9 Best Dog Crates for Car Travel (Crash-Tested in 2024)

Last Updated on February, 2024

Everyone knows how to pick regular crates. But who knows how to choose a dependable dog crate for car travel?

I wanted to do the honors when I realized how few people have covered this topic. That was the primary catalyst of this final product – a handpicked AND ranked list of amazing dog crates.

This list has EVERYTHING you need to know when traveling with a dog in a car.

Editor’s Choice
Gunner Product Image
GUNNER G1
Durability
Comfort
Build Quality
Ventilation
Price

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

Overall Score

5.0

#2nd Best Choice
Dakota 283 crate product image
Dakota 283
Durability
Comfort
Build Quality
Ventilation
Price

4.9

4.9

4.9

4.9

4.9

Overall Score

4.9

#3rd Best Choice
Gen7Pets Commuter Pet Carrier
Gen7Pets Commuter
Durability
Comfort
Build Quality
Ventilation
Price

4.9

4.8

4.7

4.8

4.8

Overall Score

4.8

Why Trust Me?

I picked 20 potential dog crates and examined them as much as possible. YouTube, Reddit, Quora, and even dog trainers… you name it, and I have checked with the source.

So, rest assured; this is the ultimate list of the best car friendly dog crates. 

Since it’s ranked, let’s start the list with the best.

9 of the Best Dog Crates for Car Travel

1. GUNNER G1

As you might already know, Gunner is a beloved dog crate brand, and they make the best car crates.

Their G1 kennel is crowned as the world’s safest travel kennel.

Let’s see what makes it so.

For starters, this dog’s crate is the only double-walled rotomolded crate in the market; it’s twice the safety of all regular rotomolded crates. In fact, it was crash tested by pet safety. 

I personally love how Gunner gives more reassurance as this Gunner kennel is 5-star crash tested. This crate is PROVEN to save real dogs in the event of a real car accident. 

Don’t believe me? You can check the video on the product’s site.

Pet parents will love the overall build quality of this crate; after all, it was made for travel. 

Coming in four sizes, Gunner has ensured that all puppies get to travel by car peacefully and comfortably.

The smallest size has external dimensions of 24.5″ (L) x 18.625″ (W) x 19″ (H) / 20.5″ (H) with carry handles, and the largest size is 40.25″ (L) x 28″ (W) x 33.25″ (H) / 34.5″ (H) with carry handles.

You can also choose based on your car’s or dog’s size.

This dog crate stays 12% cooler than leading Aluminum and single-wall rotomolded kennels. Your dog will also expend 20% less energy to stay warm inside. Your furry friend will be super comfortable inside with the spacious interior.

What else makes these the best car crates?

It comes with a robust frame system complimented by a strong locking paddle latch. But just in case, there are additional latches to ensure that not even Houdini can escape this dog crate.

Having an exposed dog crate in car travel is uncomfortable for your dog. That’s why the Gunner G1 comes with element-repelling windows. These windows keep your dog secured perfectly.

If it rains or the water bowl gets spilled inside, your dog won’t have to sit in a puddle. There’s a recessed bottom and a drainage plug. This ensures that the water drains quickly. It also makes it relatively easy to clean the inside of the pet crate.

The sheer difficulty of carrying these crates and safely tying them on surfaces. Gunner has integrated built-in tie-down pins and super strong carry handles to make the process easier. That’s not all; the G1 dog crate has a wider base and a non-slip bottom.

So, this heavy-duty travel crate stays sturdy and stable, whether you carry it on the back or inside the car. The overall ergonomic shape has a significant role in that.

Additionally, this is a dependable air travel crate too.

That’s not all; Gunner G1 is made in America, 100%. That’s probably why they’re confident enough to give a lifetime warranty.

This kennel comes in five attractive colors and is the hallmark of the highest-quality travel kennels. It’s my favorite dog crate simply due to its superior features.

Want to learn more about this dog crate? Checkout this review.

Pros

The double-walled rotomolded design provides twice the safety of many dog crates.
5-star crash tested and proven to save real dogs in any event of a real car accident.
Offers reassurance and peace of mind to pet parents.
Constructed with high-quality materials.
Available in four sizes to accommodate different puppies and dogs.
Maintains a cooler interior temperature compared to Aluminum and single-wall crates.
Reduces energy expenditure by 20% for dogs to stay warm inside.
Strong frame system with a robust locking paddle latch and additional latches for added security.
You can buy this car crate in four sizes.
Lifetime warranty.
Element-repelling windows protect your dog from the environment.
Features a recessed bottom and drainage plug for easy cleaning and water drainage.
Integrated tie-down pins and carry handles for convenient transportation.
A wider base and non-slip bottom ensure stability and sturdiness during car travel.

