Like many unknown dog owners, I allowed my dogs to ride in the back seat or tow the car without worrying about their safety. They lay down and were calm, so I never saw the need to use a dog box in the car.
When I took the Sitka, however, there was no quiet sitting in the car while I was driving.
Sitka was worried in the car, and after the first trip he pounced on trucks and motorcycles, pacing back and forth and whining all the time, I knew I needed a solution to be safe and sane.
I initially secured it with a Kurgo harness system, which was crash-tested and prevented it from stepping, but it spun and tangled in the straps, causing it to have to pull to unravel its legs periodically.
From there, I decided to look for a kennel and began intensive research to find the best car boxes for dogs. I asked friends, surveyed my Instagram audience, read reviews, and emailed stamps to create a list of potential candidates.
In this post, I present the dog boxes I have been considering buying, which means that they meet the criteria I will explain below. I explain why I chose the one I made and give suggestions as to why other brands may work best for your car and dog situation.
You don’t want to read all the research and just want to know my best choice?
This is the crate I went for myself.It was a more affordable dog box than some others, but it still met my safety requirements.
Why should the dog be in a crate in the car?
Even if your dog was like my first dogs and settled comfortably in the car, it is good to attach them to a dog kennel in case of a car accident.
Here are the three main reasons:
Think about it, we buckle up every time we get in the car, but many dog owners often don’t consider securing their dog. In an accident, unprotected dogs will turn into shells and can lead to serious injury and death.
If you are injured in a car accident, your dog will be in a safe place where he cannot escape or bite anyone.
When I drove with Sitka for the first time, I was sure we would have an accident. His movement and whining were so distracting that I couldn’t concentrate on driving.
In 2019, Volvo conducted a safety study that found that unrestrained dogs lead to significantly more dangerous driving behavior, distracted driving and increased stress for both humans and dogs.
In case of an accident
In the event that you are involved in a car accident, you need to take a few steps to prepare to ensure maximum safety for your pet.
This is especially important if you are injured and cannot take care of your dog after an accident.
Attach a laminated form to the top or inside of the kennel with the following information:
Your first and last name Address Phone number Emergency contact for your dog who is authorized to make choices on your behalf Veterinarian All allergies your dog may have, Other relevant information about your dog
Keep a spare leash and muzzle in the car and include instructions on how to get your dog out of the kennel and where to take them until you can pick them up (ie with a friend or the nearest veterinarian).
When working with emergency personnel, if you can, let them know that you will be removing your dog from the kennel.
I once saw a video posted on Instagram where a dog jumped out and started running when firefighters pulled him out of his crate. Fortunately, he had his electronic collar and was able to be returned.
In stressful situations, dogs can bite or run. Do as much as possible to prevent this by communicating as best you can with emergency crews and in writing.
What to look for in a dog box for car travel
When deciding on the right dog box for your needs, you need to consider several factors that will ensure the best fit of your dog and car and still meet safety requirements.
Size and fit
When measuring your dog for the crate, you want a tight fit. Too much unnecessary space means that they can be injured due to an increased impact from a crash.
You also don’t want it to be too tight, because then your dog won’t be able to move to feel comfortable.
Since most kennels in this article cannot be purchased in stores, suitability testing is not an option. The best plan is to provide your dog and car measurements and the manufacturer’s dog weight and work with them to determine the best fit.
To best protect your dog in the car, look for a dog box that is made of a single piece of molded polyethylene. One piece means that there are no weak points in the kennel that can fail on impact.
Materials to avoid include:
WireFabricFolding boxesTraditional plastic boxes for dogs “shell”.
The Pet Safety Center (CPS) conducted a series of crash tests for dog boxes in partnership with Subaru of America in 2015. CPS evaluated crates that cost between $ 150 and $ 1,000 and subjected them to a series of tests, including:
The use of fictitious dogs weighing 75 lbs Conducted two different crash tests with the rear seat folded in one and up in the second Simulated crashes at a speed of 30 mph
You can see the test results from the report here.
