dog in a travel cage

Dog Travel Cage | Travelling with Your Dog in a Car

When it comes to travelling safely with your Dog in the car, it is important to make sure you have a cage that will keep your Dog safe.  It is also worth checking Rule 57 of the Highway Code; this explains a little more about what is considered “suitably restrained” as far as restraining your Dog in a vehicle.

We look at why it’s a good idea to have a dog travel cage when travelling with your dog in your car.

Can my dog travel in the car boot? Dogs can travel in the car boot, with the recommended use of a dog travel cage/crate.  Many Dog cage manufacturers produce cages specifically for use in the car/vehicle boot.  In fact, many companies now also provide a bespoke service, a Dog cage made to your own vehicle’s dimensions, and they can be made to look as though they are “built in” to the vehicle.

What do I Need to Check Before Getting a Dog Travel Cage for a Car?

Here is a check list of things to consider prior to purchasing a Dog cage for a car/vehicle

  • If it’s a car you have, is it a hatchback type? This type of car has a sloping rear boot door that swings upwards when opening and you can access the rear seats as well as fold the seats forward for larger cargo space.

If the answer is “YES”, it’s a hatchback; you will need to consider the rear windscreen glass.  Hatchbacks have a sloping back, and that means a SQUARE cage is not likely to be a good selection for your car.  You would more than likely need to look at purchasing a Dog cage which has a slope to it.

Sloping dog travel cage
Sloping Dog Travel Cage

If the answer is “NO”, my car is not a hatchback; you would then be ok to look at the Dog cages which are square, without the slope for the car boot area.

Square/Oblong dog travel cage
Square/Oblong Dog Travel Cage
  • The next point you need to consider, is the breed/type/size of Dog that you have.  At this point, it would be a good idea to measure your Dog.  It’s worth bearing in mind that your Dog will at some point in a car journey, need to stand up and turn around, and be able to settle down again.

How do I measure my Dog for a Dog cage?

To measure your Dog for a Dog cage, you will need to take a measurement of the following:

Height to the top of your Dog’s head in a standing position

Width in a seated position – from haunch to haunch – this is normally the widest part of your pooch

Length of your Dog, to the tip of the tail, and some people add 2 inches to this measurement.  And last of all, it is worth taking a note of your Dog’s weight. (Just in case you are asked for it)

Do I have space in my boot for a Dog travel cage?

Right, so you have by now, got the measurements of your Dog.  Now you need to see if those measurements you took from your Dog are going to fit in your car boot!

This is the part where you will need a tape measure and your measurements to hand as you go to your car/vehicle.

IF those measurements show that you won’t fit a Dog cage in the boot of your car, did you consider folding down whole or part of the back seats?  Often, if we fold half the rear seats down, we are then able to fit a Dog cage into the boot.

Don’t forget to take into account the wheel arches in the boot area of your car when measuring for a Dog cage.

An important point to remember when you are measuring the boot area of your car for a Dog cage is to measure at different height points.

If you only measure the width of the boot area at the height of the seats for example, then the cage has a high chance of not fitting.

Many people forget to take into account the wheel arches.  These protrude into the boot area of the majority of cars on the road today, and can easily take several inches off the dimensions.  So please be sure to take the correct measurements.  Some cars only have a slight ingress of the arches into the boot space and this can easily be remedied by inserting a false floor/platform.  This can make the boot area more uniform and give better dimensions for your requirements for the Dog cage.

I have my measurements for my Dog cage & I’ve checked my car boot, now what do I need to do?

All that is left for you to do, now that you have all of the measurements and you have checked your car boot area, is to find a suitable Dog cage that fits in with your measurements and your car.

A Few Last Pointers

A really big question to ask yourself about having a Dog travel cage in the boot of your car/vehicle is:

Am I going to need to keep removing the Dog cage from the car boot or is the cage staying put in the car boot?

If the answer is YES, you are going to need to remove the Dog cage regularly from the car boot; you will probably need to purchase a cage which is not too heavy, yet is still sturdy enough to do the job needed. A folding dog travel cage is also worth considering for ease of storing it when not in use.

If the answer is that the cage will need to stay in the boot, then you can also look into the various built-in options that are available direct from some of the larger, bespoke Dog cage manufacturers. 

If you go down the bespoke Dog cage route, then do research what is on offer, as it can be a lot of money, and worth looking at as an investment.

If you don’t plan on taking your Dog in the car/vehicle very often, there is another option.

Dog Guards for Cars

I personally don’t feel these are quite as strong as a Dog cage, and may not fare as well in an accident (heaven forbid).

Dog Travel Cage | Travelling with Your Dog in a Car 1

A dog guard for your car will help stop your Dog climbing over the rear seats and distracting you while driving, so that is a bonus.  Dog guards for cars come in a variety of materials, from soft mesh ones to strong metal ones, your choice may well be dictated by your budget or whether it is to be a smit-permanent fixture in your car. However, you will need to make sure that your Dog doesn’t jump out of the car as soon as you open the car boot…

Harnesses and Seatbelts for Travel

If for whatever reason, you are unable to purchase a dog travel cage or dog guard for your vehicle, there is another alternative and that is to consider: A dog harness and seatbelt set for the safety of your furry being when travelling in your car.

These are harnesses that come with a safety belt so that you can secure your pooch either in the boot or on the rear seats of your car. They come in a good selection of sizes and in various colours.

SlowTon Dog Car Harness Seatbelt Set

Our favourite harness and seatbelt set is the SlowTon Dog Car Harness Seatbelt Set. The set is a comfortable, padded, breathable chest harness with the seat belt being adjustable to suit your vehicle.

You may also like to read our article on the Top 10 Dog Harnesses

Summary: Dog Travel Cage | Travelling with Your Dog in a Car

Dog travel cages are the best option for those journeys (whether long or short) that necessitate you travelling with your dog in a car. They should be secured within the car, whether that’s in the boot or on the back seat. Ensure that the dog cage is a suitable size for your pooch; a cage that is too large will give more room for your furry friend to be jettisoned all over the place in the event of an accident, thus increasing the risk of injury.

There is a lot of information to take on board, and to think about, however one thing is for sure … being able to take your Dog out on the road with you, opens up a whole new world and family experience.  And that is priceless!


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Bowwowtech.co.uk does not provide veterinary advice. Our aim is to provide the reader with information to enable them to make a good decision when making a purchase. All content is therefore for informational purposes only.

Dog Travel Cage | Travelling with Your Dog in a Car 2