Some dogs love the way life looks (well, smells) from the back of a bike. But you can’t just grab your motorcycle carrier, whistle for your pup and hit the road. You’ve got to ensure his style and safety are on point before saddling up.
There are a couple of different types of gear for biking dogs, but the most important are helmets and eye goggles.
Do Dog Motorcycle Helmets and Goggles Really Protect Your Pup?
Yes and no. Lemme ‘splain (insert obligatory Princess Bride reference here).
Every helmet that we’re aware of is primarily intended as a novelty item (it is possible we’ve missed a pet-oriented helmet that is truly designed to be a safety device – if you know of one, please let us know about it in the comments).
These motorcycle helmets look great and provide your pooch with buckets of character, but they’re unlikely to provide suitable protection in the case of a serious crash. Even humans who wear helmets but don’t wear motorcycle leather aren’t likely to do themselves any favors, as when skin meets asphalt, there’s only one clear winner. The same applies to canines.
Despite all that, doggy helmets are certainly better than nothing, and they do provide some protection from road debris and minor bumps on the noggin. This can be especially important for chihuahuas and other breeds that occasionally have moleras – small gaps in the top of their skull.
Protective eyewear, on the other hand, does provide a few important safety functions. They not only help keep your dog’s eyes from drying out, they help to shield his peepers from tiny rocks and dirt kicked up from the road. Some high-quality dog glasses and dog goggles also provide UV protection to help protect your pup’s eyes from the sun’s rays.
Dog Motorcycle Goggles & Helmets: Criteria for Consideration
As you start looking for the best helmet and goggles for your pup, keep the following considerations in mind. It’s easy to hit that “buy” button when you see an adorable helmet, but you’ll want to make sure you are selecting the best one you can. Slow down and take your time.
Fit and Flexibility
The most common problem most owners experience when buying helmets or goggles is the fit.
Give yourself the best chance of success by reviewing the manufacturer’s sizing recommendations carefully, taking your own dog’s measurements, and opting for products with a lot of built in flexibility. This usually takes the form of adjustable straps and, in the case of goggles, flexible bridges.
Before purchasing a dog motorcycle helmet or set of goggles, look carefully at all of the product photos you can. Then, compare those to your dog’s head – try to envision how they will fit him and look for any obvious problems.
This is especially important when selecting a helmet for a dog with erect ears.
As explained earlier, helmets do not really provide much protection for your pup, but some are better than others are.
Look for dog motorcycle helmets made from strong and durable plastics, as well as molded foam inserts, which will provide further protection. Similarly, when considering goggles, look for those that feature shatterproof lenses, full eye coverage and protection from UV rays.
Price and Budgetary Considerations
There’s nothing wrong with blowing a lot of dough on a decorative helmet if you’ve got the cash to spare, but those with limited budgets should always purchase high-quality glasses for their pup first, as they can actually help keep your dog safe. Then, if you’ve got the budget to do so, splurge on a super-cute helmet to complete his ensemble.
3 Best Dog Motorcycle Helmets
If you’re ready to pop a new motorcycle helmet on your dog’s dome, look no further. The following helmets should help keep your pup looking like a proper biker dog, while providing a bit of additional protection.
1. Prima Dog Skull Helmet
About: The Prima Dog Motorcycle Helmet is a skull-cap-style helmet designed to protect your pet’s head from minor bumps, and look good while doing so. The Prima Dog Helmets are not only lightweight, they’re strong too: They are made from the same polyethylene that hart hats are.
- Emblazoned with cool skull-and-crossbones graphic (also available with “Bad to the Bone” graphic instead)
- Internally padded for maximum comfort and additional safety
- Features adjustable nylon strap with quick-release connector
- Designed for pets weighing between 5 and 10 pounds
- Includes black visor to shield your co-rider’s eyes
PROS: By and large, owners were thrilled with the Skull Helmet and loved the way it fit and looked on their dog. The skull graphic is perfect for showing off your pup’s biker side and it is sure to garner him extra attention every time he climbs aboard.
CONS: There weren’t many complaints about the Prima Dog Skull Helmet, however a few owners experienced problems getting the helmet to fit their dog properly (this was especially common for owners of very small dogs). Just be sure to pay attention to the sizing guidelines, and it probably makes sense to look elsewhere for your exceptionally tiny pup’s helmet.
