Dog boxes offer optimal protection for transporting dogs in the car. The TCS has examined five products and shows what to look out for when buying a dog box.
Anyone who transports a dog in the car must pay attention to the appropriate security. However, not only the safety of the four-legged friend is important, but also that of the vehicle occupants. In an accident at a speed of 50 km/h forces act that corresponds to 25 times the weight of the dog. For this reason, the TCS recommends buying a high-quality dog box.
The boxes evaluated by the TCS were examined for the following criteria: suitability for everyday use, installation, and dismantling. The doors and locks were also checked. Particular attention was also paid to keeping things clean and non-slip. It was also checked how easily dogs can get in. The “test boxes” were installed and secured in the trunk and in one case on the back seat. Safety behavior while driving was tested using the VDA lane-change test, a rapid change of direction.
All tested boxes meet the minimum requirements
The crash tests previously carried out by the TCS have clearly shown that dogs are best transported in the cargo area of the vehicle. The permanently installed metal box proved to be the safest system. For this reason, the TCS examined 5 different boxes in this test.
The positioning of the dog box directly behind the back seat offers the greatest possible protection for the vehicle occupants. An additional anchoring on the vehicle floor also increases safety, especially in the case of abrupt evasive maneuvers.
The car kennel and the universal individual box from Schmidt Fahrzeugbau GmbH, a custom-made individual box from WT-Metall GmbH for the Hyundai i40 test vehicle, a metal box from Meiko-Heimtierbedarf AG, and an aluminum box from Swissport (4pets, Pro-Line) were tested. All tested boxes meet the minimum requirements and receive at least the rating “recommended”. The two products from Schmidt and the box from WT-Metall are even “highly recommended”.
Ideal placement in the load compartment close to the back seat
The placement in the vehicle was also examined. It could be shown that the boxes used in the crash test could only show their full effectiveness if they were optimally placed: in the vehicle’s luggage compartment, placed directly on the backrest, and anchored with the help of a safety system. If the boxes are not supported, this can have fatal consequences.
As an alternative to the luggage compartment, a modern restraint system for the rear seat was tested in the present crash. However, this was not fully convincing. The manufacturer Schmidt Fahrzeugbau GmbH reacted immediately and is currently only offering the tested rear seat box (CARKennel) for smaller dogs. A good crash result can be expected for these sizes.
Dogs should only be transported safely with boxes that are correctly anchored in the cargo area and rest against the back seat. In addition, an ideal size should be chosen for the box: on the one hand, the box should be so small that the dog experiences the shortest possible acceleration distances, but on the other hand, it should be large enough that the animal can be transported in a species-appropriate manner.