Want to keep your dog safe in the car? Look at best dog crates for car

A dog car crate is necessary to travel comfortably and safely with your dog. After all, animals also need protection in case of an accident. Moreover, an unbuckled dog can hinder the driver and cause an accident. So the issue is very serious.

But it’s important to make the right choice. For this purpose, I’ve compiled for you a list of the best dog crates for the car.

What dog crate is best for the car?๐Ÿš—

You can choose the right crate depending on your needs and budget:

  • โœ…The safest, crash tested dog car crates must be. I’d recommend them mostly to those who travel a lot with a dog, and owners of large dogs (since it’s more dangerous to get into an accident with large dogs). But these crates cost $300-600 and more. Besides, they’re quite bulky and heavy.
  • โœ…If you are not ready to spend $500, you can buy an inexpensive soft dog crate for cars or safe carriers. Although they are not impact-resistant, they can still keep your dog in place without disturbing the driver. The main thing is that such a crate should have reliable fasteners.

I would not recommend buying cheap plastic or wire crates that have not passed crash tests. In case of an accident, they will not provide reliable protection and, on the contrary, may lead to more injuries.

Quick choice of best dog crate for the car

Impact-resistant crate designed for transportation in the luggage compartment of the car – North America MIM Safe VarioCage Single

Best soft crate for car for the small dogs, 5-star crash-tested – Sleepypod Air in-Cabin Pet Carrier

Best value – Ruff Land

๐Ÿ†Safest, crash-tested dog crates

I have included in this list only crates that are certified by an independent organization, the Center for Pet Safety (CPS). If a manufacturer can provide certificates from CPS, it guarantees the safety of its products.

Of course, such tests cost a lot of money.

Best choice – North America MIM Safe VarioCage

Price: Price not available

Is it suitable for your dog? The 4x4 North America Care is suitable for those looking for the most secure crate possible. It will work even for very large dogs. You should choose another model if you have a small dog. 

Where it can be placed in the car: in the trunk behind the back seat (it’s attached with straps to anchoring points)

Size: from Small to XXL+

This impact-resistant dog crate has passed the front, rear and rollover test. It’s what can really save your pet in the event of an accident. Sure, it’s expensive, but no more expensive than a dog’s life.

It’s worth spending money on such a crate if you traveling much with your dog. It’s doubly important if you have a large dog, as large dogs become dangerous projectiles in an accident.

I like that 4×4 North America offers crates in a variety of sizes. In addition, it has adjustable telescoping lengths. They also have double crates for two dogs. Here’s a review of one from a Faceboock user:

  • Emergency Escape Hatch for Added Safety;
  • Locking Doors with Gas Hydraulic Motion Springs;
  • adjustable lenght (can easily be tailored to the dog and the vehicle by the owner);
  • safe key lock system;
  • Many customers complain about the difficulty of assembly. The good news is that you only have to assemble it once.
  • High price ($1,000 to $1,500). But this is a normal price for such quality products.


Gunner Kennels

Gunner Kennels for the car, a dog sitting in the crate

Price: Price not available

Is it suitable for your dog? This indestructible crate is suitable for any dog, from small to large breeds. I would recommend it for restless dogs that are prone to disruptive behavior. These dogs may try to stick their heads through the bars and chew on them. Therefore, an enclosed Gunner crate is more suitable.

Where it can be placed in the car: The kennel can be tied down in the bed of a truck, the cargo area, or on the backseat. 

Size: from Small to Large

This is another example of a crate you can trust with your pet’s life. Gunner’s products have been tested to withstand over 4,000 lb. of force, a 12-gauge shotgun at 7 steps, a 200+ foot cliff drop, and a 630 lb. sled dropped from 8’4″. And they’re so confident in their product that they offer a lifetime warranty. 

Gunner kennel crash test:

These crates are less expensive than North American crates, but they are slightly inferior in functionality. For example, they do not have an emergency exit and are not retractable.

