Front and Rear Carriers

Safe and secure pet baskets for bikes

Written By: Richard Cross | Last Updated: March 5, 2020

Want to cycle with your small dog? These five dog baskets for bikes are a safe and secure way to transport your adventurous pup.

A guide to the best dog baskets and carrier for bikes

Cycling is a fun way to get around – but it’s not always canine-friendly.

Using a leash to control your pet isn’t safe, as even a small jerk could cause a crash. I also don’t think it’s fair to force a dog to run at a bike’s pace just to keep up.

Dog bicycle baskets are a popular alternative for small dogs. They allow your pet to ride in a secure carrier, often with comfortable padding and a built-in safety attachment.

Unfortunately, some bike baskets poor quality and unsafe for dogs. So, to help you choose a dog bike carrier, we’ve researched and reviewed five of the best.

Our #1 Pick

PetSafe Solvit Tagalong

PetSafe Solvit Tagalong

A cute basket carrier with a strong resin wicker frame

The PetSafe Tagalong is an excellent wicker bike basket for pets. It features an attractive design, soft liner, and an adjustable safety leash. It’s only suitable for dogs up to 13lbs though.

Are Dog Bicycle Carriers Safe?

Safety is always the priority when travelling with a dog. And, while a dog bike basket can be safe, it’s important to be cautious.

Safety Tip #1: Bike baskets are only suitable for small breeds or a puppy.

The average front dog carrier has a maximum weight capacity of 13lbs. Heavier dogs could cause the base to sag, unbalance your bike, or even affect the stability of brackets. Rear carriers can typically hold larger dogs, but still aren’t suitable for most medium-size breeds.

For this reason, never exceed the manufacturer’s weight limit. Also, keep in mind that dogs can move around in a basket. The heavier they are, the more their movements will affect your balance when cycling.

Safety Tip #2: Always make sure your pet is secured in his basket – even if you think he won’t jump out.

You never know when a squirrel is going to run across the road! Always secure your dog during a bike ride to avoid a nasty accident.

If you’re using a basket with a leash clip, never attach this to a collar. It could choke your dog if he falls out. Instead, attach the security leash to a strong harness.

Some  cheaper baskets don’t include a built-in leash attachment. In this case, the harness should be attached securely to the handlebars.

Safety Tip #3: Be sensible about where you cycle with your pup.

There’s a big difference between a leisurely trip to the shops and mountain biking on a bump trail. Stick to flat roads and paths when cycling with your dog. If you’re planning to cycle with your furry friend in the rain, look for a rain cover.

Not All Dogs Enjoy Bicycles

Safety isn’t the only consideration – you also need to think about your dog’s feelings when in a carrier.

Some dogs love having the wind in their face while watching the world whizz past. But others find cycling to be a frightening ordeal.

If your pet shows signs of stress, don’t force him to ride in a bike basket – especially not without training. Instead, teach him to enjoy spending time in the carrier inside your home. Give plenty of treats and praise to create positive associations.

Once he’s happy to sit in the carrier, attach it to your bike and repeat the process while stationary. Over time, you can progress to short rides, while making sure your dog is always happy and comfortable.

This can be a long process, so take your time and don’t rush your pet. Be aware that some dogs never learn to love riding in bike seats though.

How to Choose a Bike Basket for a Dog

A dog in a bike carrier or bicycle seat

Choosing a dog bike basket doesn’t need to be difficult, but here are a few of the most important considerations.

Type of Dog Bicycle Basket

There are two broad categories of bike basket for dogs: harness attachment and mesh roof.

Harness attachment baskets keep your pet secure via a strong leash. They typically have an open or semi-enclosed design, so they provide less protection against weather.

Mesh cover baskets have a zip-up roof. This keeps your pet contained and can provide more weather-resistance. Mesh baskets are more restrictive, however, and there aren’t as many high-quality options available.

Note: Sling carriers are an alternative to basket dog carriers for the smallest breeds. They can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods though.

Carrier Position

Dog carriers are designed for either the front or rear of a bike. While many dog carriers for bikes are designed for the front, there are some excellent rear-attachment baskets too.

  • Front Dog Carriers. A basket attached to the front of your bike makes it easy to watch your pet and check he’s OK. There’s also less chance of your pooch getting sprayed by mud. On the other hand, front carriers are more likely to affect the balance distribution of your bike. They are also only suitable for small breeds.
  • Rear Dog Carriers. Cycling with a rear pet carrier is easier, as the basket doesn’t affect your handlebars. Rear carriers are also suitable for slightly larger breeds. You can’t see your pet though.

Tip: If you have a cruiser bike, front bike baskets for dogs may make turning more difficult. This is because the extra weight has a bigger effect on wide handlebars.

Breed, Size and Weight

As I mentioned, bike carriers are really only suitable for small dog breeds.

Front carriers typically have a maximum pet capacity of around 13lbs – although some have a lower maximum. Rear carriers are able to hold slightly bigger dogs, with maximum weights of around 20-25lbs (although this varies depending on the design.)

