As part of our drive to promote responsible dog ownership and safe animal transportation,
we are giving away to one lucky winner:
Although it can be tempting to cuddle your puppy all the way home or pop them on the front seat, this isn’t the safest option for you or your puppy, particularly if you’re driving. Not only can your puppy distract you, but in the case of an emergency stop or accident, velocity means they become a projectile weapon. They could be thrown forward, injuring themselves or you. While it’s not necessarily illegal to have an unrestrained dog in the car, in most countries, it’s at least strongly advised against, and may result in a distracted or dangerous driving charge. It may also invalidate your insurance.
So, it’s always best to buy a suitable dog crate before collecting your puppy, preferably one that will accommodate him as he grows up. A crate can provide some protection for your puppy in the case of an emergency stop or crash, and it helps to eliminate dangerous distractions. You wouldn’t bring a baby home without a car seat, so care for your puppy in the same way!
If you don’t have a crate, take someone else along to hold the puppy. They should sit in the back seat, minimising distraction for the driver and ensuring your puppy is in no danger from a deployed airbag.
Give your puppy lots of cuddles before getting in the car. This will help them feel more relaxed and they’ll start getting used to your smell, which is important to start the bonding process.
A snuggly blanket in their crate will make them feel more comfy. If you can prearrange to have a blanket that has been left near their mum to pick up her smell, that’s even better.
If it’s a long journey home, your puppy will need a drink. Take along some water and a bowl (many dog crates come with a bowl accessory that attaches securely to the side of the crate). Tasty puppy treats might help to distract and soothe your puppy, and you can buy natural dog treats especially formulated to have a calming effect on your pup.
Most crates have a waterproof bottom or inner and will contain any puppy wees, but your puppy may also be travel sick. Take a cloth along with you so that on longer journeys, you can stop off, check your puppy and spend time cleaning them up. Give plenty of reassurance and fusses. If this is a problem that persists when you get your puppy home, take a look at our tips on preventing puppy travel sickness. Open a window a little to let in fresh air and keep the car at a comfortable temperature. Remember that your puppy is unlikely to have had his protective inoculations so don’t allow him to walk about outside.
Many countries now have laws about travelling with your dog in a car. However, many people, from those with their first puppy to those who have had dogs for years, aren’t aware of these laws.
Making sure your dog is secured in your car is important, not just for their safety, but for your safety (and that of your passengers, too).
According to a report by the American Automobile Association (AAA), an unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph exerts around 300 pounds of pressure. But an unrestrained 80-pound dog in a 30-mph crash will exert approximately 2,400 pounds of pressure. That’s not just incredibly dangerous for your dog, but for you too; any unrestrained weight can become a projectile weapon when your car brakes quickly or suffers an impact.
An unrestrained dog may also leap out of an open window or into your lap, if scared or excited—and they could suffer an injury if your car has airbags. Using a dog car crate can prevent this.
Unrestrained pets are a serious cause of driver distraction. Turning to look at them, having them sitting next to you, trying to stop them leaping about, seeing them jump up in your mirror: they can all divert your attention from the road.
A 2019 study by Volvo Car USA and The Harris Poll revealed that unrestrained pets more than double the incidences of unsafe driving behaviours and distracted periods, and increase stress in both drivers and their dogs. And the AAA & Kurgo Pet Passenger Survey revealed even more distracting interactions, including giving treats to dogs and taking their photo! Yet according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, looking away from the road for just two seconds doubles your risk of a crash.
UK: Contrary to popular belief, unrestrained pets aren’t against the law per se. However, Highway Code Rule 57 says animals should be “suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly.” Breaking the Highway Code isn’t an offence but may be used to prove your liability for an accident or contribute to an offence such as ‘careless and inconsiderate driving’. An on-the-spot fixed penalty notice gives you a £100 fine and three points on your licence in ‘low harm’ cases, but more serious incidents can lead to court appearances, an unlimited fine, up to 9 points on your licence and even disqualification from driving. And If a road traffic accident is caused by an unrestrained dog, your driver’s insurance may be invalidated.