Cons

Takes some time to tie it to the car bed.

2. Dakota 283

Dakota283 features a series of secure dog crates bespoke for car travel.

These are the G3 kennel, the original Kennebec kennel, the T1 low profile kennel, the 2D side entry kennel, and the Dakota hero kennel.

While these are unique products, the G3 kennel can be identified as common. 

So, what makes this dog crate car travel-friendly?

The smallest G3 dog crate size is 23L x 16W x 18.75H, weighing 20.2 lbs. The largest size is 38.5L x 25.5W x 29.5H, which weighs 59 lbs. 

You’ll also notice how the T1 low-profile kennel is shorter and longer. On the flip side, the 2D side entry and Hero kennel are thinner and taller. 

So, there’s a great size range. 

The easy grip handle definitely helps you position the crate well. You won’t know how useful it is until you have to move a container with a dog inside.

The covered or walled nature of the crate is an admirable similarity to the Gunner G1 kennel. This provides ample protection and a sense of safety when dogs are inside. 

To increase that safety and security, the G3 kennels come with amazing mesh windows/ screen doors. This is a keyed paddle latching door, so dealing with it is easier.

The G3 series comes in eight colors in a diverse color palette. The hero and T1 low-profile kennel come in two earth-tone colors.

It’s normal for dogs to have accidents inside their cage during long car travels. But it’s unpleasant to both you and your pet to let things be. Dakota283 understood the risk, and that’s why you get an easy-to-clean drain hole.

That’s a tell-tale sign of a hassle-free crate.

You can also get a recess for crate stacking, which is sold separately. This is most useful when you have multiple crates (multiple pets) inside Dakota283 cages.

It’s relieving that Dakota283 crates are molded and assembled in the USA. Because of that, you’re also entitled to free shipping to the continental US.

This crate can be kept inside or outside your car and is the best alternative for the Gunner G1 crate.

Pros

Offers a variety of secure crate options specifically designed for car travel.
Crates can be used both inside and outside the car easily.
A wide range of sizes is available, catering to different dog breeds and sizes.
The easy grip handle makes it convenient to position and move the crate, even with a dog inside.
The covered or walled design provides excellent protection and a sense of dog safety.
Mesh screen door with keyed paddle latch enhances safety and security.
Available in a diverse color palette, with earth-tone options for specific kennels.
Features an easy-to-clean drain hole, perfect for accidents during long car travels.
Option for crate stacking with a separate recess for multiple pets in Dakota283 cages.
Crates are molded and assembled in the USA.

Cons

Dakota283 doesn’t disclose whether or not their crates are crash tested.
No warranty.

3. Gen7Pets Commuter Pet Carrier

The Gen7Pets Commuter Pet Carrier is an entirely different product from the Gunner G1 and the first alternative solution.

But let’s see if you find this pet carrier better.

The Gen7Pets pet carrier comes in one size and only in black. But it’s always better to have pet carriers/crates in darker colors, and that original look lasts longer. 

The downside is the lack of size range.

But if your dog fits the size of an 18″ L x 11″ W x 11″ H enclosure, that shouldn’t be an issue. After all, the company recommends their pet carrier for small dogs and cats weighing up to 20 lbs.

At a weight of 4.41 lbs, the Gen7Pets pet carries are quite lightweight. 

Multiple carry straps compliment this lightweight nature. There are short and long (padded shoulder strap) ones for all situations. So you never have to worry about carrying it uncomfortably.

This is not a rotomolded or metallic crate; the Gen7Pets pet carrier is entirely made of nylon fabric. 

But despite the fabric made, another great reason why this pet carrier becomes the second best alternative is that it meets Federal Motor Safety Standards 213, tested and approved. 

It’s obvious that it doesn’t provide security and safety remotely close to Gunner G1, but it’s still standardized.

Like Gunner G1 and Dakota283 crates, you can keep this outside or inside the car. This pet carrier is compatible with most car seat belts, and that’s an admirable plus point.

