Safe travel for your dog should be a top priortity when hitting the road. Whether it’s a quick trip to a park or to the vet, or a longer journey or vacation you must ensure you loyal pal is safe and secure like any other member of your family.
We suggest you plan ahead and introduce your dog slowly to using a crate in your car.
If your dog is not used to travelling in a crate take some time for them to get used to being in your car or suv. Even just getting in, having a treat calmly, and then getting out again an reinforce it as a pleasant experience. Having a dog that will load easily – just like horses – can make for less stressful travel. Take short journeys initially until everyone is happy and as calm as possible.
A dog crate will help with the three key objectives and reasons of why we like to have our dogs in one when travelling in the car:
- to prevent your dog becoming injured if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident of any kind
- to prevent your harming itself, you or any other passengers by becoming a projectile. This could happen even with a harness on. Just think about 80lbs or more of dog hitting you at speed
- to prevent your dog escaping and either being further injured in a state of panic and anxiety or causing further accidents whilst being loose
Dog Crate Options and Choices
In the main most German Shepherd owners will be looking for a large or extra large dog sized crate, and in terms of material and style there are several options to choose from:
– wire and mesh crates – lightweight and lots of airflow – not designed to protect your dog in an accident. At the cheaper end of the market.
– collapsible dog crates – lightweight and convenient for non regular travel
– aluminium crates – these heavy duty crates offer the best protection for your dog with some designed/ suited for dogs with extreme separation anxiety. Often best left in your vehicle as a permanent fixture.
– speciality molded crates – strong and well made – available as a custom build or online and in pet stores
– custom built crates are available which offer you a choice of size, door configuration, handle, wheels and color options. Some brands are designed to fit your van or suv and to be left there more or less permanently. Tip: Think about where your spare tire is stored! Typically you’ll be looking over $600 for a custom crate and again higher shipping costs.
Some manufacturers carry out crash tests to review the performance of the dog travel crates, but on the whole many won’t stand up to a large impact in the event of an accident.
Heavy duty crates are available online such as :
- LARGE PET CRATE: This dog kennel for large dogs has an easy-open latch for opening the dog travel carrier with one hand. Suitable for medium dog breeds 70-90 lbs. Measures: 40″
- AIR TRAVEL: This pet carrier meets most airline cargo specifications. The air travel kennel for dogs & cats also has ventilation on all sides, a durable comfort-grip handle for comfy, stress-free transport.
- COLOR AND SIZE CHOICES AVAILABLE
Another option available to look at :
- STRONG & DEPENDABLE TRAVEL KENNEL: This airline-adaptable pet kennel is built with heavy-duty plastic for strength & security. Perfect for small to medium size German Shepherds at 70-90 lbs. Measures: 40″
- AIR TRAVEL KENNEL: The pet kennel includes nuts & bolts for quick setup. A carrying handle & easy-open front latch and ventilated openings on the sides provide added convenience for travel.
- FOR DOG SAFETY AND COMFORT
- Super strong – one piece molded construction from UV stablized polyethylene – and they’ll never rust!
- Stands extreme subzero weather
- Easy to clean – no seams
- Removable doors
- Various door configurations to choose from – can swing either way
- No bite grill pattern
- Add on / optional handles
- SUV friendly design with SlantBack™ design
- Rattle free design
- Prices from from approx $200 for a GSD sized crate
- additional doors
- choice of crate door swing options
- a wide range of colours and finishes
- vent options
- handle options
- tie downs
- fan bar
- leash hook
- dolly kit
Measuring Your Dog For A Crate
Most German Shepherd owners will need a a large (40″) or extra lagre (42″) sized crate once their dogs are full grown, unless you have a small bitch or a very large male! Of course your cute puppies will fit in much smaller crates.
Message your dog from the tip of it’s tail to nose and then add approx 2 to 4 inches to determine the length of crate you need. Then measure from the top of their ears to the ground to give you the height measurement.
Soft Dog Crates
If you only travel infrequently or have a limited budget you may prefer a soft kennel.
We always remember to take our portable water bowl with us:
This one from Portable Pet holds up to 3 quarts of water and makes traveling with your dog very convenient for keeping them well hydrated
It’s engineered not to splash or spil and stands upright for storage and lays flat when your dog is drinking.
Remember that in some States in the US it is law that your dog is in a crate or is wearing a dog car harness. Check with for your own State authorities but we’re aware that a harness is compulsory in Arizona, Hawaii, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and New Hampshire to name a few.
Have Happy Travels With Your Dog