You can count this straight answer - no, carrying a dog on a motorcycle is not illegal anywhere in the USA or other countries, but subject to some restrictions and instructions.
Many riders are pet-loving, and they have at least a dog! They often go out for a walk with their dogs. But when they go on a trip to a distant place, it becomes a real problem! He naturally wants to ride his motorcycle, but it’s often difficult to accommodate a dog there, even if not impossible. Transporting dogs or other pets on motorbikes may also be subject to legal restrictions in a few cases.
Let’s Discuss on Legal Point
We really do not know about all the laws about animals and pets across the world. But we can confirm that every country has its specific legislation about pet safety, where safely transporting them may be a part. Not all but many of those include discussing pets generally carried in vehicles. We’ve noticed only a few countries among those like the UK have mentioned dogs or motorcycles specifically. Rule 57 of UK Highway Code states -
“When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”
Even this very specific clause of a nationwide applicable code does not include “motorcycles”. Other European countries have a reflection similar to the UK in their codes. Actually, legislations give directions about “Pets” on “Vehicles” or “Open Vehicles”. And, we can decide through analogy: pets include dogs, and open vehicles include motorcycles.
But provincial or state laws of many countries include direct guidelines and restrictions on whether dogs can ride motorcycles. For instance, all Australian States have road safety rules restraining arbitrary motorcycle travel with dogs, while guiding protective measures.
How about USA Laws?
No Federal Law, neither the Pet Safety and Protection Act nor the Animal Welfare Act, restrains or gives any guideline on dogs traveling specifically on motorcycles. But yes, they include general guidelines about traveling and handling certain animals, including dogs. To better understand and be law abiding, you will require to look at the State Laws pertaining to it if you want to move with a dog or other pets.
In the recent past, several states have proposed legislation banning pets' transport in vehicles (small and open) and even drafted laws,
but none has been passed yet. That means you have the opportunity to carry your pet dog on your bike. But most States have imposed certain restrictions (with guidelines) so that everything goes safe - neither you make an accident, nor your pet gets injured, or other drivers in the road get distracted and contribute to causing accidents.
Restrictions mainly include the bar on a driver to hold an animal in their lap while riding on or operating a motor vehicle in every state. On the other hand, guidelines show where to place and how to fasten the dog. Bringing specific charges (up to $500) against those who do not comply with these restrictions and instructions is also a subject under most state laws.
When you travel within a state, you can easily know and understand whether you can take a dog on your two-wheeler. But the problem arises in terms of inter-state traveling, as it’s not always easy to get all legislations, state laws, or even county rules about pet transportation. So, researching a bit about the specific area where you are about to move through is the easiest way to avoid any illegality.
How to Carry a Dog Safely on a Motorcycle?
Riding a motorbike with your dog should be subject to some essential measures. Actually, there are so many facts that you may take into consideration, but we just include the must-do stuff like as under:
Make Sure Your Dog’s Ready
You and your dog love each other’s company does not mean he will feel good to go for a bike ride with you all of a sudden. He might not be able to ride, or even certain conditions may disallow him to do that. So, at the very first, you must prepare your beloved canine ready for a ride. Please don’t force it to come with you, considering its physical condition, behavioral disorders, size, weight, age, and medical condition.
For instance, it’s easy to take a tiny dog like a Yorkshire Terrier, but a full-size German Shepherd or English Mastiff will never be fit on a two-wheeler. Similarly, you can take a calm temper dog for hours on your bike, but when it is more stubborn, anxious, or hyperactive, stop bringing it on a two-wheeler. Even take every possible and extra precaution when you carry such dogs in any open vehicle.
Use Required Accessories
A suitable carrier or backpack is the first thing to have for the dog on a motorcycle. Ensure perfect sizing that gives maximum comfort to your loved canine. A smaller one may feel him suffocated and anxious, while a larger one might lead to uncontrolled dog movement hurting your pet. But this only suits small or medium size dogs.
For larger dogs, adding a seat to the back of your bike will be more accurate. But buying a sidecar and adding it to your two-wheeler is the best decision (safest too) for any dogs regardless of their breed, size, age, and behavior.
Harnesses are the second accessories that will safely fasten the dog inside its carrier or on the back seat or sidecar while riding on a motorcycle. But make sure you do not fasten it too tightly.
Of course, protective gear for your dog's head is of unavoidable importance. We mean helmets, which protect them from falls and accidents. For greater comfort, search for a rigid helmet that has enough space for your dog's ears. Other possible accessories include dog goggles, saddlebags, and food and water pots.
Train Them Shortly
Never go for a long ride for the first time. Give your dog some try with a few short rides to get them habituated with motorcycle trips. They will get ready perfectly over time and enjoy every ride.
Riding a motorcycle with a dog is not tough if you have enough preparation. Having the required accessories will make your journey easy. And remember, nowhere it's illegal to travel with your dog on a motorbike; you just have to follow the imposed restrictions and guidelines, whether it's coming from local law or national law.