|Ruff Tough Kennel|
This is my current car set up. I just rearranged things a little bit a couple days ago, and am so far liking the new set up.
|My car is a two door hatchback, so Koira enters the car through my door|
|Her kennel is in the back seat and is secured as well as covered with a blanket|
|These beds are here for her if she is left in the parked car, such as during flyball practice. She does not ride in these while the car is moving- if the car is moving, she is in her crate with the door closed.|
There are more things I would like to do. I would first like to save up for and purchase a Ruff Tough Kennel. The appeal of the Ruff Tough Kennel above the other crash tested crates available is two fold for me. The first is that it can actually fit in my car. Since most crash tested kennels are rigid, they can be difficult to get through a small space. The medium size RTK can fit through the front door into the back seat of my car with a little effort, which isn't true of the other kennels. Well, a Variocage would fit (because it comes in pieces that you assemble yourself), but it wouldn't be able to be properly secured since it is supposed to be against the seat back of the back seats. My hatch doesn't have enough room for a Variocage large enough to fit Koira, and even if it did, I am leery of putting a dog, even in a highly rated kennel, in the crumple zones of a car.
The other plus for the RTK is that it is more affordable than pretty much all of the other options. It has downsides, yes, and isn't super affordable ($179 for the size I need), but it is the one that is the most likely to work for us. In the meantime, though, using A crate is better than using NO crate, even if it isn't THE PERFECT crate.
If a crate isn't an option for some reason (space, dog's behavior, etc), a crash tested harness is the next best thing. Sleepypod, Kurgo, and AllSafe are the harness names that most often come up for a crash tested harness. Kurgo is the most affordable of the harness options, followed by Allsafe, and then Sleepypod. Of course, Sleepypod is also the top rated harness.
The point of a harness is twofold- it keeps your dog from doing something while you are driving that distracts you, like jumping on your lap, but it also tethers your dog to the car, so they cannot run loose after a crash. They also act somewhat like a seat belt does for humans, by preventing the dog from becoming a projectile, which can be bad for both the dog and the humans in the accident if it happens.
This is a long post, so I'll wrap it up. Crate if you can. Buy the highest quality crate that will work for your dog, your car, and your budget. If you can't crate, use a car harness to help protect your dog and yourself in case of an accident.
I also highly recommend that you have a contact number on your dog's tags for someone other than yourself who you would trust to make medical decisions for your dog in case you are injured beyond the ability to do so yourself. I also personally wear a Road ID, with my name, date of birth, three emergency contact numbers, my personal allergies, and the note "dog is with me" so first responders will know that a loose dog on the scene is mine and hopefully make an effort to corral it, or at least let my emergency contacts know about the dog. I wear my Road ID 24/7, and rely on it being my way of contacting the people I care about to take care of me and my pets should something happen- you don't want to be Jane Doe or John Doe after an accident if your ID isn't on you or can't be found.
|Road ID has a lot of different options.|
Moral of the story- do what you can to keep your dog safe and secure in your vehicle in case of an accident.
None of these companies gave me anything to write this, and they are totally unaware that I am writing it. If you purchase a Road ID through the link above, I do get some credit towards product for referring a friend, but that is the only form of compensation I would get for anything in this post. Of course, if any of these manufacturers would like send me a product to review, I would love to talk to them.