All You Need to Know about Traveling with Your Dog by Motorcycle

Motor Outfit Guides Style Travel By Kühl Editor

Both the excitement and pleasure of riding a motorcycle are unmatched, but leaving your dog at home when you're out for a trip leaves a somewhat bitter taste in the mouth. What if you didn't have to leave your furry friend behind as you discover new roads?

If you're excited at the prospect of traveling by motorcycle with your dog, you're in the right place. We've prepared a list of tips to bring your co-pilot on your next trip. Learn about everything from motorcycle travel gear to tips & tricks for safe travels with your pet.

What's the Best Motorcycle Seat for Your Dog?

Transporting your dog on a motorcycle should be your first point of concern when organizing a trip with your pet. You want to keep your doggie comfortable, safe, and happy during the journey. Your choice of transport depends on several factors, including your dog's size and the type of trip. 

Backpack and Slings

A small pet easily fits into backpacks and slings. This form of transport is excellent for keeping the pet restricted and as close to you as possible. However, it's best to prepare your pet for such travel before introducing them to long journeys. Observe if they're comfortable in the sling and make stops twice as often to allow them to stretch their paws.

Custom Dog Seat

A dog seat is the most common way to bring pets of any size on a motorcycle adventure. Seats come in various sizes, colors, and can easily be customized to fit your pet's size and needs. Custom dog seats allow your pet to enjoy the wind in his ears and the scenery as you travel. Owners usually get doggie goggles (doggles) for this type of transport.

man in black jacket and blue jeans riding motorcycle with a dog in the back
Best pal sitting in the back with a safety belt and irresistible pink goggles. Photo by Dex Ezekiel.

Tank Carrier

If the idea of having your small pet exposed to the open air doesn't sit well with you, consider getting a tank carrier. Choose from many different carriers, each made from soft but tough fabrics for your dog's comfort. Pet carriers come with windows for sightseeing and ventilation. Remember to line the carrier for easy clean up after the journey.

Side Car

Expanding your motorcycle for your pet's safety and comfort is the most challenging option, but can be very rewarding for large pets. Your dog enjoys comfort, space, and scenery while riding right next to you in his own sidecar. It's also the option that elicits the most smiles and photo requests when you stop.

Keeping Your Dog Comfortable

You always take several measures to stay safe during your motorcycle journey. Goggles, gloves, pants, and the right boots are a critical part of the experience. Dogs are no different. They require doggy gear for safety and to enjoy the trip to the fullest.

white and brown dog in brown leather jacket
Motorcycle gear for dogs can look as tough as yours - just make sure your dog is comfortable and safe. Photo by Arie Wubben.

A pair of doggie goggles (doggles) is essential to protect your pet's eyes from debris and bugs. Make sure you find a pair that offers comfort for the jaw and a broad view.

A helmet is also an essential item for pet safety and comfort. Not only does a pet helmet protect your dog in a crash, but it also keeps your pet's head and ears warm and safe from the cold.

When it's too hot for a comfortable ride, a cooling pad or cooling vest is excellent for extra comfort. A poncho or an insulated jacket for dogs is also vital when riding in wet weather. 

Dog Necessities

Whether you're going for a short journey or taking a week-long trip with your doggie, you need provisions. Start with the basics - food and water.

Even the most straightforward journeys will leave your dog perched, so always have water with you. Nylon travel bowls are great because they squish down to fit into your storage spaces. Canned food and pet snacks are also great for travel. 

The amount of food you need throughout the journey depends on the length of the trip. A saddlebag is an excellent way to transport food and keep it safe and dry. When bringing a companion, remember to reduce your luggage, to keep your pet comfortable on the carrier. Also, carry a waterproof bag to keep the food dry and safe to eat. 

A leash is an essential tool when traveling with your dog on a motorcycle. You'll want to make quick stops for stretching paws and potty breaks along the way. Most states have leash laws, and keeping your dog on leash prevents him from running into restricted areas or venturing off and getting lost in the woods. Lastly, remember to have disposable pet waste paper bags to clean up.

dog with orange goggles on carrier
This experienced sidekick has his gear packed under the seat of his sidecar. Photo by Dave Robinson.

Keeping Yourself Comfortable

Of course, a road trip with a pet requires a confident driver. Make sure that you're well-rested and that your driving skills are up to the challenge. If you're comfortable and in a good mood, your pet will be comfortable and eager to travel with you.

Choose the right motorcycle travel clothing. During bike rides, you want to keep your skin protected against harsh weather and injury in case of an accident. Durable and comfortable clothing that's easy to layer is the best option for any kind of outdoor trip.