Your pet also gets comfortable two-way access points at the two ends of the pet carrier. At times, it’s more comfortable for you than for your pet to have multiple entrances. 

But it would help if you also were mindful about that extra entrance as it can be a risky exit.

Luckily, Gen7Pets is a USA-based brand, although they do not announce that these carriers are explicitly made in the USA. It also would have been nicer to have a warranty too.

But all things considered, the Gen7Pet pet carrier could potentially be the right dog crate for you.

Pros

The dark product color (black) provides a longer-lasting, original look.
Its lightweight design (4.41 lbs) makes it easy to carry.
Multiple carry straps (short and long) offer comfortable and convenient transportation.
Meets Federal Motor Safety Standards 213, ensuring a certain level of safety.
Two-way access points at both ends of the carrier provide easy entry and exit for pets.
Made of durable nylon fabric, offering flexibility and portability.
Suitable for small dogs and cats weighing up to 20 lbs.
It can be used both inside and outside the car for versatile travel options.
Potentially a more affordable alternative compared to other heavy-duty crates.

Cons

Lack of size range, limiting options for larger pets.
Made from fabric, which is not as hard as rotomolded, metallic, or plastic.

4. Ruff Land Kennels

At first glance, you’d notice how similar this looks to the Gunner G1 kennel. It’s another sign that Ruff Land Kennels were inspired by the best.

Let’s see what makes these kennels car-travel-friendly for dogs.

Similar to the Dakota283 product line, a set of crates is made for the secure containment of dogs.

Coming in six sizes, the smallest crate is 16″ wide at the widest point, 15″ tall, and 22 ¼” inches in length. The largest crate is as long as 40 3/8″, 22″ wide at the widest point, and 29 7/8″ inches tall.

Ruffland Kennel

In other words, various dog breeds of different sizes can conveniently be contained in these cages during car travels.

That spacious comfort is complemented by the Ruff™ flex technology in the kennels’ walls, top, and floor. It can be helpful for bumpy car rides as this built-in flexibility can absorb energy that would be transferred to your dog.

Ruff Land Kennels continues to escalate the comfort factor during car travels with the SureVent™ tapered wall design too. This vent hole series ensures that your dog experiences ideal air circulation throughout the journey.

But there’s another specialty of the SureVent™ technology; the walls are tapered, so the vent holes never get plugged. This ensures the risk is eliminated even if you slide the kennel up against a wall.

How amazing!

These crates also have a no-bite grid pattern to ensure your dog doesn’t bite the mesh door. This feature increases the overall lifespan of the crate by design. 

That’s not the only specialty of this door that makes these crates so car-travel-friendly; this is a two-way or ambidextrous door that can be adjusted to swing either way.

While the safety and comfort factor is superior, so is the hygiene factor. In fact, these Ruff Land Kennels come with a UpSide™ raised floor interior to ensure that debris and liquids that fall are channeled away from your dog.

The icing on the cake is the Rattle-less design feature that ensures the crate rattles comparatively least by design. You know how annoying it is when cages rattle.

In conclusion, you can definitely rely on these made-in-US Ruff Land Kennels as one of the best dog travel crates.

Click here to learn more about this kennel.

Pros

Similar design to the Gunner G1 kennel, indicating inspiration from a top-quality product.
Available in six sizes, accommodating various dog breeds and sizes.
Ruff™ flex technology in the walls, top, and floor absorbs energy during bumpy rides, enhancing comfort for dogs.
SureVent™ tapered wall design provides ideal air circulation throughout the journey.
Tapered walls ensure vent holes are never blocked, maintaining continuous airflow.
The no-bite grid pattern on the mesh door increases the crate’s lifespan and prevents dogs from biting through.
The two-way door can be adjusted to swing in either direction for convenience.
UpSide™ raised floor interior channels dirt away from the dog, improving hygiene.
Rattle-less design minimizes noise and rattling of the crate during car travel.
Made in the USA.

Cons

Lacks any warranty.
Doesn’t have a drainage plug.

5. Petmate Sky Kennel

If you still haven’t found the best travel crate for your dog, you might like Petmate’s Sky Pet Kennel.

Similar to the Rufflandkennels, the Sky Kennels also come in one color; light grey. But it looks dark enough, so you are safe there.

With six sizes from 21″ to 48″ in length, Petmate allows many dog sizes/breeds to travel in cars comfortably with its size range. 

