RAGBRAI LI Day Passes are still available!

Doggos on RAGBRAI

Anyone with experience riding with their pup, I’ve got a 17lbs terrier that is well mannered riding in his basket (only have taken him on a 20 mile trip so far). Would it be frowned upon to bring him along? Any other tips?

15 Replies

KenH, March 17, 2019 at 6:13 pm

I’ve occasionally seen dogs on the ride. Sometimes in baskets, sometimes in trailers. I do not know if RAGBRAI has a policy on dogs. You can check out the information pages or send a question to info@ragbrai.com

People with day passes can do almost anything, there may be rules about dogs in the RAGBRAI campgrounds that would affect week long riders. I think I have seen the same dog several days in a row on at least one occasion so I would think they stayed in campgrounds. But hopefully someone with direct experience will chime in.


SFC JKL 2, March 18, 2019 at 12:16 am

My two cents. While it might sound like a neat idea to you, I can’t imagine it would be very fun for your dog to be stuck on the back of a bicycle for a week.


mootsman, March 18, 2019 at 9:18 am

I maybe see 1 or 2 dogs the whole week. Always much smaller dogs then yours in a backpack. Assuming your dog is well behaved it might still be a safety issue not to have the dog zipped up in a bike trailer. Even you have no idea how your dog will react to thousands of bikes and the occasional dog along the route. It would likely be very stressful for your dog.

Also being out on hot humid days for 70+ miles might be bad for your dog. And some nights can be hot and humid also. Your dog would likely prefer you put them in a kennel for the week more then being with you on RAGBRAI.


Larry Klaaren, March 18, 2019 at 9:33 am

My dog is seventeen pounds also, and he would enjoy the trip in the front basket but I am not a “keep riding as much as possible and get to the end town” type of person, so he would get a lot of breaks. I am not going to take him, because he would create some real problems especially in the congestion of the pass through towns. It would also limit my favorite choices for meals, such as churches and fire halls as dogs would probably not be allowed in an indoor eatery by law. Binks loves the basket, but I rarely take him, because if I have an accident, it would be a really bad thing for him, and having him in the basket changes the way the bike rides, so we don’t hold a line very well. So we just ride around the neighborhood and on a path in a subdivision park, if no one else is on the path. A trailer would probably be safer for him and everyone else. As a veterinarian, I have clients that take their dogs on the bike and haven’t seen injuries, but RAGBRAI is way too congested, accidents and sudden stops do happen a lot, and if having him on the bike causes any unsteadiness for you on the bike, that is a big problem for everybody. Just my thoughts.
There are a couple of other issues, you would have to carry a waterbowl and his food for the week, although that could be bought along the way. Human food is the worst thing for dogs, if I can slip into the veterinary side a second. Our diet choices are not balanced for dogs, and fried food can be very hard on their pancreas.


jay williams, March 18, 2019 at 10:52 am

Please do not bring your dog. Your epic adventure is a hardship for your dog. The familiar people and environment of home is what dogs enjoy, and Ragbrai is the opposite.


Brian Wallenburg, March 21, 2019 at 9:01 am

As long as your dog isn’t a risk to others, do as wish. There will be other dogs, along with other countless distractions. Do RAGBRAI the way you choose, not how others perceive is the “right” way! There are a lot of great suggestions for those riding RAGBRAI, but very few “rules”.


mootsman, March 21, 2019 at 9:29 am

Have to agree with Jay and not Brian on this. Think of your dog first and not yourself. Would your dog like being out in the heat and humidity all week. Your dog would likely get dehydrated. And of course the plan to have your dog in a basket impacts your ability to ride safely. It is hard to maintain a straight line with 17 pounds in a basket (either on the handlebars or one side or over of your rear wheel). The only safe way to take a dog is in a trailer and being zipped in. But still your dog would hate it especially if its hot and humid.


T. Gap Woo, March 21, 2019 at 9:37 am

I think back to two scenes in The Wizard of Oz: Toto jumping out of Miss Gulch’s bicycle basket; and Toto jumping out of the hot air balloon basket to chase a cat.

If I brought my pup on Ragbrai, I’d be afraid of him getting loose and lost. The entire Woo family, from Mrs Woo to five Grand Woos, would be heartbroken. I couldn’t forgive myself.

I’d leave the dog home, but this is America and you have the freedom of choice. Please choose wisely.

See you along the I-O-Way in July.


Ken Reed, March 21, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I have to agree with Jay and Mootsman on this too. RAGBRAI would honestly be the last place I’d want my little guy to be on. There are so many distractions and so many ways they can run off and get lost. I always see that woman from Chicago with her dog in the basket every year and I can’t help but feel really bad for the little guy. Unless you are hauling a Winnebago, please keep your doggo home.


Brady Bisgard, March 29, 2019 at 9:38 am

RAGBRAI is supposed to be when you get away from all responsibilities for the week – besides biking safely to the next town.

Dogs just will cause extra stress.

Unless you have an RV driver – where the dog can stay and ride in – I would skip it.


Larry Klaaren, March 29, 2019 at 1:15 pm

It amounts to how well you know your dog. My dog would love Ragbrai. He spends all day at my office greeting people when we let him. I would not love hauling food and water or having to find it all the time. And as I said earlier, in the walk through towns I would not want a trailer, and the congestion would just make it hard, and some people just do not appreciate dogs, which could be an issue in the campground.
Someone said he would like the kennel better. Well, we have a kennel here at the clinic and we work pretty hard to deal with their boredom every day. Whatever floats your boat is fine with me.


JudyAHolmes, May 6, 2019 at 9:03 am

I have seen several dogs on past RAGBRAI’s. Although it was fun to see them, I can’t imagine the needless stress it puts on the dog. Out in the heat, all day, on the back of a bicycle. I really think it is unfair to put a dog through that. We have an RV, and we don’t bring our dog along just because of the stress and the heat. Good luck with your decision.


Rene Borrero, May 7, 2019 at 9:03 am

why are you bringing an animal to this event. find a person or establishment to take care your pet while your gone, I never been at ragbrai, but i would not want a dog barking at night and keep half of the people up because a leaf felt from a tree. and the next morning everyone that was up, are paying the price pedaling 60 miles, and your dog ride your bike or your SAG car nice and comfy. there will be too many bikes and people walking around, that you are so busy pulling that leash on that dog to avoid accidents or someone run it over. and then you will get people mad and argument start. unless you have a support car or some that the dog is traveling, do not bring it.


PAM JUSTEN, May 8, 2019 at 1:20 pm

It gets too hot! Please leave your dog at home


Rodcrosgrove, May 8, 2019 at 7:44 pm

We brought out 12 lb dog with us last year. We have a trailer and I made a shade cover for him. It looked like a covered wagon. We sleep in the RAGBRAI campground and had no problem.


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