Pet safety is every dog owner’s priority. However, a lot of us still do not know how to secure a dog crate in the car for traveling. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it is much the same way as learning how to secure a booster seat for your toddler. That is if your toddler happens to be a furry barking machine that walks on all fours.
Types of Crates You Can Use?
We all want our little bundles of joy to be safe on a car ride. But, of course, I’m referring to our dogs. Dog crates are an excellent way to transport your pet, whether it be on a long road trip or just to the next town. Our pets deserve to be kept safe in the car.
While most pet parents opt to use a car cover and let their pups ride in the back seats, sometimes it’s beneficial to use their own dog crate. There are even travel dog crates specifically designed for car rides.
Why Use a Crate?
Dog crates are an excellent way to make sure your dog sits still during the ride. For some dogs, a crate can give them a sense of security. This is especially true if they’re going to be cramped in a moving vehicle for long periods. If you have a dog that is usually wound up, then helping them become accustomed to traveling in a crate is a great way to help keep them secured. This is helpful when you need to pay attention to the road. Nobody wants their dog constantly trying to get on your lap when driving. Help keep you and your dog safe by keeping them secured in a crate.
Despite what some people may think, using a crate for your dog is not cruel. As long as you know how to crate train a dog properly, he will have no problem staying there when you need to transport him.
What You Should Know About Your Dog Crate
Dog crates come in all shapes and sizes. What works for you and your dog may not work for others. When you get to know how crates work, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about what to get.
Is it Big Enough?
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it is important to know what size your crate is so that you can adjust it properly when securing it in your car. Small dog crates or carriers are the easiest to secure, while large dog crates for big breeds will take some time to adjust properly to fit in your car.
Did you know that there are certain crates specifically designed for cars? These crates are put through rigorous tests to prove their durability in the case of a crash. So instead of using your dog’s usual crate, you can think about investing in a certified crash-tested brand with doggy seat belt, harness, or other safety straps to keep your dog even more safe out on the road.
List of Approved Crash Tested Crates
If you want to look into buying a crate that’s specifically tested for car crashes, look no further. Here are a few of the best crates you can get to ensure your dog is kept safe on the road during an accident.
Variocage dog crate
Want a heavy-duty crate that guarantees your dog’s safety? Look no further than Variocage. You’d think you were transporting a dinosaur with how industrial this cage is built. It’s as strong as it looks. Just make sure you can spare that extra change because this crate is one of the most expensive on the market.
The Orions Kennel is a crate made with as much scientific thought as possible. There are countless videos detailing how this crate can help save your dog in a car crash. While still expensive, it is nowhere near the cost of the Varoicage.
Petmate Sky Kennel
Despite the Petmate being the cheapest option on the list, it does have some good perks. The crate resembles a traditional car crate. It’s made of durable material and even comes with a clasp to put a food and water bowl. This crate is more versatile in many ways than the other crates on this list aren’t. This makes it a great choice for those who really don’t need anything special.
Of course, any crate that can fit in your car can work. Browse through our full list of the best dog crates to see our extensive review.
How to Strap Your Crate In?
Now comes the fun part-strapping in your dog crate. It wouldn’t be safe for your dog to assume you just need a few straps tied around some seats, and you’re done. Here are some proper bits of information to know about before you decide how you want to strap your dog crate in.
Location, location, location. It does matter, even when you’re trying to strap in a crate. The right position isn’t really talking about how to fit your dog crate in the back seat. Sometimes, depending on your vehicle, the back seat may not even be the best place to secure your crate at all.
It’s best not to put your crate on the front seat for obvious reasons. In the case of an accident, the airbag may end up hurting your dog more when they are in the crate.
Be aware of any crumple zones. Crumple zones are areas in the car that help soften the blow from a car crash. The crush zones also, as you figured, crumple in on themselves when pressure is applied. Know where the crush zone is on your vehicle. For most cars, the crumple zones exist on the very front and end of the vehicle. This means that in an SUV, you won’t be able to put your crate in the very back. Some other vehicles may have their crumple zones in different places, so it’s best to do a little research before you decide where to put your dog crate.