This USA-made spacious dog travel crate is made with 90% pre-consumer recycled plastic content.

Petmate Sky Dog Kennel

While it is very environmentally friendly, the strength factor is considerably high too. I admire how this heavy-duty plastic construction comes with non-corrosive plastic wing nuts.

Some of these features automatically make this crate suitable for air travel, similar to the Gunner G1 kennel. 

Thanks to the four-way ventilation system, your dog can breathe effortlessly inside the Petmate Sky dog travel crate. The door comes with a chew-proof mesh design, a dial latch system, and a 3-way locking vault door too. 

In other words, just as much as your dog gets enough air, it will always be inside the cage.

Additionally, the interior moat makes it super easy to keep animals dry. So, even if it doesn’t have a raised floor or a drainage plug, it does bring something similar to the table.

To make carrying easier, Petmate has included a handle, but it’s only available for sizes 21″ and 28″ inches, making it a bit of a letdown. It would also have been amazing if Petmate had given a warranty.

Remember that Petmate’s Sky Kennels can be bought with a Norton shopping guarantee to protect your purchase.

As another alternative, the Petmate Sky Kennel is one of the safest dog crates recommendable for pet owners.

Pros

Available in multiple sizes (21″ to 48″) to accommodate different dog breeds.
Made with 90% pre-consumer recycled yet strong plastic.
Made in the USA.
Chew-proof mesh door for durability by design.
Dial latch system with a 3-way locking vault door, ensuring safety.
The spacious interior allows dogs to move comfortably during car travel.
A four-way ventilation system ensures proper airflow for the dog’s comfort.
The interior moat helps keep animals dry inside the crate.
The light grey color of the crate provides a dark enough environment for the dog.

Cons

The handle is only available for sizes 21″ and 28″.
No explicit mention of a warranty for the crate.

6. MIM Variocage

MIM Variocage is another one of the great dog car crates by design.

This dog cage comes in a completely unique shape. Made from carbon fiber, the MIM company boasts that it is the only tested crate in the market for car crashes.

That’s a bit misleading, given how Gunner G1 has undergone several crash tests more than the Variocage.

But it’s fascinating how the cage’s length is adjustable. There’s a convenient slider on the bottom of the cage for that — it’s that easy. This design is complimented by the crumple zone that helps absorb shock better.

MIM Safe VarioCage

You never have to worry about ventilation or ideal lighting since this is a carbon fiber wire crate of sorts. However, you might need to cover it when required. 

The door of the Variocage is impressive. 

It comes with a single-flick latch and a key lock system. The placement of the lock and the gas hydraulic motion strings ensure that there’s no way that even the best escape artists can escape this MIM product.

You can buy the MIM Variocage in six sizes and one standard color

The smallest cage is 38.97 “L x 21.85 “W x 23.22 “H, and the largest is 41.73 “L x 27.55” W x 30.71 “H. So, the space factor is effortlessly in favor of your furry friend.

But thanks to the different shapes it can take, you can technically have up to 18 sizes.

Did I tell you that this crate comes with an emergency escape hatch

This dual-entry system skyrockets the safety of your dog at any time. In confined spaces like inside cars, these dual doors can be helpful. But pet parents must be attentive as it poses a danger and is another exit point.

You can conveniently keep the MIM Variocage on your car trunk or in front. But it would have been better if its build quality made fixing the crate to the vehicle easier.

Yet, it’s one of the best dog crates dog owners can count on.

Pros

The unique shape and adjustable length design for a customized fit in your car.
Made from carbon fiber, ensuring safety during car travel.
Undergone several crash tests.
The Crumple zone feature helps absorb shock for added protection.
Carbon fiber wire construction allows for proper ventilation and lighting.
Secure the door with a single-flick latch and key lock system to prevent escape.
Available in multiple sizes to accommodate different dog breeds and sizes.
The standard color option provides a sleek and uniform look.
Emergency escape hatch enhances safety and provides an additional exit point.
They can be placed in various positions inside the car for convenience.

Cons

Need for additional cover when required for ideal lighting or privacy.
The smallest cage is relatively taller, making it hard to fit inside cars.

7. Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier

Diggs is a brand that focuses on elevating the well-being of your furry friends. Their passenger travel carrier is another alternative.

Unlike the last few crates, this comes in one dark color and three lighter colors. However, this carrier is only available in one size.

