Bicycle Touring with a Canine

by jpc_touring-bicycle

Since April 2015, my companion Dave and I, together with our Australian Shepherd, Sora, have crossed 25 international locations by bicycle. When Dave first proposed the concept of cycle touring with a canine, I assumed he was nuts. How would we journey together with her? Touring by aircraft with a canine is dear and traumatic for her. How are we going to seek out lodging together with her? Meals? What if she must go to the vet and we’re in the course of nowhere? What if we don’t need to or can’t bike and wish to seek out another technique of transportation?

So many what-ifs swirled by means of my head earlier than I lastly gave in and agreed to embark on our cycle touring journey. Leaving Sora behind was out of the query, so we had been decided to determine the uncertainties and make it work.

It’s not at all times simple cycle touring with a canine. Sora weighs 40 lbs (18 kg) and her trailer alone provides a further 27 lbs (12 kg), not counting the burden for her pet food, gear, and mattress. It may be troublesome to seek out various technique of transportation or lodging. We will’t at all times purchase her the most effective pet food as a result of lots of the international locations by means of which we’ve traveled don’t promote high-quality meals for animals. Buying her import/export paperwork is usually a ache when crossing borders. Merely put, it provides extra complexity to our journey.

Nonetheless, the positives far exceed the negatives. Like touring with the warmest pure tent heater, ever. Or on demand snuggles while you really feel exhausted after an extended day on the highway. I’m unsure we’d nonetheless be touring if we hadn’t introduced Sora alongside.

You may most definitely go cycle touring with a canine, and it doesn’t need to be a global journey, like ours. Many have requested how we journey with Sora by bike, so I’m providing the next recommendation to make your two-wheeled journey together with your greatest good friend a risk – as a result of no canine must be left behind.

bicycle dog trailer being pulled in mountains


Relying on the dimensions and health stage of your canine, you will have some form of service. We now have used each a Burley Tail Wagon and presently use a Burley D’Lite trailer to chauffer Sora around the globe.

In case your canine is small, a basket connected to your handlebars might suffice, simply be certain she or he has some form of safety from the weather and is securely connected.

We line Sora’s trailer together with her mattress and have connected a sunshade made for RVs through magnets to make her experience extra comfy. We cease regularly, particularly when the climate is scorching to let Sora stretch, drink some water, and go to the lavatory.

On low-traffic roads, Sora runs alongside, connected to our waists with a working belt. Relying on the skin temperature and the terrain, she is going to run as much as 20 kilometers with us (about 11 miles). Sora has educated for extremely marathons with me, so I do know that she will deal with a number of distance, and provided that I haven’t educated for an extremely marathon in a while, we monitor her vitality stage and by no means push her past her limits.

biking with a dog

Getting a Raise

Once we go bicycle touring with a canine, there are days when we have to advance shortly, for instance when we have to exit a rustic in time earlier than our visa expires. Or there are occasions after we are feeling drained or have some nagging ache and wish to seek out another technique of transportation. Touring with a canine can complicate this.

In Europe, we might convey Sora on trains after we wanted this further increase of pace. However South America is a completely totally different story. We will take her on buses, however they require a kennel and she or he rides under with the baggage, the place there isn’t a air and we don’t cease. We refuse to threat her life and put her in that scenario, so we search for non-public transfers or we attempt to hitchhike.

Far dearer than a bus, non-public transportation is commonly our solely choice with cycle touring with a canine, however Sora can experience within the seat subsequent to me or at my toes. The van or truck can match all of our gear and we are able to really feel protected understanding that our bikes are with us always (although my iPhone was stolen on a personal switch in Perú, so there may be by no means a assure).

We at all times cowl the seat or ground with Sora’s mattress to attenuate the quantity of canine hair clinging to the seats and ground and if we all know that we’ll be touring by van, we brush Sora the morning earlier than we go away.