If your crate is small enough, you may be able to put your pup on the footwell on the front seat. This area is free of airbags in case of a collision, and it’s far enough away from the front crumple zone to avoid any further injuries.
The right position also refers to where on the seat your cage is set up. In order to properly secure your pet crate, you need to understand how you are going to strap it down. This can be tricky as many factors can play a part in where to strap the cage down. For smaller crates, seat belt works just fine, making finding the correct position a breeze. With bigger crates, you may need to get more creative. Using a dog crate setup is a must for these situations.
The crate isn’t the only thing that needs to be dependable. For the most part, a seat belt works just fine to secure dog crate. However, depending on different factors like how big your crate is, it can be difficult to properly secure the crate.
If the seatbelts don’t work, you may have to buy your own dog straps to help out. You may need to check your seats to find any hookup spots. Note that this will also help in deciding how to position your dog crate. After you find the hookup points and adjusted your crate properly, you can strap your dog in with adjustable leashes. These leashes are usually adjustable, and they come with a hook to help better secure your dog crate than regular seat belts would.
If you really want to go cheap, you can use plain old bungee cords. The stretch factors in these cords mean your crate may bounce around in the case of a bad accident, but for the most part, they are dependable enough to keep your crate securely in place if you keep them tight enough.
It really doesn’t matter what kinds of straps you use. The only real requirement for a good strap is that they are dependable enough to keep your dog crate firmly in place. You don’t want to use anything of poor quality like worn-out cords or rope tied around the seat.
How to Properly Secure Your Crate
To secure your carrier using seatbelts, you need a smaller cage. Wrap the bottom part of the seatbelt along the bottom of your carrier. Then, slip the seatbelt through the top of the handle. Lastly, buckle up your seatbelt and make extra sure your crate is secure. This method usually works for most carriers. Larger crates for big breeds may need a little extra help with additional straps.
Most large cages will have hookup points to use other types of straps like bungee cords or your own store-bought ones. It will be easier to figure out how to secure your large cage if you know where in your car you are able to hook up the other end of your straps.
If you’re keeping your cage in the back of a pickup truck, there should be hookup spots on the side of the flatbed. You can use bungee cords or your choice of straps. Make sure you don’t just fasten the straps over the top of the crate, as this will not secure the crate well. Instead, find a spot where you can loop the straps through a hookup point. In a wire cage, this can be done through one of the wires. Doing this will help keep the cage still when there’s a head-on collision.
Always make sure you test your crate before using it.
Know The Dog Safety Laws In Your Area
For some states, there are laws in place to keep dogs safe on the road . More and more states are looking into applying these laws, so always make sure you know what your state requires of you when securing your dog in the car. For example, New Jersey can fine you up to $1,000 per animal if they are not strapped in properly. Fines vary from state to state.
Q. Is it safe to put a dog in a crate in a car?
A. Yes, as long as your dog is crate trained and is comfortable riding in a crate, they should be fine. Never keep your dog in the crate for hours on end.
Q. How do you secure a pet carrier in the car?
A. For small pet carriers, you can use the available seat belts. Make sure your carrier is positioned properly in your car for this to work. You may even be able to set your carrier on the footwell of your car. This area is safe from crumple zones and airbags.
Q. How do you put a crate in a car?
A. Firstly, make sure the crate you want to use does indeed fit. Some crates are so big that it may become a hassle to fit them into your vehicle. It’ll be a trial and error course to fit a large crate, but most smaller pet carriers can be placed directly on the back seats.
Q. How do you secure a dog cage?
A. If you have a large, heavy-duty cage, then you may need more than your vehicle’s seatbelts to help you secure your dog properly. Dog cages usually have points for you to hook up any bungee cords or straps to help give your cage some extra security.