There are many dog crates that claim to be crash tested, but since there is no same requirement for testing the safety of dog boxes as for cars or child seats, buyers need to do their homework.
Since the last CPS test was carried out in 2015, there are probably suitable kennels that have not made the list or new additions to the market that have not been tested.
Email the manufacturer to ask about their crash test protocols and read reviews from people whose dogs have been in car crashes to confirm the claims.
Some dog crates come with straps that allow you to attach the kennel to your car. This is especially important for those whose dogs will ride in trucks with an open bed.
Different manufacturers may recommend different types of straps to tie the kennel. Check with them before you buy if you plan to provide a kennel in your car.
Inside a plastic box can become hot and stuffy, so when looking for a crate for your dog for the car, make sure there is good ventilation.
This means that there are plenty of air holes on the sides that provide a cross breeze.
Sizing the dog box for the car
Depending on the type of car you have and the size of your dog, different crates will fit differently. In addition, the location depends on where the crushing areas of your car are located.
For example, the front and rear of many cars feature a crushed area designed to protect passengers, but that’s not where you want the kennel to sit.
You will want to consult with the manufacturer of your car to determine where the crushing zones are located in your particular car. Then measure to make sure the kennel fits in the designated safe place.
The best dog boxes for traveling by car
I did some in-depth research on several car boxes for dogs before making a decision. I visited several different websites, reviewed reviews and talked to my community on Instagram to find out how different kennels are bred.
Some key features to look for include:
carrying handles air vents guarantees stackable for multiple dog weight options
A quality dog kennel that will protect your dog in case of an accent is not cheap and in most cases you get what you pay for.
Typical wire cages or airline kennels with mussels are not suitable for safety in the event of a car accident. They will not protect your dog.
After all my research, these are the brands I looked at, including the one I eventually chose.
Here is a brief overview of the table selected below:
It is not as durable as other crates
Cheaper than such boxes
Available in a variety of colors
The high-profile blocks at the back
Some information available on site
Requires non-intuitive assembly
Gunner is an industry leader when it comes to car dog boxes. They are the only crate to go through the 2015 CPS survey and have a 5-star rating to assess the crash from the organization.
Virtually indestructible, Gunner tested the kennels by throwing a crate of 200-meter cliff, dropping a 630-pound sledge on it, firing it with a rifle and putting 4,000 pounds of pressure on it. All tests resulted in very little damage.
RuffLand kennels (formerly known as Ruff Tuff kennels) are one of the most popular kennels for car travel. They are very affordable and are made of durable one-piece construction, cast with roto, which can withstand strong impacts.
They were tested in the CPS crash test and performed well when placed in the rear load area against the back of the rear seat, but in the test without the reinforcement back the door completely detached from the crate and the mannequin dog was not detained.
You can read more about testing here.
RuffLand kennels are tapered to ensure complete breathing, even with equipment stacked directly opposite the crate. The brand also makes ties, especially for their kennels, to provide extra security in the car.
This is the kennel I decided to buy after a lot of research. It came out after the CPS conducted safety studies.
I went with the middle Dakota G3 because it looked like a good combination of Ruffland and Kunner Kennel. The military strength case is made of a single piece of rhomolized polyethylene that withstands extreme shocks.
I looked for the brand to ask about crash testing and here’s what they had to say:
“We did internal tests on our kennels through various impact tests, including a 25-foot drop test for impact and endurance. Our testing makes us fail to test most tests to know the limitations and strengths.
Also, most importantly, our kennels have been involved in several rollover incidents, with the dog surviving unharmed. This is the best test and recommendation for our design and implementation. “
Considered one of the safest dog kennels for car travel, the Swedish-based MIM Variocages is the only dog cage in the world certified for crash tests for front, rear and rollover impacts.
The brand will provide free replacement in case of an accident.
The different cages can be adapted to different vehicles and are available in 4 models with over 14 adjustable sizes. The cages are designed with a crushing area similar to that of cars and have a locking mechanism.