In South America, we’ve discovered success in touring to widespread vacationer locations with Sora in smaller transport or native buses. It’s at all times as much as the motive force, however we’ve but to be turned down. Name forward for those who can and clarify that your canine is effectively behaved and won’t relieve herself within the van. The principle fear for the drivers is that your canine will get automobile sick, so in case your pup is vulnerable to feeling dizzy, you can provide her some Dramamine.

cycle touring with a dog video

Worldwide Journey

Generally, bike touring with a canine requires that you just journey by air. Sadly, air journey with a canine is just not enjoyable. It’s traumatic for each you and your pup. Sora is a licensed Emotional Assist Animal, so she will oftentimes fly within the cabin with us, relying on the airline and our vacation spot (all flights originating to and destined for the US settle for ESAs, in addition to many South American International locations and Mexico).

Name the airline earlier than you e book your ticket and inform them that you’re bringing your canine. Ask them the necessities, the price, and what measurement kennel you want. Make sure to schedule an extended layover so your pup can get some relaxation, go to the lavatory and drink a little bit of water in between flights. Lufthansa has a pet space throughout layovers the place they do exactly this and Seattle has an indoor potty space for canines.

Additionally, you will want to seek out out the entry necessities for every nation you go to. Touring by air is much extra difficult than touring by land while you’re cycle touring with a canine. Communicate together with your veterinarian that will help you decide the necessities for every nation. Most individuals assume that your canine should be quarantined, nonetheless that is solely the case with international locations which are rabies-free like Australia and New Zealand. An amazing place to assemble data is

Land journey often simply requires a well being certificates from a veterinarian, an up to date rabies shot, flea and tick treatment, anti-parasite treatment, and an official well being certificates from the federal government agriculture company. All of it relies on the nation.

At all times verify entry necessities effectively beforehand, particularly when touring from high-risk rabies international locations into decrease threat rabies international locations. They usually require a tither take a look at and a three- to six-month ready interval earlier than touring.


Once we go bicycle touring with our canine, our traditional house is our tent, however typically, we would like a mattress and a bathe. Or typically, it’s simply not protected to camp, so we search for lodging. Discovering locations that settle for Sora has been surprisingly simple all through a lot of our journey.

Usually, we e book forward when touring to bigger cities, primarily utilizing (which doesn’t cost the traveler service charges like AirBnB). There’s nothing worse than arriving in a metropolis after an extended day on the highway after which having to spend a number of hours in search of lodging.

Smaller cities nearly at all times say sure to internet hosting you and your canine after you give your spiel. And your spiel ought to go one thing like this:

“My canine is clear, doesn’t bark and goes to the lavatory outdoors. She doesn’t roam round unattended or off leash. We now have a mattress for her to sleep on and we brushed her this morning. She is well-behaved and educated.“

Google translate will help with this when touring in overseas lands, or you’ll be able to have a bilingual individual write down a translation for you which you can present to your lodging.

In international locations the place canines roam the streets, untrained, that’s what individuals know of canines. That is your alternative to indicate them that canines will be well-behaved beings and reside within the firm of people.


Relying on the size of your bike tour, there are important objects it is advisable to convey alongside to your canine. Along with apparent objects like her mattress, leash, meals, and journey water dish, we additionally carry a cooling vest that can assist to manage your canine’s temperature on scorching days. A working belt with a brief spring leash is nice for when Sora runs alongside us and Sora’s toiletry objects embody a Furminator, her toothbrush, toothpaste, and brewer’s yeast.

bicycle touring lifestyle with a dog

Writer Bio

Since April 2015, Jen Sotolongo has been touring the world by bicycle alongside together with her companion, Dave and their canine, Sora, an Australian Shepherd who satisfied her people that exploring the world is significantly better than life behind a desk. When Jen’s not biking, you could find her working lengthy distances within the woods or mountain climbing within the mountains. You may comply with Jen, Save and Sora on their web site at: or on Instagram @longhaultrekkers





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