When it comes to making sure that your dog can safely travel with you, nothing beats having a dog crate in your car.
It’s a space that most dogs will be familiar with, which means that a trip to the car will be less stressful or new to them.
However, traveling in a crate isn’t just a case of throwing the thing in the trunk of your car and calling it a day.
Do that, you’ll find that the slipping and sliding of the crate will only make your dog more stressed at best, and even injure them at worst.
So, if you’re using a dog crate in a car, you need to know how to keep it fastened down. This is where this guide comes into the picture!
Here, we’re going to show you how you can secure your dog crate in your car, as well as a few other methods that you can try out for yourself.
How To Secure a Dog Crate in a Car
So, before we start discussing how you can secure your dog crate at all, you’ll first need to make sure that you have a dog cage that is the appropriate size for your vehicle trunk.
Pick The Right-Sized Dog Crate
We’ve all been there on that one trip: the cage is too small, and is moving up and down, left and right, in every free direction it can go, rattling around constantly and disrupting everything going on in the front seats.
So, to make sure that this doesn’t happen nearly as much, make sure that you have measurements for the space in your vehicle where the crate will sit, and find a dog crate that fits those measurements the best.
Find The Right Location
You should also make sure that you place your dog crate in the right location.
While the trunk or boot of your crate is the ideal spot, a dog crate can sometimes be placed in the back seats, provided that there are the right securing methods.
DO NOT place your dog crate in the passenger front seat, that is just a recipe for disaster (more on that later)
In many cases, having a well-fitted dog crate can be enough to secure a dog crate in place, as the lack of room for extra movement will stop the crate from moving around and hurting your dog (see also ‘How Much Room Should A Dog Have In A Crate?‘).
However, just to be safe, and especially when the crate fit isn’t perfect, there are other steps that you should take to secure your dog’s crate.
Method 1: Securing Plastic Kennels
This is an effective strategy if you are using a plastic kennel, and is one that is best used in the back seats of your vehicle.
Most plastic kennels of this type will have at least one or two points that you can feed the backseat belt through. Simply pull the seatbelt across, clip the holders into place, and you have a nice and secure holding for your plastic dog crate (see also ‘What Kind of Crate Is Best For My Puppy?‘).
Method 2: Car Foot Well
This is perfect for dogs that are smaller and consequently have a smaller dog crate.
The foot well for the backseats can often be a great way of securing your dog crate, without needing to worry about fastening seatbelts or other devices.
Simply Bring the front seat as forward as possible, place the dog crate in until it is snugly in place, then move the seat back until the crate won’t budge.
It’s as simple as that!
Method 3: Cage In The Boot
This is a method that we would only recommend if you are using a dog cage instead of a crate, as a large amount of room in the trunk can leave a crate too much room to move around.
However, if you are using a crate, simply assemble it in the boot, attach one or two clips from the cage to a point in your car, and the cage should be fine.
Again, we only recommend this for dog cages.
Hazards To Safety When Not Securing Your Dog
Pet safety might seem like something that we’re all inclined to practice, and it is certainly the case most of the time when looking after your pet pooch.
However, when it comes to making sure that a dog is safely traveling in a vehicle, many people don’t seem to use many, if any, normal safety features.
This isn’t just making sure that your dog crate is fastened down, or even if your dog is in a dog crate, but also other fastening methods, such as pet-friendly seatbelts.
This has several knock-on effects that can make traveling like this incredibly unsafe, not just for your pet, but for yourself too!
Risks Of Keeping Your Dog Unfastened
Any crash that you have with your dog unfastened can result in your dog becoming a projectile, becoming deadly not just for the dog, but even injuring or killing the human in the vehicle.
This is a very dramatic outcome, but other dangers can manifest from not keeping your dog safely contained in your car.
For example, a dog that is not secured in a car can easily become agitated and nervous, making them unpredictable.
If there are no other people in the car, this forces the driver to need to keep a hand and some focus on the dog and away from the wheel, potentially leading to an accident.
Add to that the fact that an unfastened dog crate can cause noise and distraction in the back of your vehicle, and that’s just a recipe for disaster!
Are Dog Crates A Safe Method For Traveling With Your Dog In A Car?
This can often be a question that dog owners have, especially if they feel a dog seatbelt is better.
Generally speaking, dog crates that are softer and more flexible will be more comfortable for your dogs to travel in than harder crates, making them calmer and less likely to be hurt or stressed.
So, for the reasons we’ve given, you must practice one of the methods that we have discussed when keeping a dog in the car with you on journeys.