2. Prima Dog Cutie Skull
About: Essentially a pretty-and-pink version of the Prima Dog Skull Helmet, the Cutie Skull is designed for canine-biker-chicks who simply must look their best. Like other Prima Dog helmets, the Cutie Skull is made from strong and light polyethylene plastic.
- Pink color, with white polka dots and a super-cute skull-and-crossbones design
- Features padded interior to keep your princess comfortable while cruising
- Adjustable chin strap keeps her helmet in place
- Suitable for pooches weighing between 5 and 10 pounds
- Features white visor to keep the sun out of your co-rider’s eyes
PROS: Aside from being one of the cutest helmets available anywhere, the Cutie Skull fits most dogs comfortably. Most dogs don’t seem to mind wearing it, and they surely love the extra attention the get while doing so.
CONS: A few owners complained of problems relating to quality control, such as excess glue and peeling stickers. However, these were still relatively rare – most owners liked the product.
Best Dog Motorcycle Goggles and Glasses
As with any other product, some doggie goggles are good, while others leave a lot to be desired. We’ve detailed three of the best options below, to help make it easier to make your choice.
1. QUMY Dog Goggles
About: If you are shopping for goggles on a tight budget, it is hard to go wrong with QUMY Dog Goggles Protective and good looking, these mirror-tinted goggles will help keep your dog’s eyes safe, while helping him look very stylish.
- Available in six colors: black, blue, pink, red, white and yellow
- Soft fabric carrying case included with purchase
- Not made for pets under 15 pounds in weight
- Anti-fog lens option is available
PROS: In several ways, QUMY Dog Goggles feature a better design than other dog glasses. In addition to being made of thicker plastic, they also feature deeper cups and a wider bridge to ensure a good fit. Additionally, the cushioned frames help ensure your dog’s comfort. They’re also much cheaper than comparable products, which is always nice!
CONS: Most owners were pleased with QUMY Goggles, but a few complained that it was hard to determine which size was appropriate for their dog. Additionally, some people had trouble getting the goggles to stay on securely, but this was a relatively rare problem.
2. PETLESO Dog Goggles
About: PETLESO Dog Goggles provide a nice combination of value and performance. They’ll not only protect your dog’s eyes from dust and debris, they’ll keep him looking great too! Two adjustable straps help provide the flexibility you need to ensure a proper, snug fit.
- UV-resistant lenses to protect your dog’s eyes from the sun
- Available in three different frame shapes: square, round and triangular
- Shatter-resistant polycarbonate lenses
- Available in four color options to match your pup’s personality: red, blue, gray and black
- Designed for medium to large dogs
PROS: Most owners reported that PETLESO glasses fit well and looked great. The numerous frame and color options help ensure your pet won’t look like every other sunglass-wearing dog out there. Additionally, several owners reported that their dog did not try to remove these glasses constantly, like they did with some other brands.
CONS: Some reviewers found that the straps came free from the goggles too easily, but otherwise there are few problems with these glasses.
3. Doggles Originalz Frame Goggles for Dogs
About: Doggles Goggles are some of the nicest goggles on the market that are made for dogs. They not only look great, thanks to the brown-and-black color combination, they have two adjustable straps to keep them securely in place once you put them on your pup.
- Polycarbonate lenses are shatterproof under normal use, ensuring your pup’s safety
- Provide your dog’s eyes with 100% protection for UV rays up to 400 nanometers in length
- Available in two sizes (small and large)
PROS: Unlike some other goggles, which don’t fit or work well, Doggles Originalz fit most dogs securely and were generally well-received by most owners. The UV protection provided by the glasses also helps increase the value of the glasses.
CONS: Most owners found these glasses to work very well, so the only problem is the high price tag. However, if you want high-end goggles that perform better than the average pair do, you’ll have to pay a little more. Fortunately, Doggles Goggles Originalz are well worth the additional expense.
Is your biking buddy decked out in all of the important fashion and safety equipment? Tell us all about it in the comments below. We’d also love to hear about any hacks or tricks to get puppy helmets and goggles to fit better!