For chilly mornings and evenings, warm up with the men's fleece-lined Burr™ Jacket. Its design ensures comfort without restriction, especially when riding, while the tough fabric protects you from the harsh weather.

man in black jacket sitting on orange motorbike
Choose motorcycle wear that provides freedom without limits. Products shown: Burr™ Jacket Lined, Free Rydr™ Pant.

The perfect casual, comfortable, yet adequately warm flannel to keep you going is the Joyrydr™. It's a versatile addition to your biking gear and it's made for easy layering.

Finish off with a pair of the fitting, durable, yet comfortable pants for the motorcycle ride with your pet. Rydr™ is the perfect solution for any bike rider seeking high-performance wear that doesn't restrict movement.

By wearing comfortable, technical, and versatile clothing, you can reduce your luggage load and have more room for your pet.

Tips for Easing Your Pet into Motorcycle Travel

Not all pets are used to riding on motorcycles. Some love it, and some are just not into it. Step-by-step testing is the best way to know if motorcycle riding is right for your dog. Easing your pet into motorcycle riding is the first step to enjoying longer trips together.

Start Small

Try taking short rides around the neighborhood to find out if your dog seems anxious or petrified. After all, you want your dog to enjoy the motorcycle ride as much as possible. 

Choose the Most Suitable Seating

Dog seats and sidecars are easy to use with well-behaving and stable pets. However, a more sensitive pet may be safer to place in a dog carrier with certain restrictions. The general rule is to observe your pet's personality and find the best way to work with it for an excellent journey. 

woman in white shirt next to a dog in white motorbike seat
A relaxed and happy copilot comfortable in his side car - New York City. Photo by Max Berger.

A trial period helps you determine the size of your pet relative to your motorcycle and comfort. For example, if you have a small pet, you might find that your dog can fit into a motorcycle travel sling, but they're uncomfortable. In that case, a carrier may be a better fit for your bike ride. Adjust the seating for your pet accordingly.

Train Your Dog for Their Own Safety

The easiest way to ensure that your dog won't get too excited, jump off the bike and run after a distraction is to train them. Although pet carriers are the safest way to keep your dog in place, you won't get very far by forcing your pet into one without any training.

Give them proper training so they feel relaxed, confident, and safe on a motorcycle ride with you. That way you'll be able to trust them and bring them to a motorcycle adventure with you without second thoughts.

A Health Checkup

Before embarking on a long trip, take your pet to the vet. Have a health checkup just in case to make sure your dog is ready for travel. Update all your shots and vaccines, and groom your pet before the trip, especially when it's hot.

More importantly, check your first aid kit and stock up on medication, bandages, and emergency products for both of you.

Take Your Time

Lastly, no matter how excited you are, it's essential to take your time. Your dog will take a while to adjust to motorcycles, speed, dog seats, long rides, and the general experience of a motorcycle trip. Snacks and treats are vital to reward your dog every time they do the right thing. After a while, you'll know what they like and what they don't like, and you'll be ready to go.

Read The Law 

Don't forget to review the pet laws in your area. Regulations are essential for pet and rider safety. So if you don't want a run-in with the officials, find out the requirements for dog motorcycle travel.

Typically, you should restrict your dog to prevent sudden movements and keep them safe during the journey. However, the rules may vary per municipality so it's best to be informed.

Identification Details 

No matter where you are with your dog, it's always wise to have their details on them. Nametags and microchips are an excellent way to provide your dog's name and your contact details in case the pet gets lost.

With name tags, you can get creative and have customized comments, such as "We're on a motorbike trip, call my owner." Microchips are less distinctive and provide the owner's name and address to anyone that can reach a database with dogs and their owners. The great thing about microchips is that they can't accidentally fall off your dog.

Are You Planning a Motorcycle Trip with Your Dog? 

Many pet owners often wish that they could bring their dogs on their adventures. If you're a biker, why wouldn't you bring your favorite companion on your rides and enjoy the scenery together?

With the complete list of gear and slow, in-depth pet training, you can unlock a new world of traveling everywhere with your dog for years. And, well, that's twice the adventure!

Check out our popular biker styles:

KÜHL Rydr™ Pant in category Men's Pants



KÜHL Burr™ Jacket in category Men's Outerwear



KÜHL Joyrydr™ in category Men's Long Sleeve Shirt



KÜHL Kaffe Racer™ in category Men's Outerwear



man with black helmet on motocycle
Kühl Editor