Safety when traveling with pets is paramount. This article explores some of the large dog crates for car travel to help keep your dog safe and comfortable on the road. If the crate is too small, it can be uncomfortable and if it’s too large, it can be unsafe. When purchasing a dog crate, it’s important to consider dog size, crate size, construction materials, durability and safety features.
If you buy a crate for a large dog, consider buying a dog crate for the back of an SUV. For large dogs, it requires large crates and typically a larger vehicle. An SUV or van makes a great candidate if traveling more than an hour or two. Dog crates for smaller cars may not always be best for medium or large dogs.
Please shop carefully. Ideally, pet owners have researched travel crates before buying a large dog because options become more limited for larger sized dogs. For people that plan to travel a lot with their dog, a smaller breed makes it much easier. A good, high-quality, safe travel crate for a large dog could cost $350 or more. If you travel a lot with your dog, it’s well worth the investment.
Understand how you will secure the large travel cage into the vehicle.
- Does it buckle in?
- Anchor in?
- Strap in?
- Is it safe in the event of a quick stop or collision?
- Or will the unsecured travel crate become a hazard if it flies through the vehicle?
Answers to these questions are key when deciding on which travel cage to purchase for your pet.
Best Large Dog Crates for Car Travel Made From Plastic
Why Should I Buy a Plastic Dog Crate for Traveling with My Dog? Besides being a great way to shelter a dog from cold weather, plastic crates remain lightweight and are easily to lock and prevent escape.
Here are several other reasons a plastic dog crate is a good idea:
- Safety: An appropriately sized plastic dog crate provides a secure and enclosed space for your dog while traveling. It helps prevent your dog from escaping or getting injured in case of sudden stops or accidents. If it’s too big for your dog though, the dog might move around too much during an emergency stop or have difficulty maintaining footing on curving and winding roads. Before making a purchase, consider a dog crate for car backseat use. There’s a reason why children are required to ride the rear of a vehicle when they are young – it’s the safest place to be in an unfortunate accident.
- Comfort: A plastic dog crate offers your dog a comfortable and familiar space to relax during travel. Dogs often feel more secure and at ease in their own space, and a plastic crate provides a cozy den-like environment.
- Durability: Plastic dog crates are designed to withstand the rigors of travel and are generally more durable than other types of crates. They can withstand bumps, scrapes, and other types of wear and tear that can occur during travel. While metal might dent or bend, a hard plastic material usually will endure a wear and tear quite well. Plastic also allows for varying shapes compared to crates made of wire, which are typically square or rectangular.
- Easy to Clean: Plastic dog crates are easy to clean and disinfect. They can be hosed down or wiped clean with a disinfectant, which is especially important if your dog has any accidents while traveling. Plastic dog crates are enclosed on the bottom, which prevents spillage of food items, water, or other materials from leaking from the cage onto seats and upholstery.
- Airflow: Plastic dog crates typically have plenty of ventilation holes to ensure that your dog has a constant supply of fresh air. This helps prevent your dog from becoming overheated or uncomfortable during travel.
Overall, a plastic dog crate is a safe, comfortable, and durable option for traveling with your dog. It provides your dog with a secure and familiar space to relax and ensures that they are protected and comfortable during travel.
A plastic dog crate is one of the best options for traveling with your large dog. Most well-designed plastic crates for large dogs have an anchor and buckling system providing an easy-to-use method for securing the dog cage into a vehicle.
Disadvantage: Take care when buying a plastic dog crate. Pay special attention to ventilation, because some designs are more enclosed than others. In hot weather your dog can overheat in a plastic cage that is not well ventilated unless temperatures are well controlled. In a well air-conditioned vehicle, it shouldn’t be a big problem for short distances, but if traveling longer distances or across the country carefully consider what you would do if the air conditioning were not working properly.
Why Should I Buy a Wire Dog Crate?
There are several reasons why a wire dog crate can be a great investment for traveling with your dog:
- Safety and Security: A wire dog crate provides a safe and secure space for your dog while traveling. It can protect them from sudden movements or stops in the car, and it can also prevent them from running around or escaping from the car during pit stops or accidents.
- Comfort: Wire dog crates provide good ventilation and visibility, which can help your dog feel more comfortable and relaxed while traveling. It can also be a cozy and familiar space for them, especially if they are used to spending time in a crate at home. Wire crates provide the best ventilation during warm weather, but do not do a good job of keeping your dog warm when it’s cold outside. Draping a blanket over the wire cage when transporting the cage from home to vehicle is not a bad idea to help protect from cold weather. And, then once inside the warmer vehicle the blanket is easily removed.
