Dogs travel in vehicles for both pleasure and necessity. Whether your pet is on his way to the vet or travelling to the dog park for an afternoon of play, he needs to be secure in a dog crate. Simply sliding the crate into the back of a minivan or setting it on the back seat is not safe. Take an extra moment to secure the dog crate to the vehicle before transporting your pet.
Use a dog crate that can be secured. Crates made of high-grade plastics can be secured in a minivan. Look for reinforced tie-down holes, cloth seat belt safety straps or metal brackets for bolting the dog crate to a vehicle.
Place the empty crate in the minivan. Small crates can ride on the back seat, while larger crates can be secured in the cargo area at the rear of the minivan. Never position a dog crate in the front passenger seat of a vehicle equipped with an air bag.
Use seat belts to secure small dog crates. Place the crate lengthwise on the back seat of the minivan. Thread a shoulder harness or lap-style seat belt through the vertical seat belt safety straps sewn onto the crate. Pull the belt tight and click it into the buckle. Pull the seat belt strap again to make sure it is snug.
Reposition the small dog crate if seat belts are not available. Place the crate on the floor of the rear cargo area of the minivan. If the floor of the van is not carpeted, lay down a blanket, towel or rug to provide a padded non-slip surface.
Place the metal hook end of a leather or nylon tie-down strap through the front, right tie-down hole of the crate. The holes are located on the corners of the crates, at the base. Stretch the tie down strap over the top of the crate, and hook the other metal hook to a metal tie-down ring on the left van wall.
Repeat the process with the tie-down hole on the front left part of the crate and the van wall on the right side. After the two straps have secured the crate, grasp the top of the crate with two hands and give it a tug. If it seems loose, repeat the strapping process with shorter straps, or add additional straps to the rear tie-down holes on the crate.
Secure large dog crates in the cargo area. Use the same tie-down method for large dog crates. Longer tie-down straps will be needed depending on the height of the dog crate. Secure the metal hook ends of the straps to tie-down holes or a metal bracket.
For dog crates that need to be permanently secured inside a minivan, consider using a plastic dog crate with a reinforced moulded metal insert. The metal portion of the crate can be bolted to the metal flooring of the van.