Keep your pooch safe with a dog cage for car travel

Make sure your dog feels safe and secure on the road with our pick of dog car crates.

Dogs in cage car crate

by Stephanie Anthony |

As a nation of dog lovers, we all care greatly about our furry friends, and one very important time to consider their safety is in the car.

In fact, did you know it's a legal requirement to make sure your dog is restrained in the car? This is so they can't distract you while you're driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly.

There are lots of pet safety travel products you can use, such as seat belt harnesses and specially-designed leads that can be attached to headrests, dog guards, and even dog car seats.

But one of the most foolproof ways to protect your dog is by using a dog car crate or a dog cage for car travel.

Related: The best wet dog food UK

If you've crate trained your dog, it makes even more sense to use a crate in the car, as your dog will associate the crate with a safe place or their den.

It's also a great solution for dogs who suffer from car sickness or anxiety about travelling in the car.

The dog cage will make them feel more secure and mean you can travel in a range of different vehicles without him worrying about a new environment.

How to choose a dog car crate

Whatever dog cage you choose, bear the following factors in mind when choosing a dog cage for car travel:

1. Size

The crate should be big enough for your dog to sit, stand, and turn around in but small enough to keep them secure. The rule of thumb is to measure your pet’s sitting height and length and add 5 to 10cm.

2. Sturdiness

Whether you plan to travel with your dog, a sturdy crate should securely enclose them and protect them from potential accidents.

3. Ease of use

No matter the crate you choose, it should be easy to assemble, store, and use. Otherwise, you’ll be less likely to use it.

4. Situation

Where in the car do you want to put the crate - in the boot, on the back seat, in the footwell? Also, some crates work best for car travel, some for air travel, and some work well for both.

And finally...

5. Comfort

When you get your crate, make sure that your dog associates it with positive experiences and as a good place to be.

Remember to include a soft blanket or towel, and - particularly for longer journeys - to bring spares in case of any accidents. Using something that already has its scent on it will also make them feel more at home.

If you're introducing a crate to your dog for the first time, this could mean not driving anywhere at first but simply getting your dog used to being in the crate for very short periods, giving them plenty of praise and treats.

The best dog cages and crates for car travel

Dog crates for car boot

Ellie-Bo Deluxe Sloping Dog Cage

Best value (Editor's Choice)
Ellie-Bo Deluxe Sloping Dog Cage
Amazon

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This folding dog crate features a non-chew metal tray, a fleece liner and a slanted front to fit in your car boot. The size featured is medium, which is 54 x 76 x 54cm with extra-thick 4mm bars, but other sizes are also available.

Ferplast Atlas Car Dog Carrier 100

Best dog cage with carry handles
Ferplast Atlas Car Dog Carrier 100

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Pets At Home

Atlas Car is a robust, lightweight pet carrier, made of plastic with a plastic-coated steel door. It has been designed to be placed inside the boot of most cars - but please check specifications to ensure it will fit in your vehicle.

This cage has storage which enables you to store your dog's accessories whilst travelling and it also includes a hygienic draining mat in case of accidental spills.

Casaria Dog Car Crate Aluminium Transport Box

Best dog crate for large dogs
Casaria Dog Car Crate Aluminium Transport Box
Amazon

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This is a similar idea to the dog car cage above. However, as you can see, the aluminium frame is chunky, and the solid black sides are black-coated wood. It comes in a wide range of sizes - from medium to XXL, so there will be one to suit you and your dog, provided the cage will fit your car as well.

Easipet Dog Cage

Best dog crate for small dogs
Easipet dog cage
Amazon

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The angled shape of this cage makes it suitable to fit the boot of most cars. At 61x46.5x50cm, it's a good size for puppies and small dogs and will provide them with superb protection.

Soft crates for easy travel

AmazonBasics Folding Soft Dog Crate

Best folding dog crate
AmazonBasics Folding Soft Dog Crate
Amazon

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The soft-sided dog crate pops up in seconds (no tools needed), quickly creating a welcoming den-like space for your pet, while zippered closures ensure safe, reliable containment. The portable dog crate works well for crate training and makes it easy to temporarily contain your pet no matter where you go; plus, it offers a comfortable go-to spot when your pet needs to rest.

PawHut Pet Carrier Folding Bag

Best dog carrier for small dogs
 PawHut Pet Carrier Folding Bag
Amazon

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For small dogs, here is a double-use and reasonably priced carrier. You can zip it up and fasten it into place by passing the seat belt through the rear strap. Alternatively, open the top flap, fasten the carry strap behind the headrest, and it becomes a booster seat your small dog or puppy can sit up in.

Lightweight Fabric Pet Carrier Crate

Best overall fabric dog crate
Lightweight Fabric Pet Carrier Crate
Amazon

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A great price, great design and loads of options. This steel frame inside a fabric shell is a fantastically versatile choice because it comes in three sizes to suit your small or medium-sized dog and eight colours to suit you. On top of that, the base has a fluffy fleece lining on one side and cooling polyester on the other. Because of its squared shape, it'll fit quite happily onto most car seats and can be restrained with a seat belt. Mesh sides make it breathable. However, even the largest size is not going to be suitable for dogs larger than a Beagle.

How to secure a dog crate in your car

If you want to put your dog crate in your boot, remove the parcel shelf and measure the interior of your car boot. Compare these to the dimensions of the crate you select. Make sure the crate is as snug as possible, the less it can move the safer it will be.

Smaller crates for small dogs can go in the back seat footwell – again check the measurements to be sure that it will fit snugly.

If you want to put your dog on the back seat rather than on the floor, don’t use a seatbelt to secure the crate unless the manufacturer specifically says their crate is safe for this - some are not and you could be putting your dog at risk. A safer option is to use a pet hammock and place the crate inside. This way they won't be thrown forward into the front of the car if you brake suddenly.

Car travel advice from The Battersea Way

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