View Full Version : How do transport your cav in the car?

20th October 2007, 10:58 AM
I'm just wondering what other members think is the best/safest way to transport your cav in the car? Sally has always had a seat belt harness and sat on the back seat on a blanket. Now winter is coming and she's getting wet and muddy I'm thinking it might be better to buy a crate just for the car? Those of you that use a crate in the car do you use a soft or metal one? Also what size? Sally is quite large 19.5lb. Also do you put it in the boot with the shelf off or on the back seat? Thanks

20th October 2007, 11:10 AM
You can read quite a few threads on this topic! :thmbsup: It comes up regularly and I think was discussed just a cuple of weeks ago as I remember Bruce posting to the thread.

A soft crate will not give any protection at all, so x that off the list. Many are split between whether a secure, quality, tested seat belt harness (most are not!) is better than a good quality crate that is seatbelted into place.

Most breeders who regularly transport dogs would only ever use hard plastic crates, is what I have gathered from a couple of years on various lists. The crate should be large enough for the dog to stand and turn around and lie down but not be vast (so the dog can't be thrown around inside the crate) . I think a strong plastic crate *designed for transport* -- eg airline approved -- is the only type of crate that should be used. A flimsy plastic crate can be easily crushed. Some use metal crates especially when rans[orting lots of dogs for shows -- but most metal crates would collapse if hit -- so I have never used a metal crate for car journeys. If you have a van and can safely wedge in crates, or a 4x4, and transport a lot of dogs, then I'd use a metal crate maybe, but I don't think they are safe at all for collisions. Even if one bounced to the ground if thrown from a car, many would just pop apart (the fold down type most buy are hardly secured safely for an impact!).

Some of the harnesses sold have long leads on them that clip into the seatbelt slot and most of these are simply useless -- people leave the leads so long that the dog would slam into the back of the seat in front and would at best be flung about. So avoid those or make sure the lead bit is properly adjusted to a very short length.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if there's an impact and emergency services arive, many will not go near a dog that is NOT in a crate because a dog in pain will be biting and extremely hard to handle. Also some rescue services particularly in the US have a policy to NOT touch dogs unless they are in crates.

Also anyone transporting a dog should be aware of what seats in the vehicle have airbags -- as that is where a dog should not go! A small dog (like small children/babies) runs a significant risk of being killed by the impact of an airbag opening.

So that's a whole range of things to consider! :thmbsup:

Debby with a Y
20th October 2007, 11:55 AM
Wow, definitely lots of things to consider!!

When I just had catties, I'd put them in airline plastic crates in the back cargo portion of my CR-V. That was just to keep them from running around in the car...I never thought of the accident possibility until I read a few threads on the Cav forums!

Now Barkley is in an airline kennel in the back seat so that the airbag doesn't get him, and I run the seatbelt through the kennel's handle. I realize he can get bounced around in there, but if emergency personnel need to get him out of the car, at least I know they would be willing to grab his crate.

20th October 2007, 12:30 PM
Thanks for the information Karlin. I hadn't thought about a plastic carrier didn't realise they made them big enough but now I've seen plenty online. Can anyone recommend a website that is good value? I have a small fiesta car so it would need to be big enough for Sally to move in but not too big that it would fit on the back seat.

20th October 2007, 01:03 PM
Hi! I just juse a plastic carrier, that can be locked an unlocked easily from all sides. We used it since Molly was quite small, and it also is left open in the kitchen, so she sometimes sleeps there. She loves the small carrier, everytime we carry it out, she jumps around with joy! The carrier is fastened on the back seat with the seat belt, so it is really safe.
We have sometimes left her "loose" with us on the front seat, but she is not comfortable there! She acts as if she is un-safe. The carrier is much better.

20th October 2007, 01:10 PM
I have found this one on ebay that seems to be good value. Do you think it would do the trick and be about the right size?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/28-Vari-Kennel-airline-dog-carrier-cage-crate-cages_W0QQitemZ230107847640QQihZ013QQcategoryZ2074 5QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem

It takes dogs between 20-30lbs and Sally is 19.5lbs. I think it will be much better than messing changing harnesses from car harness to walking one in car parks. I can just put her in with her walking harness on and she is ready. I think it will take some training though to get her used to it. Thanks for the advice.

20th October 2007, 01:48 PM
Yes, I think it is good enough. It resembles our box a lot.

Debby with a Y
20th October 2007, 01:55 PM
It is airline approved, and Vari-Kennel is a good name, they've been making crates for years.

20th October 2007, 02:32 PM
I recommend the 2-in-1 RAC car harness. It's a car harness that easily converts to a walking harness and comes with anadjustable collar and chest straps. There is a D-ring on the back so when you get to the park, you can attach the lead to it or just use it as a general harness like I often do.

There is a loop on the back of the harness which you simply thread the seatbelt through and click normally. It's really well made. For a cav, you would need a medium and costs £8-11 depending on where you buy it. It's easy to use and the dog's in and out of hte car in seconds!! A godsend!!


20th October 2007, 05:21 PM
Personnally I don't like the idea of the seatbelt harnesses, too much risk of neck/back injury in an accident if the dog is thrown forwards hard. My lot travel in a Vari-Kennel, that is a good price for one that size too, they ar made by a company called Doskacil and are very tough and rugged indeed!! :thmbsup:

20th October 2007, 06:55 PM
Thanks for the advice. I'll buy one and give it a go. If Sally won't go in it then I'll have to re sell it on ebay. I have a seat belt harness at the moment but I don't like to walk her in it as it's heavy and swapping them over when there are cars about is a nightmare! I'll let you know how I get on.

