How to buy the right dog stroller or bicycle pet trailer on the internet.
Dog strollers and pet trailers are still a new concept here in the UK and it’s not so easy to just turn up to a pets retailer and buy one over the counter. We get many pet owners asking whether there is a dog stroller or pet trailer stockist nearby so they can try before they buy. Unfortunately it’s very rare for a pet shop, pet supermarket or pet retailer to have a dog stroller on their shelves for you to try out before you part with your money.
These days most pet product stockists only allow you to buy dog strollers and pet trailers on the internet and online. Who knows, as the demand for pet strollers and trailers increases they may decide to stock these niche products on the premises so you can actually try them out beforehand and if it suits you, buy one there and then.
Due to this inaccessibility of dog strollers and pet trailers we have put together some helpful tips and advice on how to buy the right dog stroller or bicycle pet trailer on line. In our experience most dog owners who do their research correctly end up with the perfect pet stroller or trailer for themselves and their dog. It just needs some research on your part.
Individual dog owner research
Your dog’s breed, size and weight are other important factors to consider. Buying a small dog stroller for a puppy that will grow to a larger size will become useless in a couple of years time. You also want to avoid buying a large stroller or bicycle trailer for a small breed dog. Remember you have to push and pull the strollers or trailers so you will need to think about your own physical limits too.
You also have to consider how your dog will enter the doggy pushchair or trailer. Do you want a stroller or trailer that your dog steps into? Or is it going to be a model that you will have to pick up your dog and place them into it yourself? Dog strollers and trailers can be used throughout your dogs life so buy the correct one for their breed, weight and size.
Dog Stroller or Bicycle Pet Trailer Budget
If you are only looking to use the stroller or trailer sparingly, then a lower priced model will do the job. On the other hand, if you are planning to use the stroller/trailer on a day to day basis then we recommend a more expensive and better designed product that will last many years to come. Always invest in good quality bicycle pet trailers as you will need to make sure that you and your dog are safe out there on the road.
Sites, like Amazon also offer you great reductions, offers and free postage on some of the items, which will also help you keep within budget.
Measurements, size and weight
Measure your dog from the top of their head to the ground and it’s always a good idea to add 6 inches on top of that to allow for some head room. You will also have to measure the length of your dog and also add several inches on top of that too.
Read our useful article on ‘How to Measure your dog for a stroller or bicycle trailer’ for more help on this.
You also have to weigh your dog because all dog strollers and pet trailers will have a weight capacity limit which should be adhered to. These weight capacity limits are put in place for a reason. Exceeding this limit will not only damage your stroller or trailer but it may cause the pet transport to become unsafe and therefore a danger to your pet. These weight capacity limits are extremely important when it comes to buying a bicycle pet trailer especially because you are taking your dog out on open roads and alongside traffic.
If you are looking to buy a dog stroller or bicycle pet trailer which is to house more than one dog, then you will need to find out the combined weight of all the dogs. This combined weight capacity should also be met when buying a dog stroller or bicycle pet trailer.
Handy TIP: To weigh your dog, just simply weigh yourself first then make a note of the weight. Then weigh yourself again but this time holding your dog and make a note of that too. Subtract your first solo weight from the combined weight of you and your dog and you should have an accurate weight of your pet. If your dog is too big to carry, pop along to your vet and they will be happy to weigh them for you.
Also bear in mind your own height. Many dog strollers have an adjustable handle which is perfect for both short and tall people. Avoid getting a smaller stroller if you are on the taller side, stooping down to push a smaller troller may give you some back strain. A dog stroller with an adjustable handle is great for various family pushers who all have different heights!
If your online retailer does not provide any of these essential measurements or weight capacity information, then contact the supplier for more details. Look out for the product specification details on the product page. Most online retailers will list these important features to help you get a better picture of the stroller or trailer.
For example if you live in a very wet and windy area, extra weatherproof protection can be gained by purchasing an additional PVC waterproof covering. These are available with some models of dog stroller and are very handy when you have to deal with tremendous downpours of rain. But without a rain cover most dog strollers cope pretty well in the wet weather.
The size of the stroller or trailer wheels may also be a factor you might want to consider. If you live in an area that is prone to heavy snow or large mounts of muddy puddles then a larger wheeled stroller may be a wiser choice. Smaller wheels can become more clogged with dirt and mud and may affect the stroller manoeuvrability.
All the bicycle pet trailers are also weatherproof and some provide even provide a PVC pull down window flap which will prevent your dog getting wet from your rear cycle wheel splash backs, which can happen in the wet weather.
In pleasant weathers the design of some pet strollers and pet trailers allow part of the canopy to be opened up or folded down so that your dog can feel the air around their ears. They will no doubt have numerous admirers as you stroll along too. And don’t worry about them leaping out unannounced as there are usually leash tethers fitted inside the compartment which connect to the dog’s collar for extra safety.
When your dog wishes to be a little more private, the dark mesh windows allow them the privacy from prying eyes. The mesh windows also allow air to circulate helping keep them cool in the warmer weather. The mesh panels also protect your dog from any annoying buzzing insects which would only become an unwanted distraction.
Stroller use and local terrains
If you plan to walk down pebbly, rough country lanes then a dog stroller with larger wheels will be of more use to you. In general the bigger the dog stroller wheel, the more various terrains they can deal with. Smaller wheels are more suitable for smooth surfaces like pavements and level turf.
