How Do You Attach A Dog Bicycle Trailer? [QUICK GUIDE]

Wondering how to attach a dog bicycle trailer? Undo the quick release or bolt on the back wheel axle of your bike. Place the hitch against the axle and line up the holes, reattach the quick release/bolt. This will secure the hitch. Line up the holes of the trailer bar with the hitch and secure it in place using the safety pins.

how attach dog bicycle trailer
How to Attach Dog Bicycle Trailer

Having a dog bicycle trailer means we can take our dogs with us when we go cycling without having to worry about them getting exhausted. Dog trailers can be pretty technical depending on how it is designed.

We made this guide on how to attach a dog bicycle trailer to your bicycle.

That was a short answer, if you are still unsure as to what you should do, don’t worry, we are going to go into more detail in this article.

While putting your dog in a bike basket can be quick and convenient, dog trailers for bikes are a great way to travel long distances with your dog while cycling, especially for larger dogs.

So, for a more in-depth guide and everything you need to know about hooking up a dog trailer to your bicycle, keep reading and be sure to bookmark this page as a reference.

Related Reading: Can I Put My Dog In My Bike Basket? [FIND OUT]

Attach Your Dog Trailer To Your Bicycle In 5 Easy Steps

For some of us, nothing sounds more daunting than having to set something up after buying it. We just want everything to work but unboxing, assembling, and setting up a dog trailer can be a lot of fun.

Once you are done, the first ride with your dog will be super rewarding, especially if it’s a long distance and want to avoid cycling with your dog running beside you.

You won’t even need many tools for this and a lot of dog trailers come with all the tools you need especially if the setup involves any non-standard screws and bolts.

If they don’t, all you need is a size 10 and size 11 spanner. Now, here is how to attach a dog bicycle trailer in 5 easy steps.

dog sitting in bicycle trailer on the back of bike in street

1. Attach The Tow Bar To The Trailer

On the dog trailer, you will see a hitch. They are normally pre-installed on the trailer. You want to slide the back end of the tow bar into the hitch and secure it

To secure it, you need to line up the holes on the hitch with the holes on the bar.

Then secure it with the safety pin that is provided. Some trailers use bolts instead of the safety pin.

Either way, you want to secure the tow bar to the trailer.

How can I help my dog get used to the bike trailer?

2. Undo The Quick Release Or Bolt That Secures Your Back Wheel To The Axle

If your bicycle has a quick release, you should not need any tools. Simply pull the release lever and use your hands to pull the rod out of the axle.

If your bicycle does not have a quick release, use the 2 spanners to undo the bolts.

Remember to keep everything organized so that you do not misplace any nuts, bolts, or washers.

3. Place The Trailer Hitch Between The Quick Release/Bolt And The Axle

Okay, so this is the part where everything will start going into place. Line up the hitch with the hole in the axle. Then, slide the quick-release mechanism through the 2 holes.

Once you have that done, keep holding everything in place with one hand.

Line up the wheel and push the rod all the way through to the other side. Use the bolt to secure everything in place.

When you tighten the bolt, remember not to have it too tight or too loose. Once the bolt feels tight, give it one small turn to make sure.

The hitch should be straight so that it makes the next step easier.

If the hitch is a little bit off and you manage to get the tow bar attached, it will add extra strain to the entire setup.

4. Attach The Tow Bar To The Hitch

Now that the hitch is attached to the bike and the tow bar is attached to the trailer, it is time to connect the two to each other.

Line up the holes on the tow bar to the holes on the hitch. They secure it using the safety pin that is provided with the setup. Lock everything in place.

Sometimes you might get a nut and bolt rather than a pin, simply secure the tow bar in place by fastening the bolt to the nut.

Some dog trailers come with an extra piece of safety equipment, after all, the safety of our dogs is what is most important here. You should have a strap, do not let the strap just hang.

You should fasten it to the frame of your bicycle and this will act as an extra safety measure.

5. Test Everything Before You Take The Dog For A Ride

The final step is to make sure that everything works as it should. This means that you are going to take the bike and trailer for a test ride. I recommend placing something that weighs almost the same as your dog in the trailer.

And if your dog is a little afraid of the bike, you should spend some time warming them up to it.

Take the full setup for a ride on the exact route or routes that you will be using when you are with your dog. This is the best way to make sure that the setup is ready for the real thing.

Try and overdo it during the test ride. Go slightly faster than you would with the dog and take corners a little more enthusiastically.

And remember, it’s always a good idea to wash your dog carrier on a more frequent basis to keep it durable and lasting longer.

Please remember to be safe while doing it though.

The key is to try and find any problems if they exist before you set off with the dog. Listen for noises that might sound odd, try and to get a feel for the setup.

Ask yourself, does it feel too loose or too tight, are there any manufacturer problems, and so on?

Don’t forget, if your dog is on the smaller to small medium-sized, a bike basket for your dog may be a more suitable option.

dog in a bicycle trailer
Dog in a bicycle trailer

Final Thoughts

Having our dogs with us when we go for cycles is not just enjoyable for us, it also stimulates the dog. They love being around us and they generally enjoy experiencing the thrill of going somewhere new.

If you follow this guide and set up your dog trailer properly, you and your dog can start making new and enjoyable memories together.


stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.