The Safest Dog Crate: Plastic Or Aluminum

It used to be that the large, bulky aluminum dog boxes were the safest way to transport your dog. Not anymore. Gunner Kennels has produced a kennel that is safer and more fitting to most lifestyles.

The Safest Dog Crate: Plastic Or Aluminum

Those concerned with their best friend’s safety when traveling have been looking for the best dog crate that can meet their demands for a long time. But short of paying an arm and a leg for a custom-made aluminum dog box there wasn’t much out there, in terms of safety. Believe me, I tried just about all the travel crate options before I became so frustrated that I started Gunner Kennels.

In previous blogs we’ve already established that a wire crate is probably the worst option; and any other plastic crate except for a Gunner Kennel is not far behind it in terms of safety. So that brings us to the question of – which is better? A Gunner Kennel or an aluminum dog box? We think for most dog owners, the versatility of a Gunner Kennel makes it the better choice.


It’s hard for us to comment on the safety of aluminum dog boxes since we can’t find any well-documented testing. Before we started selling our kennel, we crash tested it, threw it off a 200-foot cliff, shot it with a 12-gauge shotgun, dropped a 630 lb. sled on it from 8-feet and applied consistent pressure all the way up to 4,000 pounds. You can see these tests were no match to the strength of our kennels in the video above.

In addition to the testing we did, Subaru of America and Center for Pet Safety teamed up to conduct a study of dog crate safety and crashworthiness. It was the first test of its kind, and while there were no aluminum dog boxes tested, aluminum crates were tested. While these crates are more expensive than a Gunner Kennel, they did not pass the mustard. In fact, no other crate did except our G1 Intermediate.

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

*update: since this article was written, we have had several customers who put the kennel to the test in real-life situations. Several of them were truck owners, and had their kennel in their bed. Read those stories here.


I have two dogs that love to go on trips with me, but sometimes I only take one or the other. Sometimes we ride in a buddy’s truck or SUV. The point is, no matter what vehicle or dog I take, I can adjust my travel crate setup accordingly.

If Gunner and I are going on a duck hunt, I will leave Goose’s kennel at home so I have more truck bed space for decoys and all the gear duck hunter junkies are known to carry.

How about staying at a lodge or hotel? Those double-hole aluminum dog boxes are not making it through the door. But a Gunner Kennel, with its Rubber Kayak-Grade Handles, makes carrying, lifting, and moving the kennel a breeze.

My dogs’ kennels are their sanctuaries – the place where they rest and feel safe when we are on the road. And it’s not just when they are in the truck. It’s at a new motel or house they are unfamiliar with.

A major benefit of a Gunner Kennel vs. an aluminum dog box is the flexibility you have to put it in different vehicles, take it out when you do not need it and take it inside with you if needed.

Other Features We Thought Of

In addition to the safety and versatility of a Gunner Kennel, there are other features you will love highlighted in the video below:

If you are shopping for a better alternative to the cheap plastic crates on the market, or just want to take back the space in the bed of your truck, a Gunner Kennel is your solution. Learn more here.

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