Australia, Canada and the US: laws differ between states and provinces, but most prohibit transporting your dog in a closed trunk or on your lap. Where dog restraint isn’t law, unrestrained pets can still be a factor in ‘distracted driving’ laws.
There are various options for restraining your dog, but a crash tested crate is the safest way to restrain your dog in a car. It is imperative that the crate manufacturer has performed crash tests that the crate has passed in order to guarantee your dog’s safety and that of you and your passengers. If your dog wriggles out of a harness or it fails in an accident, they may get loose and run away into traffic. A crate gives your dog an extra level of protection in a crash and ensures they’re safely contained. It also eliminates distractions while you’re driving.
MimSafe make it easy to find the right crate for you, your dog and your car. Use our car model search to find crates suitable for your car, or our crate fit search if you have a crate in in mind and need to know if it will fit.
With lockdown leaving many people isolated, the demand for canine companionship is at an all-time high. Following a huge surge in puppy purchases as households spend more time secluded at home, breeders have steadily been increasing their prices since March to match demand, with sought after breeds seeing an increase in price of up to 184% compared to last year.
According to the BBC, figures from the Pets4Homes website that were based on about 150,000 adverts, showed the average price for a puppy from March to September was £1,883 compared to the same period last year where the average price was £888.
Criminals have been exploiting the higher value of puppies following the lockdown demand, resulting in a worrying increase of dog theft across the country. Although breeding mums and puppies are mainly being targeted, other dogs are also at risk. Dr Daniel Allen, an animal expert from Keele University stated that, “As well as breeding mums, working dogs, such as sheep dogs and shooting dogs also attract a high value – they are a ready-made, sellable product.”
The BBC reported that there was a significant spike in dog theft particularly across Northumbria, Devon and Cornwall and Leicestershire – compared to the same period in the previous year, with five police forces claiming they had more reports between January and July 2020 than the whole of the previous year.
Many owners across these regions have had their dogs stolen from their gardens or even from inside their vehicles whilst travelling with their pets. With a greater investment needed to purchase a puppy and a greater risk of dog theft, taking necessary protection precautions when travelling with your pet has never been more important.
MIMSafe crates are a great way to ensure the safety of your dog whilst travelling. All MIMSafe Variocage crates have a robust built-in locking system, an essential feature to deter dog theft from vehicles. They also provide extra protection in the event of a road traffic accident; the entire range of crates are individually crash tested and ensure your dog remains completely secure in the event of an accident. This in turn offers safety not only for your dog but the rest of your family as a nonsecure dog can cause great risk during a collision; a 2kg dog can hit a passenger with a force of 260kg in a collision at 56mph.
With a variety of crates to suit different animals and vehicles, we offer an option for everyone. Invest in the protection of your dogs and your family by looking at our range of tested and trustworthy Variocages.
For more details, please visit our shop.
Our crates are crush proof and are the only crates to be crash tested to the same standards as baby seats. They are thought to be the safest on the market due to the unique diligence of crash tests that we carry out.
We’ve examined the data from hundreds of accidents and we’ve conducted countless crash tests to replicate collision conditions in order to design and fully test our crates. You can read more about how our crates protect dogs and humans in the event of an accident in the following articles:
MIMSafe Variocage Keeps Dog Safe During Horrific Accident
Two Years After The Accident…
We have never had a dog destroy any of our dog crates or cages, ever. They are built using high quality stainless steel, which is the safest material to use due to the slight give and flexibility it exhibits during an impact. This helps to keep your whole family safe: dogs and your other passengers.
Dogs are unable to chew through or damage any of the elements that are crates are built from.
Our crates are extremely well built in order to withstand any impact. Your dog could try as hard as he likes but he will not succeed in forcing his way out of one of our heavy duty dog crates.
The one-hand quick release mechanisms can not be accessed by your dog from inside of the crate and the door has a built-in locking mechanism with key.
Whether you have the crate in the boot of your vehicle alongside heavy tools, frequently transfer it from one vehicle to another, drop it or use it constantly, with big muddy dogs every day, our heavy duty dog crates will withstand whatever you throw at them (literally!)!