If your dog is bigger than the manufacturer’s recommendations, the carrier won’t be safe to use. Canine bike trailers are often a better option for big dogs, although they are less convenient.

Other Considerations When Choosing a Basket

Once you’ve found a basket that’s the right size for your pet and the type you prefer, here are a few other things to consider:

  • Security and Protection. High-quality pet carriers have strong and secure attachments to your bike. They should also be made from durable materials to provide protection. Being easy to install is a bonus.
  • Comfort. Many baskets have soft internal liners to keep your dog comfortable and warm. Some also have weather resistant “roofs” or a rain cover to protect your dog against bad weather. It’s vital to make sure your pet is always comfortable in his carrier, otherwise he’ll start to feel anxious about cycling.
  • Storage Pockets and Extra Storage. It can be useful to store your dog’s leash, treats and other items in a bike carrier. Some baskets have mesh storage pockets for this. Others have built-in shoulder straps if you need to carry your pup.
  • Washable Cover. The soft internal cover of a bike basket should be washable. Dogs get muddy! Machine washable covers are the most convenient, although some materials need to be washed by hand. You should also check how easy it is to remove the cover for cleaning, as some baskets need to be disassembled to access the cover.

Note: Some dog baskets for cycling convert into regular canine carriers, but most are not crash-tested. For this reason, they shouldn’t be used as a car or motorcycle carrier.

5 Dog Bike Basket Reviews (Including Front and Rear Carriers)

Listed below are five of the best bike dog baskets. I’ve included both front and rear options, along with tips for choosing the right carrier for your pet.

PetSafe Tagalong Dog Carrier for Bike Riding

1. TOP PICK: PetSafe Solvit Tagalong Wicker Bicycle Basket

The PetSafe Solvit Tagalong is my top pick for a dog bicycle carrier. It’s an attractive basket that’s strong, easy to setup, and provides a soft ride for your pooch.

With a resin wicker exterior and comfortable faux-sheepskin liner, the Tagalong is a high-quality basket for the front of your bike. I like the small removable sunshade cover to protect your dog from harsh weather, and the adjustable leash makes it easy to secure your pup via his harness.

Another advantage of the PetSafe carrier is that it’s easy to install on almost any bike. It features a bracket system that can be quickly adjusted, so you can get a secure fit without pinching the brake cables.

There’s also something very cute about a small dog riding in a wicker basket!

A downside is that the basket liner can only be hand washed using cold water. The liner is relatively easy to remove, but a machine washable design would be more convenient.

The initial setup can also be fiddly. Once fitted, the basket should feel secure for your furry friend though.

Why We Recommend It: The PetSafe Tagalong is a strong wicker basket that's brilliant for small dogs. It has an adjustable safety leash and faux-sheepskin liner - plus it looks great!
  • Material: Resin Wicker
  • Maximum Weight: 13lbs
  • Price Range: $$$
  • Strong resin wicker
  • Simple sunshade cover for more protection from weather
  • Great looking carrier
  • Not as strong as metal frame carriers
Anzome Dog Bicycle Carrier

2. BUDGET PICK: ANZOME Folding Bike Basket Dog Carrier

The ANZOME Folding Basket is a simple basket that’s a decent choice for short bike rides. It’s not the most comfortable or feature-packed basket, but provides great value for money.

Despite the low price, the ANZOME pet bike basket has a quick-release mount, so it can be quickly attached to your bike. It also has a folding design for easier storage.

The frame is made from strong metal, so the ANZOME is also a relatively durable choice – although the brackets aren’t as strong as I would like. The soft fabric isn’t as luxurious as faux sheepskin though, so you may want to add extra padding.

A drawback is that it doesn’t come with a built-in seatbelt or leash attachment. Instead, you need to use a leash to attach your dog’s harness directly to the handlebars. It also doesn’t come with clear instructions, so be patient when installing.

Keep in mind that this is only designed for the smallest breeds. With a maximum dog weight of just 11lbs, it’s not suitable for bigger breeds. I also don’t recommend it for bumpy rides – it’s just not secure enough. For short rides on flat roads, however, it’s a cost-effective option for small dogs.

Why We Recommend It: The ANZOME Folding Basket isn't the strongest or most comfortable on this list. It's a decent choice if you need a cheap dog basket for a bike though - but only for dogs weighing less than 11lbs.
  • Material: Metal Frame
  • Maximum Weight: 11lbs
  • Price Range: $
  • Great price
  • Folding design
  • Metal basket frame
  • Not as strong as other options
  • No leash attachment
Snoozer Pet Rider Bicycle Seat

3. REAR ATTACHMENT BASKET PICK: Snoozer Pet Rider Rear Bicycle Seat

If you’re looking for a rear bike basket for your dog, the Snoozer Pet Rider is my top pick. It features a soft and machine washable cover, along with a safety strap and reflective strip. The Snoozer is also capable of holding dogs weighing up to 24lbs. It doesn’t come with a bike rack though – you need to purchase this separately.