Also consider the usage of the stroller or pet trailer. Do you only wish to use the stroller on a temporary or intermittently basis? Or are you planning to use it on a daily basis? There are also pet strollers for fitness purposes too. For example there are certain dog strollers that are designed for joggers. These jogging pet strollers are built with extra suspension and shock absorbers so you can happily jog along and your dog will hardly feel any bump in the road.
You can also buy certain dog strollers that become detached from the stroller wheeled frame. They tend to be more like ‘dog carriers’ on wheels! The pet carrier section can be detached and placed inside a car, while the stroller frame can be folded and placed inside the boot. The pet carrier section contains your dog safely and securely and even includes a seat belt loop so your dog can be securely placed on a car seat. These type of 3-in 1 strollers are perfect for trips that include driving and walking.
If you are looking to buy a bicycle dog trailer then you will need to look for a trailer that has large pneumatic tyred wheels. These also act like shock absorbers and make the ride for your dog as smooth as can be. The tyres should also have a good tread so they can grip onto the road surfaces in all weathers. Bicycle pet trailers also need to be seen by other road users, so buy a model that stands out and comes complete with reflective details and a warning flag so that other motorists know that you have a dog onboard.
You may also wish to consider buying a multifunctional stroller or trailer. Many bicycle dog trailers come with a stroller conversion kit that can transform the bicycle trailer into a walking stroller. These are incredibly handy for day trips with your dog. You can cycle to a beautiful location out in the countryside then walk your dog inside the stroller. Cycle dog trailers with stroller conversion kits make perfect pushchairs for larger breeds too. Many dog strollers are only designed for small to medium dogs, but the cycle trailer/stroller combo are great for bigger dogs. They can easily step into these trailers using the low entry points and also have enough room inside to rest in.
Dog strollers and bicycle pet trailers can be stored in a closet, garage, the under stairs cupboard, boot of a car and even under a bed.
On the subject of storage, many pet strollers offer you a lower handy compartment in which to store all your dog essentials. There is usually room for water bottles, bowls, food, toys and treats. Take note of any weight capacity limit for the storage compartment. Overloading it may only cause it some damage rendering it useless. Some models also provide a handy place to store your water, coffee, mobile or keys. These handy storage panels tend to be near the handle so they can be easily reached while on the move.
Amazon sell their own individual products but they also sell items on behalf of other companies. So look into who is actually supplying your dog stroller or pet trailer. Many of these company’s shipping costs and return policies differ.
If you buy direct from Amazon themselves you have a money back guarantee. So if the pet stroller or pet trailer is damaged or unsuitable you can send the model back within a specific time period, free of charge. The item should always be in an unused condition and sent back with all the appropriate manuals, packaging and boxes included. These time periods differ, depending on each individual company and you will need to look into each company’s return policy to see where you stand. Most companies are pretty fair when it comes to buying and returning. Like many other types of product, it may seem ideal on screen but when it comes to using it it may be a different story.
If the item is damaged you should be able to send it back free of charge. Some companies may charge you for return shipping if the item is NOT damaged, but it will be to a minimum. Contact each company in turn if you are worried about what their specific return policies are.
If you wish to buy a dog stroller or pet trailer from an Amazon outlet abroad (like Amazon.com), you will have to pay a high shipping fee. Many customers from the UK have not found an ideal dog stroller from any UK retailers and have decided to buy one from further afield. If you find a stockist that is happy to ship to the UK, be prepared to pay high shipping fees and in some cases custom charges. If you do buy from abroad, make sure you really do your research beforehand because sending it back will be difficult and costly. It may be wiser to sell it privately to a UK buyer who, like you, needs this specific model!
Dog strollers and pet trailers are still a new concept here in the UK so the amount of styles and models of stroller are limited. But the demand for dog strollers is on the rise and there has been an increase of dog stroller products over the last few years. Amazon is always a good place to start when it comes to dog strollers and pet trailers. You will be able to see what latest models are on offer when it comes to pet transport.
Auction Bidding Sites
If you do buy from an auction site, just make sure that it will include all the appropriate assembly manuals and safety guidelines. Also check out the shipping costs, as some of the sellers are the general public and not business owners so the costs may be incredibly higher.
If the dog stroller or pet trailer in question has been used or ‘second hand’, ask the seller for good quality images of the product, if they haven’t already listed them. Ask for pictures off the wheels, joints and any worn areas. You can also enquire why they are selling it. Most are selling due to the passing away of a pet or they have upgraded to a new model. But be cautious, you don’t want to buy a model that is damaged or is costly to repair. You need to make sure you are buying a stroller/trailer that is in good working order and free from any damage.
Many sellers on these sites will not be happy for you to send the item back if you are not happy with it, and if you have to resort to sending it back, you will most probably be charged for doing so. So make sure you do all your homework on the new or used product before buying or bidding. It may appear to be a cheaper option to buy a used model, but if it’s not right for you, it could be a waste of money.
By reading the honest reviews from customers, who have already bought the pet stroller or trailer in question can give you a great deal of insight about it’s capabilities. You can also help other future browsers, shoppers and pet owners by leaving your own feedback, once you have purchased your dog stroller or pet trailer. Online shoppers and reviewers can give a human and honest insight into the product, something that the manufacturers sometimes don’t.
So before you buy online…
Look out for any multifunctional dog strollers and pet trailers, some of these models are the same price as a standard stroller and can offer you multipurpose usage. Search for any offers and price reductions. Many models of pet stroller and trailer on Amazon have massive reductions in comparison to strollers sold on other sites.
Whatever your budget you should end up with a model of stroller/trailer that will suit both you and your dog.