They are strong, durable and fully washable so you’ll be able to keep them clean and looking as good as new. What’s more, our durable nylon bumper cover (https://mimsafeuk.com/product/mimsafe-bumper-cover/), also available in our shop, will protect your bumper and the back of your vehicle from wet, muddy dogs jumping in and out after walks.
Is your dog afraid of car rides or of traveling in your vehicle? Dogs develop dog car sickness or a fear of traveling for many reasons. The very fact that they get car sick and the unpleasant accompanying feelings of this can make dogs afraid of travel and for many dogs, the only time they go in the car is to go to the vets. Going to the vets is rarely a pleasant event and for these reasons, dogs can learn to be afraid of going in vehicles. This can cause a lot of disruption to your daily life if your dog is car sick or you can’t get him in the car!
So, once your dog has built up negative associations with going in your vehicle, how can you help him to feel better about it?
One of the simplest ways to help dogs to feel more secure is to bed them down in a secure crate whenever you travel. Dogs have a natural denning instinct and instinctively seek out darker, enclosed spaces when they are feeling anxious. It may be that all your dog needs to make him feel happier about travel is to spend some time relaxing in his crate in the car with a filled kong or new bone when the car is not running or moving. (Please ensure that your dog is supervised at all times). This will help to build positive associations with the car and may be sufficient to stop your dog’s fear of traveling. Our crates can be covered with sheets or blankets to make them feel more “den-like” and this may help the dog to feel safe while the car is moving.
The basis for helping any animal that is afraid of something is to give them choice. It needs to be the dog’s choice about whether or not to approach the vehicle. Don’t try to force him using the lead or try to lure him with treats. It is much better to let him make his own choices and then reward those choices with things that the dog loves.
For best results, you may want to consult a certified dog trainer who can help you manage the behaviour modification process. They will be able to show you what stress signals to watch out for and help you to manage the step by step process. In addition, you can talk to your vet about various supplements or medications that will help your dog to remain as calm as possible, particularly when it is essential that the dog goes into the vehicle.
1. If your dog is very anxious about even going anywhere near the vehicle, then start outside the parked car. Any time they look at the car, offer them a treat or praise. Do the same if they take a step towards the car. If they like to play tug, play next to the vehicle. Do this for just a few minutes at a time and carry out daily for a few weeks.
2. An alternative in these early stages is to teach your dog to target an object (which can be your hand) using clicker training. Once he fully understands the concept of targeting, ask him to touch the target near the car. Build this up so that you are asking him to take a step towards the vehicle, then another step and continue until he can touch the outside of the vehicle. Don’t forget to click and treat. You can find out more about target training here. Target training has had amazing results with fearful animals, giving them the courage to approach objects that they would never usually approach. Because it is their own choice to approach, they tend to learn very quickly.
3. Once the dog is happily approaching the car, start to leave the car door open and repeat the whole process, gradually building up the dog’s confidence. Don’t try and prise the dog into the open door – just reward any approaches with his favourite treats.
4. Continue with this until the dog will choose to jump into the vehicle and reward him. Give lots of praise and a very high value treat as soon as they set foot inside the car and let them jump out as soon as they want to. Don’t restrain them once they are in. They need to know that they can leave at any point they wish. Keep practicing this step until the dog will jump in and appears to be quite happy staying in the car without trying to jump straight back out.
5. Now, once your dog will get into the car, start to sit in there with him and share high value treats, play with his toys or feed him his dinner in there. Build on this for a few weeks to really increase his confidence. Shut the car door for brief periods of time then open it again, gradually increasing the duration of time with the door shut.
6. Once your dog appears happy in the vehicle, turn on the car engine and carry on rewarding and playing in the vehicle as if nothing has happened. If he attempts to escape, allow him to do so and start right from the beginning, getting him to approach the car, then get in it, then sit with you and enjoy sharing treats, toys and his dinner, all with the engine running. Don’t attempt to drive anywhere at this stage or shut him in.
7. Finally, when you can turn on the engine and keep the door shut without any sign of stress from your dog, try reversing out of the drive then back in again. Then slowly build up to short journeys to somewhere the dog loves. A daily drive for a walk is ideal. So is a visit to a friend’s, a visit to the pet store, or wherever else your dog loves to go!