But I like their enclosed design, which provides more protection and a cozy atmosphere for the dog. Plus, the double walls keep your dog cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

  • the enclosed design and double walls provide security;
  • keeps your dog cool in summer;
  • lifetime warranty;
  • anti-slip feet;
  • additional latches on doors;
  • drainage system so your dog doesn’t sit in water;
  • different placement options;
  • relatively low price;
  • different colors available.
  • only one door.


Best impact resistant crate for small and medium dogs

Is it suitable for your dog? This is an option for you if you own a small or medium sized dog and need a sturdy but lightweight crate that can be used as a carrier. The medium sized crate is suitable for dogs up to 11 lbs, and the large one - for dogs up to 20 lbs.

Where it can be placed in the car: On the rear or front seat (the crate fastened with a seat belt to the built-in attachment points).

A small dog crate is also available for purchase in North America. It is also crash tested. The Careยฒ crate is made of splinter-resistant nylon plastic as well as an aluminum frame. It’s equipped with a reinforced armored door for extra protection.

  • compact and lightweight (can be used as a carrier);
  • are fully crush and crash tested for use on a front row;
  • 2nd row or 3rd row seat;
  • beautiful design;
  • Lifetime Manufacturers Guarantee!
  • high price.

Best for the small dogs

Price: $184.95

Is it suitable for your dog? This carrier is suitable for transporting the smallest dogs up to 15 lbs. It can also be taken into the airplane cabin.

Where it can be placed in the car: on the backseat or the front seat (can be secured with a seat belt).

Dimensions: 22.83″L x 11.42″W x 3.94″H

Sleelylod has been crash tested and is certified at CPS with five stars. That’s why it costs more than other dog carriers. But the safety is worth it.

The carrier is approved for airplane and car travel. It is made of durable, water-resistant ballistic nylon, so it is easy to clean. Sleepypod carrier folds up for easy storage.

  • approved for airplane travel;
  • large zipper pockets on two sides;
  • easy to carry;
  • many attractive colors available.
  • only for very small dogs.


Other safe crates for car

These crates do not have a crash-test certificate, but are still reliable and can be used in the car.


Ruff land caged dog in the luggage compartment of a truck

Is it suitable for you? If you're not willing to pay $1,000 for a super-strong crash-tested kennel, RUFFLAND crates may be right for you. Of course, they're not crash tested, but they still offer some protection. There's a crate to fit every dog and every car.

Where it can be placed in the car: small crates can be placed in the cabin and larger ones in the trunk.

Size: from Small to X-Large.

This is an inexpensive version of a sturdy dog crate that’s great for SUVs and crossover cars. American company RuffLand specializes in making professional equipment for dog owners.

The RUFF LAND dog crate is molded from a single piece of strong, thick plastic and the latches are metal. It can hold up to 350 pounds! But the product weighs only 21 pounds, so it’s comfortable to carry.

The photo of this crate comes from a Reddit user:

Ruffland Kennels and Telluride
by u/muttmunchies in KiaTelluride

I also like that you can customize the dog house by choosing things like the position and number of doors, and the position of the vents. They have several sizes for different dogs.

  • you can choose the number and location of doors;
  • the door can be adjusted to swing either way;
  • the price is 2-3 times lower than competitors crash-tested;
  • grid pattern stops dogs from chewing/biting kennel door;
  • an angled back end fits perfectly up against the canted second seat on most SUVs.
  • it is not as robust as more expensive kennels.


Is it suitable for your dog? This sturdy crate is suitable for even very anxious large breed dogs. Although it hasn't been crash tested, the sturdy construction should be able to withstand impacts and heavy loads.

Where it can be placed in the car: in the trunk.

This sturdy aluminum crate is designed specifically for heavy-duty use. It’s very open, yet has ยพ inch thick square bars for sturdy construction. ZINGER crate also features a reinforced door and the strong lock.

ZINGER suggests customizing the door position to your preference: front, side, or combo. It’s a great choice for transporting your dog in the car, including anxious dogs prone to escaping.

