If you are looking for a dog stroller for your pet pooch it can be hard to choose between the many makes, models, and designs that are available on the market. They differ in everything from color and design, to weight, size, capacity, and how suitable they are for different breeds of dog. To help you through the many options our panel of pet lovers and dog experts have put together a list of the 15 best dog strollers.
Best Dog Strollers Buying Guide
Buying a stroller for your dog is a big investment and one that you want to ensure you get right first time. As well as knowing more about the best strollers out there, it can help to know more about what makes a good stroller, the benefits of having a stroller, and why you might need one for your pet pooch. Here we look deeper into these questions to help you make the right decision for you and your four-legged friend.
Why You Need A Pet Stroller
When considering all the things your dog needs a pet stroller may not be close to the top of your list. It may not even be on your list, after all dogs need exercise, and one of the best forms of exercise is walking. However, there are several very good reasons why a stroller should be on your list of essential dog items. These reasons include:
- Early socialization
Before your dog has had all their inoculations it is not safe for them to be on the ground outside the home. You also need to be careful around other dogs that may not be fully immunized for risk of illness and disease. However, it is also important that your young puppy is socialized as soon as possible. With a stroller you can begin this process before they have completed their immunizations. The carriage keeps them off the ground while the cover and mesh windows provide a barrier between them and other animals. However, they are still able to experience the outside world, have some contact with other animals, and have contact with other people, giving them a great head start in life. If your dog is a rescue, or has been bought as an older dog, a stroller is a great way to acclimatize them to their new home and local area, without increasing their nervousness or anxiety.
- A Lifeline for Little Legs
Whether you like to walk or jog, if you have a small breed dog they may have difficulty keeping up with you over long distances. A dog stroller means that when they have reached the end of their walkies, you don’t have to give up and go home.
- Illness or Injury Recovery
If your pet pooch has been poorly or has suffered an injury, they might not be their usual energetic selves. A pet stroller gives you piece of mind that you can still take them out, but without the risk of aggravating the injury or condition by overworking your dog.
- Taking Care of Them in Later Life
Like us humans, dogs can lack energy and even enthusiasm in later life. It can be tempting to dispense with walks when this happens. However, it is better for your dog’s overall health if they remain active and stimulated. A dog stroller allows you to do this, but without tiring out your dog. Even if they are too tired to walk at all, they can still take in their surroundings and enjoy the sounds, sights and smells.
What Criteria Determines The Best Dog Stroller?
The best stroller for you is the one that best fits your needs and is comfortable for your dog to travel in. The stroller you buy is also determined by the weight and size of your dog. However, as well as these aspects there are certain other criteria that determine what makes the best dog stroller, including:
- Stroller handling
How easy is the stroller to control while out walking or jogging? Can it be pushed with one hand, does it have rotating wheels, can the front wheel or wheels be locked in place? These all affect how easy the stroller is to control while you are out and about. The best strollers have at least one of these features.
- Terrain capabilities
Are you going to use your stroller on flat paved ground or do you intend to go off road onto dirt tracks and forest paths? The type of tires, wheel size, and suspension system all affect the stroller’s ability to cope with different terrain types while still providing a smooth and safe ride. The best strollers clearly define the terrain they are suitable for.
Stroller weight is important as it determines how easily it can be transported, and how easy it is to push once the weight of your dog is added. The best strollers are light weight, but still sturdy.
Strollers that fold flat are perfect for transporting in your vehicle, giving you a wider choice of places to walk. They also make storage much easier. The best strollers fold and unfold easily, usually only requiring one hand.
The best strollers have safety features built in to ensure your dog is secure while in the stroller. This might include leash style seatbelts or harness clips. The stroller should also have a breaking system to stop it rolling away when you stop.
- Access points
The best way to place your dog in the stroller and settle them before you go for your walk depends on your dog. This is just one of the reasons why the best strollers have multiple access points and easy opening and closing fastenings.
When you take your dog out, you also need to take everything they need, including toys, treats, and water. You may also want space for shopping and water for yourself. This is why the best dog strollers have ample under carriage storage baskets and trays that include cup holders attached to the handles.
Ensuring your dog is comfortable on their journey is of course a high priority. The top strollers also make this a priority, providing cushioned interiors to ensure your dog travels in comfort and style.
Benefits of Having a Dog Stroller
One of the main benefits of having a dog stroller is not having to carry your dog. Even small dogs can get heavy after a short time, especially as very few stay still while they are being carried. Other benefits of having a stroller include:
- Still being able to get out with sick or injured dogs
- Safer than carrying them
- Early socialization for young puppies
- Easy transportation to veterinarian appointments
- Being able to take your dog to more places
- Leaving your dog home alone less
- Exploring new places easily
- Extending your walks / jogs without tiring your dog
- Taking out multiple small animals at the same time
There are such a wide range of benefits from having a dog stroller that once you have it you will wonder how you ever got by without it. However, to feel these benefits you need to ensure you buy the stroller that is right for you and your dog. By following our buying guide, you can ensure that you get the best stroller for both you and your dog.