The aim throughout all of this is to change your dog’s association with the car as a scary thing to a positive association, where all his favourite things happen – cuddles with mum or dad, his dinner, treats and his favourite toys.
Don’t try to go too fast, keep it to one step at a time. If, at any time, your dog is showing signs of anxiety, go back in the process to where they were last happy and relaxed and take it from there, building up gradually.
It can be a time-consuming process, but when you think of all the years you have with your dog, and all the times you will need him to travel, it is worth it in the long run.
Our dogs are fantastic companions and are part of the family so when they are afraid of going in the car or get puppy travel sickness, it’s scary for your dog and disappointing for the rest of the family. Having to remember to take cleaning up equipment is a hassle and actually getting the dog to get into the car can become a big problem when they are determined not to get in. And dogs that pace about, scratch at the crate, pant and salivate heavily can be distracting, annoying and are demonstrating that they are distressed.
It’s best to get your puppy used to the car when he or she is very young by gradually increasing the puppy’s exposure to different aspects of travelling in a vehicle.
Firstly, ALWAYS keep your pet restrained. Don’t be tempted to keep him or her on your knee. This is dangerous for both you and your puppy. If you were to have a road traffic accident, either or both of you could be severely injured and having a loose dog in the car can make accidents more likely.
One of our crash tested crates is ideal as it keeps both your pet safe as well as the rest of your family should the worst happen and you are involved in a collision.
Here are our recommendations for preventing puppy travel in sickness in young dogs:
1. Start off by sitting with your puppy in the area where you would like them to travel with the engine turned off. Give your pup treats, lots of praise and bring their favourite toys. Make the car time a fun time, for just a few minutes at a time.
2. Once your dog is happy and relaxed in his or her space in the vehicle, move so that you are now sitting in the front behind the wheel. Toss treats back when they are quiet and calm. A stuffed kong or other treat-dispensing toy is a great way to help them settle and understand that even though you are not right next to them, they are not alone in a scary place. This will help the puppy to build a positive association with being in the car but away from you.
Remember that giving your puppy attention when he or she is whining, screaming or barking will reinforce the behaviour so try and wait before this has stopped before speaking to them or going back to them. Then next time try and make sure it doesn’t happen by providing a kong filled with a higher value filling or giving them something else that they love and will keep them busy. If you have another dog, then his or her presence will help to keep the puppy calm, so long as the older dog is not an anxious traveller.
Keep your energy positive and bright to give your puppy confidence that there is nothing to worry about.
3. Start to progress the training by starting the engine for a minute or so then turning it off. Try and time this with giving the puppy the kong or a treat so that he learns that when the engine turns on, good things happen, instead of feeling scared of the noise and the strange sensation.
4. Gradually build up more of a typical car journey – start by backing out of the drive then in again, then go round the block, then go short distances. Taking the pup short distances to a place that he or she loves will further build up his or her positive association with the car.
If your dog seems scared at any point, go back a step to the point where he or she was last relaxed and work back through the steps very gradually.
It takes only a week or so to get a puppy used to car travel and avoid puppy travel sickness and it is time well invested for lots of easy car journeys throughout the rest of his or her life.
Invest in a crash tested dog crate
Ideally also invest in a crash tested dog crate that will significantly improve the chances of keeping your family safe in the event of a collision. Our crates are the ONLY crates in the world that are crash tested to the same standards as baby seats. They are designed by some of the world’s leading dog vehicle safety technicians who have examined the data from hundreds of crash tests and accident reports. You wouldn’t put your baby in a cheap crate or harness so don’t do the same with your dog.
Find out more about our dog safety crate options in our shop.
Coupon Code: Accessory40
If you’ve been considering buying a VarioCage to protect your family, dogs as well as humans, then now is the time to go ahead. We’re offering 40% off ALL accessories if they are purchased at the same time as purchasing any of our VarioCages. Our accessories are stylish and durable and are the ideal accompaniment to the crates. They will protect your vehicle and will make life easier for you and more pleasant for your dog!
The accessories we have available include:
To obtain your 40% off, just add the accessories you would like, along with your choice of VarioCage to your basket and add coupon code Accessory40 into the coupon box. Please note that they will need to be purchased at the same time as the VarioCage to obtain the discount.