The unique style factor of the Diggs passenger travel carrier is sky-high. You could use this for travel and take it to a five-star hotel, by plane, train, or even by foot all the same.

That should hint to you about the dog sizes the carrier can handle.

Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier

It’s small to medium dogs AND cats up to 18 lbs.

To be more specific about the dimensions, it has external dimensions of 20 “L x 10.8 “W x 11.5 “H and internal dimensions of 18 “L x 10” W x 10.75 “H while weighing 4.5 lbs. 

In other words, these are fabric-based soft-sided crates.

But you’d be surprised to hear that the Diggs passenger travel carrier for dogs is one of the crash-tested dog crates. In fact, this particular dog carrier has a five-star rating, which is the highest attainable. 

After all, you get custom seat belt clips and a buckle strap to keep your pet safe.

Any pet parent will use the cross-body strap just as much as the D-ring clip for your keys and the collar tether clip to secure your pet when the carrier is open.

Remember that this is a crate with multiple openings. While it is advantageous in car travel, you must ensure the secondary exits are 100% secure.

With enough ventilation and privacy, and a bed and pee included, the Diggs passenger travel carrier is one of the best dog crates.

Pros

Offers versatile color options with one dark color and three lighter colors.
Features a stylish design suitable for various travel settings.
Can accommodate small to medium-sized dogs and cats up to 18 lbs.
Comes in compact dimensions of 20 “L x 10.8 “W x 11.5 “H (external) and 18 “L x 10” W x 10.75 “H (internal).
Multiple entry points make it easier to enter and exit in confined spaces.
Crash-tested and received a five-star safety rating.
Includes custom seat belt clips and a buckle strap for secure pet fastening.
Provides convenient accessories like a cross-body strap, D-ring clip, and collar tether.

Cons

Limited size availability with only one size option.
Easily collapsible as the bag has no fixed shape.

8. K&H Carrier for Pets

Next, I will talk about another fabric-based soft-sided dog crate; the K&H carrier for pets.

This tent-like dog crate comes in three sizes, whose smallest has dimensions of 17″ x 16″ x 15″, and the largest is 29.5″ x 22″ x 22.5. In fact, K&H recommends the crate for dogs weighing up to 40 pounds.

But remember that it comes in only one color.

Nonetheless, your dog will get the utmost sense of security as it comes with double mesh sides, making it easier to see. 

KH Carrier for Pets

That indirectly means that it is always better to keep this dog crate inside the car. But don’t worry! K&H carrier has straps looped around the headrest and straps for any car seat. 

Just as much as the comfortable space factor, your dog will love the comfort pad on the bottom. Cleaning it is easier as you can easily remove it.

Having multiple entries by design is another admirable feature. Once again, ensure all other entries are perfectly enclosed before you start driving.

This soft crate has strong enough fixed curved wires to maintain its shape. When you don’t want it, you can fold it flat. Nonetheless, note that this carrier can hold only well-tamed dogs.

You can’t secure just about any dog like the Gunner G1 as the K&H carrier is made of fabric not as strong as a double-walled rotomolded design.

The verdict? It’s a dependable carrier, but you should understand the conditions it works the best in.

Pros

Available in three sizes, suitable for dogs weighing up to 40 pounds.
Features double mesh sides for improved visibility and security.
Easy to attach to car seats with straps looped around the headrest.
Comfortable space with a removable comfort pad on the bottom.
Multiple entry points for convenience and accessibility.
Foldable design for compact storage when not in use.
Strongly curved wires maintain the carrier’s shape.
Offers a sense of security and containment for well-tamed dogs.

Cons

The dog crate can potentially collapse accidentally.
This fabric carrier is not suitable for strong and untamed dogs.

9. ASPEN PET Dog Kennel

The last resort of this list is the Petmate Aspen dog kennel. Let’s see why it made it to this list.

Coming in four sizes, this solid dog crate fits dogs between 25-90 lbs, which is an impressive weight range. The best thing is that even cats could fit in this crate.

Since it’s not fabric made, there’s no risk of collapsibility. On top of that, the mesh door’s wire design doesn’t have a lot of space between openings. 

This makes it impossible for dogs to chew and damage the door.

ASPEN PET Kennel

The dog crate is made by connecting the top and bottom parts with nuts. The top part has ventilation all over, so your dog will be more than comfortable inside. The Aspen dog kennel’s interior shape satisfies natural denning instincts too. 

