It’s hard enough as it is to train your dog to ride in a car. Some are anxious start to finish, some can’t keep their paws off the center console and some steal your snacks the second you get out to pump the gas. Not only are dog crates good for you, but they’re also good for your dog.

Why take the kennel route?

You may be wondering why the best dog crates for your car apply to you. The answer is simple:

Amidst all the 6,000,000 automobile accidents each year, thousands of pets are injured. These pet injuries are often the result of poor (or non-existent) restraint, like a harness attachment or—you guessed it—kennel. Restraining your pet is equivalent to making your passengers wear a seatbelt.

Also, restraining your mutts helps you avoid unnecessary distraction, which also minimizes your risk of getting into an accident.

One more thing: If you have a brand-new car that you want to keep clean or you’re leasing a car you don’t want to destroy, the best dog crates for your car will be your new BFF. (At least then you can corner the mud and wet-dog smell in the rear.)

Ruffland is at the top of the best dog crates for your car list, hands (or paws) down

Ruffland is the best dog crate manufacturer for a reason. They mold their crates, so there’s minimal risk of them collapsing during an accident (on the contrary, wire crates collapse by design). There’s an entryway on both sides, breathing holes throughout and a layered base so your dog remains comfortable if they wet the crate.

Because of their intelligent design, these kennels fit into tight spaces like SUV trunks, pickup truck beds and even rear seat areas of crossovers.

Ruffland offers numerous accessories to help you retrofit your vehicle with your new, cool crates. This includes tie down kits, connectors and cackle boxes.

Personally, my family has two intermediate sized Ruffland crates that fit in the trunk of our 2021 Subaru Outback. We tied the crates down and kept the rear seat up and they fit perfectly.

It’s worth noting that Ruffland performance kennels don’t come cheap. You can usually find them for $200–$300 each (if you ship them instead of picking them up in a retail store, expect a hefty fee because they ship in one piece). However, they’re long-lasting and may even hold up for future dog generations, depending on the size of your future pups. For me and my two pups, the cost was well worth it.

If you can’t afford that, try another one of the best dog crates for your car: Midwest

Image Source: Amazon

For a more economical option, Midwest makes affordable and high-quality dog crates that are worth checking out.

Specifically, the Midwest SUV crate runs less than $100 and is designed to fit in vehicle-like spaces. It’s a wire crate, so it doesn’t have the benefit of avoiding collapsing. But in terms of safety and security, it’s a lot better than nothing. 

A little known secret to help you find the best dog crates for your car

Of course, you need to measure your dog (both height and from butt to snout) to figure out which size crate fits them. However, you’ll also need to find a crate that fits your specific car.

There’s a Facebook group called “Dog Sport Vehicle Ideas & Set-ups” that’s an awesome resource for this purpose. After answering the questionnaire and being accepted into the group, you can see various configurations for practically every kind of crossover, SUV or truck there is.

When you’re making a huge purchase, like one of the best dog crates for your car, you don’t want your investment to be in vain. This is a great way to confirm the applicability of your purchase before spending the cash.

On the other side of the spectrum, you may be investing in a new ride with the precondition of housing a dog crate or two inside. This could affect your decision for which car to choose, so planning ahead is crucial.

Rachel Curry
"Hey! My name's Rachel Curry and I'm a full-time writer who loves telling the world's stories as much as hanging with my dogs (and that's saying a lot). A University of Delaware graduate, I've traveled extensively, living everywhere from Ireland to Thailand. Bylines include Matador Network and Delaware Today."

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    1. Why do all of these dog pictures look so sad? =( I don’t think they like these crates.

      1. I would much rather have my dog in one piece and safe! Riding loose is truly so risky. Plus, mine prefer the crates–they whine so much less and feel secure in them. Crates are an amazing tool if you take the time to train your dog into getting used to them. No dog will like anything you throw them into with no warning. It took me 2 months of daily practice to get my dogs to be excited to go in their crates.

    2. I don’t have room for a crate but I do have a doggie car seat and it work pretty well. My dog is very small anyway.

    3. The wire crate looks more convenient because you can fold them when not in use. It does seem like the polymer dog carrier would be safer in the event of a crash though.

    4. I am one of the lucky dog owners to have well-behaved dogs in the car, no crates needed.

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