20th October 2007, 07:20 PM
A good advice: put some really good treats into it, and let her have it for a few days, where she gets use to its presence, before you use it as transportation. Try also to lock it with her in it, and feed her treats through the door, so she sees it as something nice.
Good luck!

Debby with a Y
20th October 2007, 07:42 PM
Let her sleep in it next to your bed! Barkley sleeps in his next to my bed.

Bruce H
21st October 2007, 02:30 AM
Karlin is right on all counts in my opinion. I really believe the plastic crate is the only way to transport a dog. And every breeder we know uses the plastic or the very expensive aluminum kind. We have 2 of the semi-custom made aluminum kind that we use at the shows because they are stackable (with clips to hold them together) and they double as a grooming table. All the rest of ours are the plastic type. I have not seen the seatbelts, so I have a hard time commenting on them. I definately would not use the soft type crate.

The crate I like is the type with a kind of knob that you turn to open and close the door. You always know when the crate door is completely latched, unlike the spring loaded type. If the knob doesn't turn completely, it isn't latched completely.

21st October 2007, 04:19 AM
I transport my guys around in an airline quality plastic crate. I got the biggest one that could fit on the back seat of my medium sized car. This gives Sonny & Beau plenty of room to stand up, turn around & sleep apart from each other if they aren't in the mood to snuggle up.

It is wedged in quite tightly behind the front seats so that it can't move around if I really had to jump on the breaks.

It must be nice for the dog to sit on the seat with a harness on so they can look around, but I just have never felt that they are safe travelling that way.

21st October 2007, 11:28 AM
Yes I think you are right about the seatbelts not being safe. Sally always falls asleep and snores in the car and goes all 'floppy'! I'm always breaking gently to stop her rolling on the seat. God help us if we really had to break hard.
Debby thanks for your advice about getting her used to going in it because that might be the problem. She has never needed a crate in the house so has never been in one. I think it might need some getting used to. Also what do you use on the bottom of the crate to make it comfy? I'll have to see the size when it arrives but I'm thinking of a washable pillow.

Debby with a Y
21st October 2007, 11:44 AM
Washable pillow is good. You can also buy crate pads that fit. When I have a really sick pet, I fold up a thick towel for them to ride on...but my vet is really close by. That way if they mess a little I can fold it a different way for them so they get a clean spot to sit on, and it's easier to launder than a bed. If I were taking him on a long trip I'd put a crate pad or bed, with a towel on top in case he gets carsick.

21st October 2007, 12:08 PM
A tip for longer trips is to take a second piece of bedding, a roll of kitchen paper and some spray cleaner all in a carrier bag, then if you have a dog who is sick you at least have fresh bedding for the return trip and can tie the smelly stuff up in the carrier, less chance of being stunk out!!

I also usually have at least 2 litres of water and a couple of coop cups (water bowls in a holder that hangs on the door of the kennel cab) and in hot weather some battery operated crate fans too!

I always have at least one piece of spare bedding in the car with the dogs, I work on the theory that if I have it with me I won't need it, the few times I have been rushing and not put any in, I have needed it!! :sl*p: As the old Girl guide code used to say "Be Prepared" :lol: :thmbsup:

22nd October 2007, 05:12 PM
I received an email today from the guy selling the vari kennels and apparently the one I was buying has been recalled by the manufacturers this morning so is no longer available. This means I need to start searching again. Has anyone got a vari kennel or similar carrier they wish to sell?

23rd October 2007, 01:56 AM
I transport Sasha in a doggie carseat/booster seat. There's a safety leash on the seat that I clip onto her harness (i definitely wouldn't use a collar for this). She sits in the back seat on the passenger side so she can look out the window or at me (or lie down).

She loves it!


23rd October 2007, 02:55 PM
I looked into buying a car seat for Ellie, but all the ones I found would only fit onto the the front passenger seat .:(.....and the one on the link looks the same. So how do you fasten it in the back please??

23rd October 2007, 04:18 PM
I looked into buying a car seat for Ellie, but all the ones I found would only fit onto the the front passenger seat .:(.....and the one on the link looks the same. So how do you fasten it in the back please??
There's a secure strap that hooks over/around the headrest of the back seat, and another strap that goes around the back of the whole seat (look closely at the picture in the link).

Our back seat can fold down, so therefore the back seats are not all attached to one another like a long bench. If it were like a long bench, I guess you could just use the strap that goes over the headrest, which still makes it pretty secure, in my opinion.

I'm embarrassed to say that my 14-year-old daughter figured out how it works.... it was a little confusing for me, for some reason!:o

30th October 2007, 10:38 PM
I've just had a very intresting conversation with a local fire officer. My guides have been to the firestation for 6 weeks now as the officers are testing them on their fire safety badge. I asked one his view on the best transport method for transporting dogs. He said that a cage made especially for the type of car you have it the most safest. He also said that many harness are not suitable for different types of dog and are often created to a 'blue print' of a typical dog. He said while they do protect them they would not completely be safe in a serious crash and would only protect if they were fitted correctly(??)
He also said that they work to three rules, presevation of human life, presevation of animals and preservation of property.
I found this rather intresting getting the point of view from his perspective as a rescue person and I am now hunting for a cage for Tobes. The gentleman in question has 5 dogs and in his van each on has their own bolted down cage to go in.
Just thought you might be intrested in this.