How to Measure a Dog for a Pet Stroller
There are two fundamental measurements you need to take on your dog to determine the right size of pet stroller for it. First, get its height. Let your hound sit on its bottom. Place the tip of a tape measure an inch or two above the level of your dog’s head. Extend the tape measure all the way to the floor and read the measurement. You can add another inch or two for allowance.
You might also want to take your pet’s body length as some pets inadvertently prefer riding a stroller with them lying down on the comfy surface rather than sitting up. Let your dog lie down on its belly with its front legs in front of its body. Place the tip of the tape measure an inch or so from the base of its tail. Extend the tape measure all the way to the front of its front legs. This should be the length of the pet stroller you want to buy. Of course, if you prefer your dog to be sitting while you’re pushing its stroller, then you may also have to measure its width sitting down.
Another measurement you need to take is your pet’s weight. You can have it sit on a bathroom weighing scale and read the measurement from there. Alternatively, you can carry your pet and step onto the weighing scale. Take note of the measurement. Now, put down your pet and step onto the weighing scale again, this time without your pet. Subtract this weight from the weight with your pet to get an approximation of your pet’s weight.
Using these height, length, and weight measurements, you can now choose the most appropriate dog stroller for your pet.
Q: How can I get my dog to use the stroller?
A: Not all dogs will like riding in a stroller the first time you put them there. Some will be too skittish that they might jump out and off of the stroller. However, there are certain things you can do to help your dog get used to the stroller.
First, like all things, you have to introduce the stroller as a normal part of its daily life. Let your hound inspect, sniff around, or explore what this wheeled contraption is. Once your dog has developed grown confident about the existence of the stroller, you can start placing your dog into the stroller. Make sure to lock the wheels as the idea here is to let your dog feel more comfortable with it inside the stroller. You can use treats to entice your dog to go inside the stroller as well. Placing treats and other useful items inside the stroller will help your dog associate this space with things that are pleasurable.
By the time your pet is already confident and comfortable going and staying inside the stroller, you can start taking it on relatively short strolls. Make sure to secure your pet’s leash onto the leash attachment on the stroller. You can start by moving the stroller inside your home or even in your backyard. Whatever you do it is imperative that you go very slow. You don’t want to spook your pet and see it jumping out of the stroller. Just push a few inches at a time and offer rewards for your pet for remaining calm. Take your cue from your pet. If it remains calm, then push on some more. Always use positive reinforcement techniques to help your pet learn to associate the ride with something pleasant.
Once your pet is already confident about riding the stroller in your home, you can start taking it for longer strolls. Start with your neighborhood, gradually increasing the distance and length of rides.
Q: Do I need an all-weather stroller?
A: It certainly wouldn’t hurt to go for an all-weather stroller since no one can really predict the weather. It may be all hot and sunny now, but raining and windy later on. Besides, you’d want your pet to get the best possible protection from the elements whenever it is riding in its stroller.
Q: Where are dog strollers allowed?
A: This is one of the most common questions of would-be owners of pet strollers have. Unfortunately, there are no quick and easy answers. As a general rule, however, as long as the establishment or the place allows dogs or any other pet then you should be able to use your dog stroller. There is this belief that going inside an establishment that has ‘no pets allowed’ policy is okay as long as the pet is inside a stroller. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily accurate.
When establishments say ‘no pets allowed’ they mean no pets should be present inside their establishment. Whether you carry your pet, put it in a dog crate, or even a dog stroller, you are still bringing your pet inside the premises of an establishment that strictly disallows any pet or animal inside.
The same is true with some parks. There are some parks and other ‘public spaces’ that do not allow pets. As such, make sure you learn of the existing pet policies of the places you intend to bring your dog stroller in to avoid any unnecessary inconveniences.
Our Top Pick
It was never easy picking the best dog strollers since each came with its own strengths and weaknesses. To give you an idea, we believed in the exceptional versatility of the Ibiyaya Multifunction Pet Stroller integrating 5 different pet carrier systems into one. Our only lament is that it is quite small to accommodate a greater number of dogs of various breeds. And then there is the PetLuv Soothing “Happy Cat” which, while it is designed for cats, we believe to be super-spacious. It’s versatile, too, turning into a carrier and a crate. But, then we also considered its rather plain-looking design and lack of storage options for accessories.
When we factored exceptional quality, weather-proofing, stability, and overall ride comfort for your pet, we knew we had to pick the Paws & Pals City Walk N Stride as our top dog stroller. It meets industry standards for safety and product reliability and comes with excellent weather- and insect-proofing. The ride safety, comfort, and quality are also remarkable for its class. We’re one with thousands of pet parents in saying that the Paws & Pals City Walk N Stride is indeed the best dog stroller to have.