Motorcycle Pet Traveling Guide

Couple on scooter with dog in sidecar, on country road.
It'd be cool if your dog could ride in the sidecar, but Fido's safer in a pet carrier. See more pet pictures.
Karan Kapoor/Taxi/Getty Images

­We don't often associate pets with motorcycle traveling, but if you're a fan of the open road and vehicles with two wheels, why not bring your pet along for the ride? In fact, it could make the experience even more enjoyable.

If you do decide to bring Fido, Felix or Dean the chameleon along on your next motorcycle excursion, you'll need a safe motorcycle pet carrier to do so [source: Majon]. They come in a variety of diff­erent shapes and sizes, so you'll have plenty to choose from when you go shopping.


As always, when you're planning to travel with your pet, you should take it in for a veterinary checkup to make sure it's fit to travel. It needs to be up-to-date on shots and vaccinations, and you should also make sure you have appropriate identification for it. Be sure to make extra room on your bike for food and water as well.

­Don't forget to pack a bag with all the pet care items you might need. Bring a leash, if app­licable, and plastic bags to clean up waste. Don't forget something for your pet to eat out of, either. You'll need a bowl or some kind of dish. It's not a bad idea to bring along some toys as well. This will help to ensure your pet enjoys the trip as much as you do.

If you're traveling by motorcycle with your pet for the first time, you may want to try a shorter trip. See how your pet reacts. If it doesn't seem to be enjoying the trip at first, don't worry. It may get more relaxed as it acclimates to the experience. A motorcycle ride is, after all, quite unfamiliar for a pet -- and also really noisy. Do your best to make sure that your pet is as comfortable as possible. An extra blanket can go a long way.

If you plan ahead, you shouldn't have any issues traveling by motorcycle with your pet. Read on to find the perfect pet carrier for the open road.


Motorcycle Pet Carriers

If you're going to travel on a motorcycle with your pet, you're going to need a motorcycle pet carrier. (Creative name, right?) There are a lot of them out there, and some not only work better than others, they're also much safer for you and your pet.

Some motorcycle pe­t carriers attach to your chest or are held tight to your body with straps. The problem with these is that animals don't tend to stay still while traveling, and the straps loosen as your pet moves around. It's easy to see how this would become a distraction to you as the driver. Most likely, these types of carriers aren't very comfortable either. They have a tendency to get very hot against your body [source: Majon].


Another popular pet carrier is a bag that attaches to your motorcycle and secures your pet on a leash in front of you, usually between your knees. This type of carrier allows your pet to stand up, which is okay for parades and other times when you'll be traveling slowly. But it's clearly not safe at high speeds. Your pet could easily lose its footing and slip. It also allows your pet too much freedom to move around, which can be distracting and put you, your pet and other drivers in danger.

Sturdy pet crates are really the only safe option for you and your pet. The crate you choose should have a good protective covering and should mount securely to your motorcycle. A crate that can't withstand a severe impact with the pavement isn't a good crate. You'll also want to inspect the interior of the crate carefully. There shouldn't be any screws or sharp objects inside that could injure your pet [source: Majon].

There are two more factors to consider when purchasing a pet carrier. Keep the size of your pet in mind. The crate should provide room for your pet to move around comfortably and give it proper ventilation.

If you keep all these things in mind when you go to purchase a pet carrier for your motorcycle, it should be a quick and painless experience.


Safety Concerns for Motorcycle Pet Traveling

There are a number of safety concerns associated with riding a motorcycle -- adding a pet to the equation creates even more. Your safety and the safety of your pet should come first when taking a motorcycle trip together.

As we discussed earlier, one of the most important aspects is ensuring that you have a proper carrier. Sturdy pet crate carriers that mount securely to your bike are really the only acceptable option on the market. There are a number of carriers out there designed to look cool on your motorcycle, but they aren't necessarily safe, so keep that in mind when you're picking one out [source: Road Hound]. Also be sure to take some rides with the new pet carrier attached. It may take some getting used to. And your pet may move around a lot, causing the crate to shift from side to side.


The minute your pet becomes a distraction on the road, it becomes a safety hazard. When you're distracted driving your motorcycle, you're putting yourself and everyone else on the road in danger. Make sure your pet is secure, safe and placed where it won't distract you on your bike. Make regular pit stops to check on your animal.

As we all know, weather can be unpredictable and may create unsafe road conditions. If you're an experienced rider you've probably encountered it all. In fact, you probably have clothing to protect you from anything Mother Nature throws your way. Keep in mind that you'll need similar accessories to protect your pet, many of which will come with your pet carrier [source: Majon]. If the weather gets bad, it may be safest to pull over and wait it out. Just be smart.

You also need to plan your trip carefully. If you're going someplace where you won't be able to buy food and water for you pet, you need to bring plenty along. Don't forget to bring any necessary medication along as well.

It's not hard to keep you and your pet safe while you travel on your motorcycle. It just takes a few extra steps and careful planning. For more information, visit the links on the next page.


Lots More Information

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

  • Cat Scans. "Amazing facts about cats!" (Jan. 27, 2009)
  • The Puppy Network. "Fun Dog Facts @ The Puppy Network." (Jan. 27, 2009)
  • Majon International. "A Motorcycle Pet Carrier Allows You to Take Your Pet Along." (Jan. 27, 2009)
  • Majon International. "How to Avoid Motorcycle Pet Carrier Dangers." (Jan. 27, 2009)
  • Moto-Pets Accessories, Inc. "Pet Safety." (Jan. 27, 2009)