Here’s what Zinger says about their lack of crash-test certifications:

Want to keep your dog safe in the car? Look at best dog crates for car

You can choose the option with metal bars or with a more enclosed design.

  • 90 Day “No escape” warranty;
  • different door arrangement options;
  • durable “Silver Hammertone” powder coat both inside and out;
  • reinforced door.
  • is quite expensive;
  • have not been crash-tested.

IMPACT – best heavy duty dog crate for car

a dog in the Impact dog crate in the car

Is it suitable for your dog? This crate will work for you if you travel a lot. It's suitable for medium, large and giant dogs and even for those who get out of all kennels, because IMPACT high anxiety crates are designed specifically for anxious dogs.

Where it can be placed in the car: The crates are often used in the back seat or cargo area of cars and SUVs.

Size: from 30″ length to 48″ length

Another option for safe car crates is IMPACT crates. This company makes durable, high-quality dog crates. Although IMPACT crates have not been crash-tested, they have real testimonials from customers who have survived car accidents.

The stainless steel latches can withstand 500 pounds of force. That means the door won’t pop open in an accident and your dog won’t become a projectile.

To secure the crate in your car or SUV, you can attach a tie-down strap, ratchet strap, or bungees to the top handles of the crate or to the vents on the vehicle’s D-rings or designated cargo hooks.

IMPACT offers a collapsible crate and variety of crate sizes, including crates for two dogs. You can choose the position and the number of doors (one or two doors on the front or on the side)

  • lightweight and compact;
  • lifetime Guarantee;
  • 4 additional latches on doors for escape protection;
  • many air vent holes;
  • military grade handles.
  • high price;
  • not a very attractive design;
  • have not been crash-tested.

Sherpa Forma Frame Crash Tested Pet Carrier

Price: $59.85

Is it suitable for your dog? If you don't travel with your dog much, then this product is definitely for you.

Sizes: M, L, XL

This dog carrier is three times cheaper than the previous version. The manufacturer’s website states that the product has been crash tested. Sherpa did them directly, so they don’t have a certificate from CPS or other independent organizations. This is a minus point.

But I think that this carrier is good enough for its price.

Cheapest dog carrier for the car

Price: Price not available

Is it suitable for your dog? The Purrpy carrier is only suitable for puppies and small dogs up to 15 lb (for occasional use). The medium-sized carrier can also be used in the airplane cabin.

It’s a cheap option that will secure your dog during the trip and at least protect the car cabin from dirt. The carrier can be attached to the car seat by threading the seat belt through the loops. 

I liked that this bag has three exits and lots of pockets. It also comes with a soft fleece cushion.

Collapsible Dog Travel Crate

PetSafe Happy Ride Collapsible Cat & Dog Travel Crate

Is it suitable for your dog? For pets up to 60 lb.

Dimensions: 27 in L x 19 in W x 28 in H

The other soft dog carriers on this list are small. The PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Travel Crate, on the other hand, definitely won’t be cramped for your dog. It holds pets up to 60 pounds and only takes up one car seat.

Your dog may also need a ramp to climb into the car. See my list of the best dog ramps. ๐Ÿถ

Should my dog be crated in the car?

The answer to this question is “unequivocally yes!” Why is a dog crate for cars so necessary?

  1. If a dog is unbuckled, it will be severely injured in the event of an accident and can hurt the passengers in the car.
  2. Dogs that walk freely in the car often distract the driver from the road. This can even lead to accidents.
  3. You will keep your car clean from fur and wet accident marks on the seats.
  4. Some dogs get sick on the road, others get anxious. A crate will help calm down your pet.

This infographic from carrentals.com explains how dogs can interfere with drivers on the road.

how dogs cause distracted driving infographic

It is especially important to take care of a crate for large dogs, as their weight makes them more dangerous in an accident.

how dog can do serious damage in the event of a crash

Where should I place my dog in the car? It is best to fix the crate on the backseat. As children, it is not safe for dogs to be in the front seat because of their size concerning the airbag’s path.

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