But it would have been amazing if the crate had carry handles, as it doesn’t fold flat.

Pet parents should know that this crate doesn’t come assembled. But don’t worry; it doesn’t take that much effort or expertise to get it up.

I also think it would have been better if this dog crate had some sort of warranty. 

In conclusion, this durable plastic crate, with an easy-open latch, is my best last recommendation for a car-travel-friendly crate.

Pros

This dog crate comes in four sizes suitable for dogs between 25-90lbs and even cats.
Solid, durable plastic construction eliminates the risk of collapsibility.
Mesh door design prevents dogs from chewing and damaging the door.
Ventilation throughout the top provides ample airflow for the dog’s comfort.
Easy assembly with minimal effort or expertise required.
Interior shape satisfies natural denning instincts.
Features an easy-open latch for convenient access.
Provides a sturdy and secure containment option.

Cons

It lacks carry handles, making it less convenient for transportation.
No warranty is included with the dog crate.

With that, my top 9 list of best dog crates comes to an end. Next, let’s look at all the must-know information regarding dog crates.


Features to Look for in Dog Crates for Car Travel

A dog crate inside back of the car

While there are so many features to look for in a car travel dog crate, the following points cover all of them. Let’s look at it one by one.

Dimensional Compatibility

Prioritize a dog crate that provides enough space for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. 

This is why you should know the space inside the car and the dog’s measurements. Opt for a bigger dog crate since the dog’s potential growth from puppyhood is faster than you think.

Build Quality and Material 

You shouldn’t underestimate the rigors of car travel. Some dog crates, like Gunner G1, are made to sustain all damages in car travel. 

If not for the best, even the wire or plastic alternatives should still be strong enough and built with lasting materials.

Ease of Cleaning

Car travel can get messy, so it’s best to get a bottom-covered/fully-covered dog crate or a crate with removable trays or pans. 

Remember that dog crates with stain-resistant or odor-resistant materials can keep unpleasant smells at bay.

Ventilation

Adequate ventilation is crucial to keep your dog comfortable during vehicle rides. Look for dog crates with proper ventilation options, such as mesh panels or ventilation holes. 

Don’t compromise overall quality simply due to higher ventilation by wire dog crates.

Secure Latching/Locking Mechanism

Choose dog crates with secure locks, preferably with more than one, to prevent accidental openings while the vehicle is in motion.

Additional Safety Features

Crash-tested designs with built-in restraints or even non-slip rubber grip feet can skyrocket the overall travel experience.

Next, let me tell you why you should use dog crates when traveling by car (with a dog, of course).

Why Use Dog Crates While Traveling By Car?

Having a crate while traveling with your dog in the car brings you many benefits, and I’ll get to that in the next subtopic.

But why should pet owners use a crate, specifically?

It’s mainly to dedicate a space to your dog during the trip. The specialty is that your dog’s movement will be limited to this area. 

And there are so many benefits of having this dedicated space/crate for your dog while traveling by car. Let’s talk about them next.

A dog inside a crate in the car

Benefits of Investing in Dog Crates for Car Travel

Here are the ten most valuable benefits of investing in a travel friendly dog crate:

  1. Enhanced safety for your dog during car rides.
  2. Reduction of potential distractions for the driver.
  3. Prevention of injuries during sudden stops or accidents.
  4. Alleviation of anxiety and motion sickness in dogs.
  5. Protection of your car’s interior from potential damage.
  6. Compliance with legal requirements for pet transportation.
  7. Creation of familiar and secure space for your dog.
  8. Promotion of a calm and controlled travel environment.
  9. Facilitation of easier management of your dog’s behavior.
  10. Versatility for indoor confinement or training processes.

There are so many more, but I could summarize all of it as it’s worth it.

Now, where do you have the crate? Let’s talk about that next.

Where to Put Travel Dog Crates in the Vehicle?

A dog inside a crate inside back of the car

Picking the place depends on a few factors. Here are a few options to consider,

Cargo Area

This is a great place for SUVs, hatchbacks, or even station wagons, but you must secure the crate to prevent it from sliding or tipping during the journey.

Backseat

In the case of the absence of a cargo area, you can keep the dog cage on the backseat as long as it is securely fastened using seat belts or specialized attachments designed for dog crates.

