Whether you’re going on road trips with your dog to the local park or to a far destination, it’s important to keep your dog safe in the car. Although it is possible to find specially designed harnesses to seatbelt your dog in the car, they are not ideal. When you must hit the brakes with force in an emergency, the harness will be pulled back into the dog’s front chest and can cause injury.
These are actual dog crates that I keep in my car all of the time so that I’m always ready for a road trip. These crash-tested dog crates are by the brand name Variocage. Variocage dog crates come in many sizes to fit most car models (even for large dogs), and the Canadian distributor, Brave Point Kennels, provides incredible service. They help you to determine which model and size of crate will meet your needs. Norm LeCouvie, the owner of Brave Point Kennels, coached me on how to measure the cargo area of my Kia Soul in order to fit two crates: one for my mini poodle and one for another small dog that I need to transport for my dog walking and boarding service.
I love how you can adjust the length of these crates to truly provide a custom fit, both for your car and for your dog’s particular size. Plus, they are easy to remove if you need to use your vehicle for other purposes when your dog is not with you. With these two specific crates, my criteria included that I be able to remove one or both of them. This way, I wouldn’t have one large crate for two dogs (with a divider) that would be awkward to move and store. My set up is much more flexible and convenient. I am so glad to have purchased these crates over two years ago. It has given me much peace of mind to know my dogs are so comfortable and protected.
And even though we all know that there’s no perfect product to keep your dog 100% protected from injury if you were involved in a collision, I am convinced when you are on road trips with your dog, that these Variocage crash-tested crates from Brave Point Kennels will prevent the crate structure from caving inwards into your dog, thereby minimizing injuries. They will also prevent your dog from being propelled out of your vehicle. Having your dog comfortably restrained in your car is the best thing you can do to protect your dog and human occupants! The most common hazards of transporting an unrestrained dog in a car are:
- the dog can be a distraction to the driver and cause a collision to occur.
- the dog can be propelled into the other passengers in the case of emergency braking or a collision, causing potential injury to everyone involved.
- the dog can be propelled out of the car in the case of a collision.
- the dog can escape a car crash and can be harmed on the road and difficult to catch. A loose dog is also potentially dangerous to other drivers.
The other crash-tested crate brand that is great for road trips with your dog is TransK9. Initially, I looked into buying this brand, but the customer service representative told me in response to my email inquiry that their models would not fit or be safe enough in my small Kia Soul. This is what they told me in 2017:
Thanks for contacting us. Sorry but we don’t have a box for the Soul as the cargo space is quite small. Our boxes are specifically designed for use behind the second row seats for safety. We do have some customers who have put the seats down to accommodate a larger box but this requires the box to be strapped to the cargo floor and most vehicles, including the Soul, *do not have anchor points to safely secure the box.
TransK9 USA, Inc.”
*Note: Although the TransK9 letter observes no anchors in the Kia Soul, there actually are permanent anchors in my Kia Soul cargo space. So I have each crate securely strapped in.
If your vehicle cargo space permits, I do endorse TransK9 crates because I saw this product first hand installed in my fellow-dog walker’s hatchback of her Volvo and was able to verify her great experience with her crate.
Whether you choose Variocage or TransK9 crates, you will benefit from their design and strength. So keep your dog and yourself safe, and happy travels!
Yours in better dog care, Judy.
Get a few tips on winter clothes for your dog for winter outings.
More tips to come…on travelling with your dog.