Car Boot Size
A cage which just about fits into a Range Rover will not squeeze into a Ford Ka.
It is important to measure the width of your boot, taking into account any bits which stick out or aren’t entirely flat. You should also measure the space between the door and back seat, and take into account whether the shape and slant of your boot door will have an effect on the shape of the crate you can buy.
Crates can also be placed onto a back seat and fastened using seat belts or straps, but do remember that there is a good chance your seats aren’t entirely flat and this could cause a bit of wobbling.
It is all well and good getting a crate which fits perfectly in your car boot, but you need to ensure your dog can then comfortably fit into the said crate.
The height of the crate should at least go up to their neck, so they can lie down comfortably. While most other items need to be quite roomy, you shouldn’t give your dog too much vertical space as they could jump up, get thrown around or fall over when you’re driving due to sudden movements.
The width should match their length when they’re lying down. This will encourage them to do this, so they are safe.
If you’re buying for a puppy but don’t want to have to buy another model in a few months when they have grown, try a crate with a divider. This way, you can restrict space but increase it when the time is ready, without having to buy a whole new crate.
If your car is small, your dog is too large, or you don’t like the idea of them being in the boot, you may wish to opt for an alternative method of getting them round.
Car seatbelt clips or harnesses are the best way to transport your dog if you want them to sit in the front seat or on the back seat, without any restrictions or cages. You can also purchase boot guards which close off the open part between the boot and back seat, so they can’t jump over the seats but have the maximum amount of space possible in the boot.
Of course, this can mean that they aren’t as secure when it comes to things like emergency braking, or if they’re generally restless, so a cage would be good for any dogs who move around a lot.
Most crates are designed so you can open the door and the dog can jump straight out, or so you have enough space to see to them when they’re still in the cage.
Ensure that the open boot door will still allow the door of the crate to open fully so they can jump in and out.
The majority of dog crates are metal wire. Your dog can see out, they’re easy to keep clean and they are the most secure option so your dog’s movement is restricted.
There is the option of a soft material crate, too. These could be good for any dogs who get car sick so you need to restrict their movement and visibility, or if you will need to use a crate at the chosen destination and don’t want to carry a bulky metal cage around.
Soft crates can also be good for boots which are odd shapes, or if you want something which can be used on the car seats and adapt to shapes. Bear in mind they’re harder to look after and clean should the dog have any accidents, however.
Most cages will have a door which will open once your car boot is open. But many also have a second door, which is either at the top of the cage or rear.
If you were unable to open the boot for some reason, such as a car accident or parking restrictions, you will still be able to access your dog by folding down the back car seats or reaching over. This could be worth thinking about.