Recently, while driving on a major freeway in downtown Denver, I came upon a significant 3 car crash. Heavy damage to two of the cars with all windows broken. The accident was very recent as traffic had not backed up and police were not on site. At the accident location, the highway is 4 lanes and travel is very fast. After passing the accident, about 1/8 of a mile further, a man and his wife were carrying a Alaskan Malamute in the center shoulder! This is a very big dog who had been running down the highway. They were headed back to the accident scene so I assumed the dog escaped from one of the cars. This prompted me to write an article on dogs, cars and crates.
When traveling, dogs should be contained safely in the vehicle. As in the example above, when vehicles get damaged, dogs can end up in traffic and get easily hit and killed! They can also get significant injuries, just as humans, from being thrown around in a vehicle. Dogs should not be in open vehicles, like convertibles and pickups, when traveling on open roads. Your canine friend can also distract and interfere with your ability to pay attention to traffic and operate your car safely! A crate can help you and your dog feel safe and secure when on the open road!
Good quality crates should be used in your vehicle for traveling. If possible secure the crate with load straps to the floor of your vehicle. In some vehicles, seat belts can be used. Keep the crate on the smaller size. Just big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around. This will help to minimize injures if bounced around in a crash. Vehicle crates should be solid metal or one piece heavy duty plastic. The doors should be very secure with good hinge and latching mechanisms. This will help to keep doors closed and the crates from coming apart in a crash. Wire crates are not recommended for travel.
There are a lot of crates out there for purchase. Some that are recommended and crash tested are Zinger, Gunner, and Ruff Tough kennels. These crates are high quality and meet vehicle requirements. These kennels are very secure for dogs who are experiencing high anxiety and trying to escape! Other very high quality and custom kennels are available. Do some research first to make sure they meet safety needs.
Take the time to look out for the safety of your best friend. Don’t sacrifice safety and security for comfort. Your dog is not replaceable! Happy travels.