Invest in their safety – one less thing to worry about!
Visit our shop to see our full range of accessories and crash-tested, safe VarioCages.
We know that safely transporting the family pet may not be a priority when choosing a vehicle, but finding a crash tested and safe dog crate for hatchbacks is not easy. We offer one of the few solutions, the MIMSafe VarioCage Compact, a fully crash tested, crush proof dog crate built specifically for hatchback cars.
For more than twenty years, we have worked alongside vehicle manufacturers to design safety details and have documentation from hundreds of crash tests and real-life road traffic collisions. Our dog crates are built to work alongside the safety features of vehicles to ensure that both pets and passengers are kept safe. The safest place to locate dogs during transport will always be the boot of the car. This is because the back seat of the vehicle is built to withstand the weight of any products the car may be transporting, protecting passengers from the force of these items during an impact. However, finding a dog crate for hatchbacks is not easy because of the restricted boot space.
Our MIMSafe VarioCage Compact dog crates are built primarily to suit hatchback cars. They are designed to house one small dog up to 38cm at the withers and are fitted with a 23cm elevated door to match the sill on the hatchback’s boot. The length of the cage can be reduced or extended to fit the boot, leaving room for luggage alongside the crate.
All of our crates have been fully crash tested to the same standards as baby car seats. In the event of an impact, the VarioCage Compact will safely compress in a controlled manner along the vehicle crumple zone. This protects both passengers and dog from an increased risk of injury.
Each crate is fitted with a built in locking system, gas spring doors and an emergency exit in case the primary exit is blocked.
The MIMSafe VarioCage Compact can be fitted in the top 5 hatchback cars of 2020:
It will also fit many more vehicles – visit the model selector on our website.
Our intensive crash testing process and our experience with running hundreds of crash tests mean that we design and manufacture the safest dog crates worldwide. The design and production of MIMSafe dog travel crates is subject to, and based upon, regular and ongoing crash testing to ensure that we are protecting our dog and human customers as much as possible in the event of an accident.
Three types of test
So what are the tests we carry out? We have three tests that we regularly perform at a certified testing centre. Firstly, we test the performance of our dog travel crates during a frontal impact to ensure that the cage does not open up in the rebound phase. Secondly, we have a rear impact test where we compress the crate to test that it doesn’t lock up, deform and that the doors do not open. Finally we carry out a drop test to simulate a rolling vehicle. When a vehicle rolls, there will be a constantly bouncing crate with the dog inside. This leads to a lot of twisting and puts a lot of pressure on the structure of the crate meaning that the doors could open during the collision. When a vehicle rolls, the windows will usually break. Ny dog that is being transported in a crate that is not crash tested would be at risk of the crate door opening, leaving it vulnerable to injury as it falls out of the crate. If dogs do survive this type of impact, they are frequently afraid and will run away into traffic. We aim to ensure that these eventualities will never happen with our dog travel crates. No other dog transportation manufacturer tests to this extent, which is why The VarioCage is known worldwide as the safest dog crate on the market.
Additionally, all our crates have escape doors, so that if a vehicle is hit from behind or is otherwise damaged and the boot door is not operational, which is a common occurrence in an impact, then the dog can be released from the escape door at the front of the crate.
As safe as possible
Our dog travel crates are all manufactured at our headquarters in Sweden. Sweden has a very long tradition of safety, with a fantastic record of employment health and safety. We believe that we should build “as safe as possible”, not something that only just pass the crash tests or are slightly better than our competitors. We ensure that our products are as safe as it is possible to be for everyone in the vehicle, humans and dogs.
Our testing schedule incorporates our own dog travel crates as well as those of our competitors to ensure that we are always aware of the latest technologies and ideas and can incorporate these into our designs if necessary.
THE safest dog crate
This focus on building THE safest dog transportation products means that MIMSafe dog travel crates are not cheap. We have a lot of small details to incorporate into the designs that make a big difference and there are tolerances that need to be perfect to ensure that the crates absorb energy in the right way. These features, and the materials used, mean that the price will inevitably be higher. However, bearing in mind the phrase “you get what you pay for”, it is worthwhile investing in the safety of your family and your pets.