What is the best way to carry a pug on a bike?
August 4, 2012 6:39 AM   Subscribe

What is the best way to carry a pug on a bike?

Pug in question. This is a 6 year old pug that weighs 20 pounds. He is fairly long/tall for a pug, but I don't have his height handy. How do I carry him on my bike?

Intended purpose of trip: 5-10km recreational outings, for example a family bike ride to the beach. This is not primary transport.

I have a rack. I may already have a kid pedaling at the back of the bike on this kid's trailer, so a trailer based or top of the rack based solution is not ideal. I can mount to the sides of the rack in this configuration. Any back rack mount must be temporary, as the bike is my commuter bike and I need to reserve space for conventional panniers on weekdays. Can I mount a front basket for a dog this size?

If it is simply infeasible to ride with pug/kid's trailer combo, I can put the pug on my husband's bike using your recommended bike transport mechanism. Using my bike is preferred though.
posted by crazycanuck to Travel & Transportation (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
PS - if it matters, I bought a new bike since my last question. I am now riding a commuter hybrid like this one.
posted by crazycanuck at 6:50 AM on August 4, 2012

How about a front basket with support legs, like this one? Or the giant delivery basket, if the first one is too small.
posted by domnit at 7:05 AM on August 4, 2012

Awww -- what a cute pug!

I have a quick-release front basket with plastic support legs, and use it to carry 7-8 pounds of purse, sweater, and water bottle (I just weighed everything to check, out of curiosity). The volume could probably fit a smallish and very well-behaved cat, but as baskets go, it's on the smaller size. At 7-8 pounds of weight, the plastic support legs on my basket are already under stress, so if you go the basket route, definitely get a sturdy basket, preferably with adjustable metal support legs.

My bigger concern with a basket would be balance -- is this the sort of pug who will chill and not move much, or might you have to deal with him throwing his weight from one side of the basket to the other? (I personally would have trouble with that, but I'm not a very good biker, so YMMV there.)

Alternately, would a small dog backpack carrier be a possible solution?
posted by pie ninja at 7:20 AM on August 4, 2012

What is the best way to carry a pug on a bike?

One way.

No. You ought to have your husband carry him (in a trailer). That would be safer, easier, and more comfortable for everyone. Adding a dog to your bike with you and a kid already in the mix just puts everyone at more risk of crashing in one messy heap of mom, child, and dog.
posted by pracowity at 7:32 AM on August 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

Pug in a Bicycle Bag
posted by plokent at 7:40 AM on August 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Is it possible/safe to pull a trailer (the kind toddlers ride in) behind the trailer bike?
posted by lakeroon at 7:40 AM on August 4, 2012

There are a lot of dog-specific bike baskets out there (I've seen one that attaches to a back rack and a bunch for the front). I've put my 14lb (but tall) pup in a basket on my rear rack but he wanted to sit up and see everything which worried me about him jumping out. I made my own harness to keep him in. Dog-specific baskets have a cage on top so they can't jump. Or you could always train him to ride...
posted by Bunglegirl at 8:28 AM on August 4, 2012

What I think you want here is a Backpack Dog Carrier. I do not know your dog, but I would not trust a wiggly 20lb pug on any kind of bike rack. In a backpack, though? Sure. Heck, if you have a spare backpack and some way of immobilizing the zippers, try that.
posted by Scientist at 8:43 AM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Huh, that link was meant to be a Google Images search. Anyway while I can't recommend a specific model, I think this might well be your solution.
posted by Scientist at 8:45 AM on August 4, 2012

I think one of those front-facing carriers would be your best bet. Any kind of harness on the dog should definitely be an all-over harness and not just a neck collar type thing.

Really I would like to see him in a tiny parachute harness attached to the perfect number of helium balloons to keep him hovering gently above the bike such that no overhead wires were entangled, but I realize this is highly impractical.
posted by elizardbits at 8:47 AM on August 4, 2012 [10 favorites]

A friend of mine with a slightly smaller dog used a front mounted wire basket lined with a hand towel. He put the dog in a body harness and used short bungee cords to attach the dog to the basket so that she couldn't get out. He commuted about 3 miles each way to work like that for at least a year, and it seemed to work for him.
posted by asphericalcow at 9:10 AM on August 4, 2012

Re pug in a bike bag:

I put my dog in the bike bag just to see the results. It took two minutes but here he is in the pannier.
posted by crazycanuck at 9:51 AM on August 4, 2012 [11 favorites]

Oh my god I am clapping like a delighted baboon.
posted by elizardbits at 10:08 AM on August 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

My friend carries his border collie in his backpack like that. It's adorable. Around here a milk crate affixed to your front or rear rack appears to be the most popular choice for carrying smallish dogs. Clipped in if they need it.
posted by fshgrl at 10:25 AM on August 4, 2012

Pugs are brachycephalic - aka a flat face dog. This is important because flat faced dogs have trouble staying cool. Dogs cool off by panting and flat faces have trouble staying cool. If you put him in a bike bag or in a doggie backpack, he's probably going to get pretty warm pretty fast. For this reason, I wouldn't carry him on the bike unless whatever method you use is extremely well ventilated, and even then not on hot days. These pooches can heatstroke out in a hurry.

He's cute as all getout. Take good care of him, even if it means leaving him home when needed.
posted by azpenguin at 10:34 AM on August 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

I have a bicycle with a front rack that I use to carry a 8-lb dog in a cat carrier. I would be very hesitant to carry a dog that weighed twice as much on my front rack; his shifting and weight already unbalance me quite a bit, it's a lot harder and slower to ride with him than without him.

I would also never, ever put my dog in a milk crate or anything that wasn't fully enclosed. Just one dog-owner's data point. I agree with the earlier poster who said he only safe thing to do is throw him in a trailer on your husband's bike.
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:36 AM on August 4, 2012

I don't know about panniers. What if your bike falls over? I agree that safest for your dog is in a trailer, or strapped to you in the carrier plonket mentions.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:00 PM on August 4, 2012

Your dog is adorable! However, I would caution you to think about the injuries that the dog might experience in an accident before going forward. I'm a vet, and have seen some pretty intense injuries from dogs in baskets/bags/carriers. (This isn't medical advice.)
posted by Nickel Pickle at 6:42 PM on August 4, 2012

An option, though I can't find it in the US.
posted by kjs4 at 3:44 AM on August 5, 2012

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