Rear bike baskets are often a better choice for pets weighing more than 13lbs, as they are less likely to unbalance your bike. The Snoozer Pet Rider is a great example, as it’s suitable for dogs weighing up to 24lbs – almost double the PetSafe Tagalong.

It’s also a well-designed and high-quality dog bicycle carrier. The foam interior provides a comfortable container for your pup, while the plywood base gives a solid surface. It also has a machine washable cover, reflective back strip, and three-point safety strap.

It’s not perfect though. While the cover is removable, there is some disassembly required to access it. I also think the safety strap should be shorter, as it may allow some dogs to fall out (this is why it’s essential to attach safety straps to a strong harness rather than a collar).

Another issue is that the Pet Rider Bike Basket doesn’t come with a bike rack. You’ll need to purchase one separately, making it an expensive choice.

For dogs between 13lbs-24lbs, however, the Pet Rider is one of my favourite dog bicycle carriers. Make sure your dog is secured via a strong harness before using it though.

Why We Recommend It: The Snoozer Pet Rider Bicycle Seat is a rear bike dog basket with a comfortable lining and built-in safety strap. It's also suitable for pets weighing up to 24lbs. Be aware that you need to purchase a rack separately though.
  • Material: Foam With Plywood Base
  • Maximum Weight: 24lbs
  • Price Range: $$$$
  • Suitable for heavier dogs than a front basket
  • Machine washable cover
  • Three-point seatbelt
  • Rack must be purchased separately
  • Expensive for a carrier
PetSafe Happy Ride

4. PetSafe Happy Ride Bike Basket

The Petsafe Happy Ride is a non-wicker alternative to the Tagalong. It’s not as attractive, but provides a comfortable ride for your pet.

Like The PetSafe Tagalong basket, the Happy Ride comes with a detachable sun shield and built-in safety tether. It also has three storage pockets, which are useful for carrying water bottles, leashes, poop bags and other doggie essentials.

One of the great things about this carrier is that it’s quick and easy to remove from your bike. If you often cycle without your dog, this is an essential feature for a pet bike basket.

It also provides great value for money. The bottom isn’t as padded as I would like, however, so you may want to add a soft pad or towel for comfort. You also shouldn’t expect the sun shield to act as a rain cover, although it’s great for offering some shade on a warm bike ride.

Why We Recommend It: The PetSafe Happy Ride is a relatively inexpensive dog bicycle carrier that's a good choice for small breeds. It has useful features like a removable sun shield, pockets and safety tether, while also being easy to detach from your bike.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Maximum Weight: 13lbs
  • Price Range: $$
  • Built-in safety tether
  • Removable sun shield cover
  • Three storage pockets
  • Bottom of the basket isn't as soft as I would like
  • Not as attractive as a wicker bike basket
Travelin K9 Pet Pilot Basket

5. Travelin K9 Pet Pilot Basket

The Travelin K9 Pet Pilot is another excellent front bike basket for dogs. It has a variety of features, including a padded floor and 2-point safety leash, although it’s more expensive than many alternatives.

With 10 available colors and a reflective strip, the Travelin K9 Pet Pilot certainly stands out on your bike. It’s not all about appearance though – this is a solid dog bike carrier with a metal frame and adjustable safety leash.

Other features of this basket include a breathable mesh front panel to increase airflow, side pocket, side water bottle holder and reflective strips. I also like that the safety leash has two attachment points, as this increases safety.

The biggest drawbacks are the price and that it’s only suitable for dogs weighing up to 10lbs. If your dog fits, however, it’s an excellent pet bike basket.

Note: A “MAX” version of the Travelin K9 Pet Pilot Bike Basket is available for larger breeds.

Why We Recommend It: The Travelin K9 Pet Pilot is a strong dog carrier that's great for small breeds. It comes with a variety of features, including a cooling mesh window and 2-point safety leash. It's quite pricey for a pet basket for bike riding though.
  • Material: Steel Frame
  • Maximum Weight: 8lbs
  • Price Range: $$$
  • 2-point safety leash
  • 10 available colors
  • Quick installation
  • Expensive for a basket
  • Only suitable for smaller dogs

Summary

The best dog baskets for bikes provide a secure and comfortable place for your pup to ride. They are only suitable for small breeds, but can be a convenient way to transport your pet to the shops or a nearby walking spot.

My favourite dog carrier for a bike is the PetSafe Solvit Tagalong. It’s an attractive wicker basket with an adjustable leash, detachable sunshade and comfortable inner lining. If you need a rear bike carrier, the Snoozer Pet Rider is a good choice – although you’ll need to purchase a rack separately.

Do you have any questions about choosing a dog basket for your bike? Please let me know in the comments section below – I’d be happy to help!

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About The Author: Richard Cross

Richard is a journalist who specialises in dog behavior. He's written hundreds of articles and books related to dogs, including for the Continental Kennel Club, Dog Fest (the UK's biggest dog festival) and various veterinary surgeries. When he's not spending time with Jess and Rudy (his beloved Labrador and Golden Retrievers), he enjoys reading, hiking and watching sports. You can find him on Facebook or Twitter.