As dedicated dog owners, ensuring the safety and well-being of our four-legged companions is a top priority, especially when it comes to travel. Recently, I found myself contemplating the potential risks our dogs face during a car accident. The days of having them freely roam the car, enjoying their comfy beds, were suddenly overshadowed by a jolting incident involving Juni, our Chinese Crested. That moment served as a wake-up call, prompting me to reevaluate our approach to canine travel safety.
The quest for a protective and reliable car crate led me to explore various brands known for their crash-tested designs. Notable names like Variocage, Gunner, Impact, and Ruffland Kennels surfaced as contenders. My specific criteria included having two crates side by side in the back of our Suburban for easy access and effortless removal due to my back condition.
Variocage stood out for its crash-safe design, forming a secure haven within the vehicle. However, its permanence and weight made it impractical for our needs, limiting the Suburban's functionality as a cargo truck.
Gunner, another reputable brand, offered a removable and crash-rated solution. Yet, its thickness and limited airflow posed concerns for dogs with dense coats, like the Bergamasco. The cost, although justified by quality, approached the premium range.
Impact crates, popular in the dog show circuit, featured lightweight aluminum construction. However, my reservations about the crumpling potential in a rear-end collision steered me towards a more robust option.
Enter Ruffland Kennels, capturing my attention with its single-mold construction, seamless design, and versatile door configurations. Opting for the two-door XL option, I envisioned enhanced airflow and quick exit points for our dogs in emergencies. While not crash-tested, the reviews and customer stories reassured me of Ruffland's durability and protective qualities.
Ordering was a breeze, with prompt shipping and a variety of color options. Primo pads complemented the crates perfectly, offering waterproof cushioning. Ruffland's customer service exceeded expectations, addressing queries promptly. The front and back door configuration, coupled with doors opening in either direction, added to the crate's appeal.
Our dogs embraced their Ruffland crates with enthusiasm. The narrow yet spacious design allowed two crates to sit side by side in the Suburban, tied down securely with ratchet straps. The ease of cleaning, power-washing capability, and the convenience of a top handle further elevated the crates' practicality.
Despite lacking crash-test certification, Ruffland's stellar reviews and customer testimonials reinforced the notion that these crates prioritize a dog's chances of survival in the event of an accident. The quiet, metal-free doors eliminated rattling sounds during travel, contributing to a serene journey for both dogs and owners.
Our newfound peace of mind during travels, rest stops, and outdoor events stems from Ruffland checking all our boxes. While not the cheapest option, the affordability combined with top-notch features makes Ruffland Kennels the optimal choice for dog owners seeking a balance between safety, functionality, and canine comfort.
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