Is there anything more fun than hitting the open road with your pup in tow? While we've all seen dogs stick their heads out of an open car window to enjoy the sights and smells of their surroundings, motorcycle and scooter owners take that joy to a new level.
Cruising down the highway with your dog strapped to a cart or carrier can be a very enjoyable experience. But,
you need to provide your dog with as much protection as you provide yourself.
Riding on an open motorcycle or scooter is inherently more dangerous than using a car. The same risks that you're facing apply to your dog. So, you'll need to invest in the proper canine gear to ensure that your pup gets to your destination safely. This includes a dog helmet and goggles.
A high-quality pair of helmet and goggles can keep your dog safe from small bumps and flying debris. As with any piece of dog equipment, choosing the right product is paramount. Here are some of the best helmets and goggles that will make your dog road-ready.
4 of the Best Dog Motorcycle Helmets
1. Braceus Cool Pet Dog Helmet Riding Cap Soft Padded Safety Hat Puppy Sun Rain Protection
This simple helmet from Braceus checks off all the boxes. The outer shell is made out of ABS plastic. While it doesn't offer a ton of protection around the sides of your pup's head, it is molded for comfort.
A small visor juts out from the front, ensuring that your dog's eyes are safe from the sun and rain. Inside, you'll find soft padding to buffer your pooch's head.
There's a single adjustable strap with a quick-release buckle that goes underneath your dog's chin. As for style, the helmet is available in four distinct colors.
2. Gorgester ABS Plastic Dog Bike Helmet, Sun Rain Protection
If you have a small dog, this Gorgester helmet may be the product you're after. The small helmet fits dogs with heads that are approximately 4 inches wide.
To ensure that you're getting a snug fit, there's also an adjustable strap below it. Like the first helmet option, this model is made out of ABS plastic for durability. There's also a built-in visor.
Thanks to the sponge padding inside, the helmet is very comfortable to wear even for dogs with pointy ears.
3. Prima Dog Helmet for Biker Dogs - Skull-Medium for dogs between 13-20 lbs
Looking for a helmet with some personality? Check out this option from Prima. It's a lightweight piece of gear that's covered in tough plastic.
The cool thing about this helmet is that it has a visor that flips up or down. The metal hardware perfectly complements the skull and crossbones pattern on top.
As for fit, this helmet has an adjustable strap. Instead of anchoring at a single point, this model uses a triangle anchor. This provides more stability and an enhanced fit.
4. Prima Dog Helmet for Dogs, Smiley, for Small Dogs 5-10 lbs.
Also from Prima is this colorful helmet made for small dogs. It can fit pups as small as 5 pounds. Like the previous helmet, this model has a visor and a triangle-mount strap.
Inside the gear, you'll find thick padding. It improves the fit of the helmet a bit while also offering some added protection against bumps.
The helmet takes on a bright yellow color for visibility and features an iconic smiley face on top.
3 of the Best Dog Motorcycle Goggles
1. Namsan Stylish and Fun Dog / Puppy UV Goggles Sunglasses Waterproof Protection
Let your dog enjoy the view with these goggles from Namsam. Not only are they windproof and waterproof, but they also have some UV protection. The large lenses will cover the dog's entire eye. They're coated to block out UV rays and protect your dog's vision.
Around the frame of the goggles, foam padding is used. This prevents any unwanted abrasion or pressure. To keep the goggles snug, an elastic band is used. It's adjustable and comfortable enough to wear throughout your entire ride.
2. PEDOMUS Dog Goggles Adjustable Strap and Anti-Fog Dog for Medium to Large Dog
With its sleek design, these dog goggles from Pedomus will look right at home on the road. They have a look that's very reminiscent of ski goggles. Instead of individual lenses for each eye, one large visor provides protection.
The lenses are made of polycarbonate and have a UV coating to keep the sun out. The frame itself is made of soft PVC. A wide nose bridge ensures that the fit is comfortable. Plus, there are small vents to keep vapor out.
3. Lifeunion Vintage Steampunk Dog Goggles, Adjustable Aviator Pilot Motorcycle Helmet Goggles
These aviator-style goggles offer a ton of protection. The frame is quite large, covering your dog's eyes completely. Even with the large design, the goggles are relatively comfortable for your pup to wear. Foam padding around the frame prevents chaffing while the multi-point strap provides a much better fit than some other options.
The cool thing about these goggles is that the two sides fold in on each other for easy storage. AC resin lenses are used. They're available in clear or rainbow colors. Both options are UV-protected for peace of mind.
Is Protective Gear Even Necessary?
You may be wondering if your dog even needs protective gear in the first place. You wouldn't bring a young child with you on a ride without any safety gear, so why do the same with your precious pup?