- Convenience: A wire dog crate is portable and easy to set up and take down, making it convenient for travel. It can also be used as a temporary home for your dog while visiting friends or family or staying in a hotel. Wire crates are also easy to clean with a hose and brush. A quick wipe down with warm water and pet-safe soap make cleaning them simple and easy.
- Compliance with Rules and Regulations: Many airlines and other forms of transportation require that pets be transported in a crate, and a wire dog crate is often the recommended type of crate for air travel. It’s best to check with the airlines for individual requirements and restrictions.
Overall, a wire dog crate can provide a safe and comfortable space for your dog while traveling, and it can help make your journey smooth and more convenient.
Disadvantage: Wire crates provide the best ventilation during warm weather, but do not do a good job of keeping your dog warm when it’s cold outside. Draping a blanket over the wire cage when transporting the cage from home to vehicle is not a bad idea to help protect from cold weather. And, then once inside the warmer vehicle the blanket is easily removed.
Best Soft Dog Crates for Car Travel
Soft sided dog crates offer several advantages when traveling. They provide a lot of flexibility for securing your dog, but when your dog is not in the carrier, they remain easy to carry and storing them is a breeze because they are collapsible. The soft-sided dog crates work best for smaller dogs. If you purchase a soft sided crate, please understand how it anchors to the seat via a belt or strap to protect your dog and any passengers from harm in an accident.
- Portability: Soft-sided dog crates are generally lightweight and easy to fold up, making them easy to transport. This is particularly useful if you’re traveling with your dog on a plane, as you may need to carry the crate through the airport.
- Comfort: Soft-sided dog crates are often made with materials that are comfortable for your dog to rest on, such as padded floors and breathable mesh walls. This can be especially important during long journeys where your dog may need to rest.
- Flexibility: Soft-sided dog crates are often more flexible than their hard-sided counterparts, which can be helpful if you need to fit the crate into a smaller space or if you’re traveling in a car and need to adjust the shape of the crate to fit the space available.
- Security: While soft-sided dog crates may not be as sturdy as hard-sided crates, they can still provide a secure environment for your dog during travel. Many soft-sided crates have locking zippers and reinforced corners to prevent escape.
- Compatibility: Soft-sided dog crates are often accepted as carry-on items on airplanes and can fit under seats, which can be a more convenient option than checking your dog as cargo. However, it’s important to check with your airline to ensure that your soft-sided crate meets their specific requirements.
Overall, a soft-sided dog crate can be a good choice for traveling with your dog, as long as it’s the right size and meets your specific travel needs.
Disadvantage: Keep in mind that a soft-sided crate is more difficult to clean. If they are made of cloth or canvas and they become heavily soiled, it might be difficult to clean-up well. Cloth and canvas sometimes stain when heavily soiled, although dark colors help keep them looking their best for a longer period before they need to be discarded.
Best Dog Crates for Car Travel That Are Folding
While a soft-sided crate will not work well for larger dogs, a folding crate provides the portability and easy storage while properly fitting the needs of dogs bigger in size.
Why should I buy a folding crate for traveling with my dog?
There are several reasons why a folding crate can be a great investment for traveling with your dog:
- Safety and Security: A folding crate can provide a safe and secure space for your dog while you are traveling. It can help prevent your dog from getting loose or running off, especially in unfamiliar places.
- Comfort: Many dogs feel more comfortable and secure in a crate, which can help reduce anxiety and stress during travel. A crate can also provide a cozy, familiar space for your dog to relax and rest in while you are on the go.
- Convenience: A folding crate is easy to set up and take down, making it a convenient option for travel. It can be stored in a compact space when not in use, and can be easily transported in a car, plane, or other mode of transportation.
- Versatility: A folding crate can be used for a variety of purposes, including travel, crate training, and as a secure space for your dog at home. It can be a great investment that can be used for many years to come.
Overall, a folding crate can be a great investment for traveling with your dog, providing safety, comfort, convenience, and versatility.
Disadvantage: Folding crates for large dogs are typically made of wire, or a combination of wire and plastic. In cold weather, the wire cage needs to be supplemented to keep your dog warm if proper heating becomes unavailable when traveling. A blanket will usually do the trick, but it’s best to be prepared with a game plan before leaving on your trip.
No matter which travel cage you choose always remember to consider things from your pet’s point-on-view. Consider whether they are safe in the cage, too hot or too cold, and secure enough that can’t escape easily if frightened.
The best dog crate for car travel is one that you will use to protect your precious cargo. Crash tested car crates for dogs and are the best for your dog and safer for passengers.
Take a camera along on your trip to get lots of pictures of all the fun you and your pets are having.
Have fun traveling with your dog!