Rear Bench Seat

Some vehicles have a rear bench seat, and it’s a great alternative place too. Just make sure that there’s enough visibility at all times.

Middle Seat 

Placing the dog cage on the middle seat gives the best visibility and closer proximity to passengers, allowing easier monitoring and interaction with the dog. This could also be the child car seat, especially for small dogs.

Front Passenger Seat

If you’re traveling only with your dog, keeping them in the front seat will make them feel more comfortable. With better visibility, you don’t have to keep looking back, either.

But I suggest NOT placing the dog crate in the passenger footwell, protruding into the aisle, or blocking airbags. It’ll be a peaceful ride if you follow these instructions.

4 Most Important Tips for Traveling With a Dog in a Crate

I know there are long guidelines for travel with a dog crate, but let me make it easier for you.

As long as you follow these four tips, it’s ALL you need for a peaceful ride:

  • Properly acclimate and train your dog to the crate BEFORE traveling to ensure they feel comfortable and secure.
  • Pack essential supplies such as water, food, treats, and bedding to keep your dog comfortable and meet their needs throughout the trip.
  • Prioritizing regular exercise and bathroom breaks to allow your dog to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and feel restlessness during the journey.
  • Maintain a comfortable temperature, and ensure proper ventilation in the vehicle to keep your dog safe and prevent them from becoming too hot or cold.

That’s it — follow these, and everything should be fine.

Center of Pet Safety Crash Testing Procedure

Center for Pet Safety (CPS) is an independent organization that conducts crash tests for pet products. In this context, car travel crates. 

What’s special or standardized about them?

They use the test condition ECE R-17 which is a European test standard developed to assess the strength of seats, their anchorages, and head restraint.

So, CPS certifies products that meet rigorous standards and publishes the results on its website.

That’s the level of transparency CPS maintains.

car fitting dog crate kept on the floor

Measuring Your Dog Properly When Buying a Travel Crate

All you need to worry about are four parameters such as length, height, width, and weight. 

For starters, measure from the dog’s nose tip to the tail’s base, and add a few inches, and that’s the length.

When you measure from the top of your dog’s head/highest point of their ears to the ground and add a few inches, that’s the crate height.

Measure the widest part of your dog’s body, typically around their chest or shoulders, and again, add a few inches, and that’s the crate width.

Although the standard measurements are done, check your dog’s weight for a better choice of sizes.

If you are still confused about measuring the size of your dog for a crate, checkout this article for better understanding.

Types of Dog Crates for Car Travel

Types of Dog Crates for Car Travel

While there are several dog car crate types, let me list down some of the most common types.

  • Rotomolded crates 
  • Soft-sided/ fabric crates
  • Plastic crates
  • Metallic (fully) or wire crates
  • Vari-kennels
  • Custom or build-in crates (to your car)

Out of these, you should prioritize the rotomolded and the metallic crates as they last the longest and are the safest.

Over to You

Having a travel-friendly crate for a family with a dog is an investment. Some of the best crates are designed to fit not only as a car crate. They can also be your everyday, outdoor, and even airplane-approved crate.

The Gunner G1 is such a legendary car crate. As I told you, it’s the best dog car crate by design. Buy that, and you’ll never have to worry about any travel issues with your dog.

I hope this review was helpful to you. See you in another!

FAQs

No; not all dog crates for cars are crash tested and if one is, the manufacturer will typically advertise it to increase its value.

No, it is not safe to put a dog crate in the trunk with the dog in it. The trunk does not provide ventilation or a sense of security for the dog.

The Gunner G1 is considered the best car dog crate for travel, with its certified safety and durability.

OUR #1 RECOMMENDATION
GUNNER G1
Gunner Product Image
Durability
Comfort
Build Quality
Ventilation
Price

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

Overall Score

5.0

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Pros
5-star crash tested and proven to save real dogs in any event of a real car accident.
Reduces energy expenditure by 20% for dogs to stay warm inside.
Strong frame system with a robust locking paddle latch and additional latches for added security.
Integrated tie-down pins and carry handles for convenient transportation.
Lifetime warranty.
Get the BEST PRICE valid until the end of February
Cons
Takes some time to tie it to the car bed.

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Author
Shir Weiss
Shir Weiss is a pet product reviewer for IPetGuides, and has been writing since 2019. She is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, and she has a special interest in animal behavior and nutrition.

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