Truth is, a lot of motorcycle protective gear isn't going to provide 100 percent protection to your dog. Unless you plan on wrapping your dog in thick leather, there's always going be a chance that your dog suffers some injuries during a crash.
Even if you're going slow, there's a risk that your dog could experience some pain and discomfort. All it takes is one kicked-up rock from the vehicle in front of your or a random dust cloud. Road debris is notorious for getting into the eyes of motorcyclists. It's why helmets and sunglasses are recommended.
For dogs, helmets and goggles serve as an extra layer of protection. They can keep your dog safe and happy during your ride while also providing plenty of style along the way.
The Benefits of Using a Helmet
Like your own motorcycle helmet, dog helmets are purpose-built with protection in mind. They're usually made out of tough materials that can withstand a bit of wear and tear. The outer protective shell prevents small rocks and other types of debris from affecting your pooch.
Meanwhile, the soft inner layer cushions small bumps. With a high-quality helmet, those small bumps in the road will be no problem.
Helmets also serve a couple of other purposes that most dog owners don't think about. The first is protection from the elements. Ask any seasoned rider and they'll tell you that even a slight drizzle can be painful on a motorcycle. A helmet will prevent those droplets from injuring your dog. Plus, they'll keep their sensitive ears dry.
Even on sunny days, helmets can provide some great protection. They block out UV rays, which can harm your dog's eyes if you're riding towards the sun.
Another notable benefit is noise reduction. Not all dogs are doing to enjoy the sound of wind whooshing past their heads. While they may like it in the car, having that noise pounding against their head continuously on a scooter or motorcycle is an entirely different sensation.
Helmets can soften the blow a bit to keep your pup cool, calm, and collected.
Why Make Your Dog Wear Goggles?
Now, let's talk about goggles. Goggles are like sunglasses for your dog. However, they're made to stay put regardless of how much your dog moves around. Much like helmets, goggles can protect your pup from potential projectiles on the road and UV damage.
When it comes to road debris, the biggest problem your dog will face without eye protection is wind and dust.
Constant wind exposure can lead to severe dryness in your dog's eyes. This can lead to itchiness and vision problems.
If you were to drive on a dirt road, some of that dust can even make its way into your dog's eye. In the worst-case scenario, dust in your dog's eye can lead to corneal damage.
Another reason you want to invest in dog goggles is UV protection. As we mentioned earlier, the sun's intense rays can cause all kinds of trouble for your dog. Most goggles are tinted. Some even have polarization for that added layer of protection.
Overall, goggles do a lot to keep your pup safe. With a high-quality pair of goggles, your dog can enjoy the view without having to worry about intense wind, dust, or any other hazards.
Finding the Right Helmet and Goggles for Your Dog
While helmets and goggles are two very different accessories, they serve the same purpose. When you're shopping for that perfect riding gear for your canine riding companion, you need to consider the following factors.
With both helmets and goggles, thick plastic materials are always best. ABS plastic is rugged enough to take a beating. Yet, it's light and comfortable to wear. For goggles, the plastic material flexes a bit to comfort to the shape of your dog's face as well.
The interior of the helmet you choose should be filled with thick padding as well. It should be dense enough to cushion the blow of any potential impacts while remaining breathable.
Coverage is crucial if you're looking to provide the most protection possible. Your dog's head is shaped much differently than your own. So, you'll need to pay attention to how much of their head it covers. Look for accessories that extend down the sides of your dog's face.
Goggles are a bit trickier when it comes to coverage. The goggles need to cover your pup's entire eye without constricting their movement. They still need to be able to blink and look around. With that said, avoid getting a pair with lenses that are too large. This could result in a poor fit that falls off easily.
It's always a good idea to take some measurements before you start shopping. Take a flexible measuring tape and get some figures about the width and circumference of your dog's head. These two measurements will prove to be useful in your search for both goggles and helmets.
Of course, most accessories aren't going to fit your dog like a glove the first time. Thankfully, most manufacturers utilize adjustable straps and elastic to get a snug fit that's comfortable enough for prolonged wear.
Take some time getting the right fit. Comfort is paramount. If your dog isn't feeling the gear, they'll find a way to get out of it. Keep an eye out for extra comfort features like heavy padding around pressure points and flexible straps that don't dig into the skin.
Don't let your taste for adrenaline prevent you from keeping your precious pooch safe. Most dogs will have no problem hitching a ride with you on your motorcycle or scooter. It's an opportunity for them to see and smell new things.
Choosing the right protective gear is crucial for any type of riding you do with your pup. Take some extra time in choosing a helmet and pair of goggles that work with your dog. If you get things just right, they'll have no problem letting you put them on to hit the road.