Dog Crate, Carrier, Harness, Or Travel Seat?

With a definitive study on the effectiveness of crates, carriers, harnesses and travel seats, pet owners can make informed decisions based on evidence, not claims.

Dog Crate, Carrier, Harness, Or Travel Seat?

My stomach turns when I see a dog untethered in the bed of a pickup truck, riding shotgun in a car or curled up in the backseat unrestrained. I even get a little unsettled when a dog is in some kind of pet traveling safety product, be it a carrier, harness or a substandard crate. The testing Gunner Kennels has done, and independent testing done by the Center for Pet Safety and Subaru of America has really opened my eyes.

I never really trusted those flimsy plastic crates, but until I tested them for myself, it never occurred to me how unsafe they are. Which of course is why I started Gunner Kennels in the first place: to create the best dog crate for my best friend, Gunner.

The tests show that while many manufacturers claim to secure your best friend in the event of a crash, those claims are false. Finally, with a definitive study on effectiveness of crates, carriers, harnesses and travel seats, pet owners can make informed decisions based on evidence, not claims.

If you have a medium to large size dog, the products that are recommended (Center for Pet Safety does not endorse products. They recommend products that pass testing.) is a short list. Of all the products tested, there were only two that passed for larger dogs: A Gunner Kennel G1 Intermediate crate and one brand of harnesses.

Below is some alarming footage from the studies. We share it not to scare you, but to warn you. When shopping for safe crates, carriers, harnesses and travel seats, phrases like “appropriate for auto travel” or “designed for using in a vehicle” doesn’t translate to “tested,” “crash tested” or “crash protection.”


No carriers passed on keeping a dog over 45 pounds secure in a 30 MPH crash simulation.


Of the eight pet harnesses tested, only one (Sleepypod Clickit Utility) was deemed sufficient in design, materials and overall performance.


Center For Pet Safety reports:

The Gunner Kennel is the hands-down top performing crate of the 2015 study. Using the strength rated connection straps (sourced from Gunner Kennels) the product withstood the significant forces generated in the CPS testing.

The Gunner Kennel is unique. It has a dual locking feature on the door that provides significant structural support to the door in the case of an accident.

With the strength rated anchor straps tightened, the Gunner Kennel’s rubber feet gripped the carpet, unlike any other crate we have tested. This is a significant travel device, with outstanding structural integrity.

Travel Pet Seats

The Pet Travel Seat Pilot Study found that while a pet travel seat may offer distraction prevention, it will likely not offer crash protection in the event of an accident, which could lead to injury of the pet and the human vehicle passengers. The quality of commonly available pet travel seats did not provide effective protection in a crash scenario.

Here is CPS’s conclusion of the tests:

“Based on the scientific test evidence collected over the past four years, in part through its partnership with Subaru, CPS can now identify the safest travel options for most pets. For small dogs and cats, Center for Pet Safety recommends one of the 2015 Top Performing Carriers; for medium and large dogs either the 2015 Top Performing Crate – Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate with 8’ Tie Down Straps, or a Center for Pet Safety Certified Harness.”

That really narrows a pet owner’s search for the safest travel options. When it comes to crates, the choice is clear: Man’s Best Kennel. Whether it’s in the back of your pickup truck or the cargo space of an SUV or minivan, no other crate performed better at offering protection in the event of a crash. Pair this with our lifetime warranty – a rarity when it comes to travel kennels and crates – and we know this is the last travel crate you will need to buy. It’s, dent proof, crack proof and escape-artist proof, and gives you peace of mind when traveling with your dog.

share this story