the safest dog crate: plastic or aluminum
10-20-153 mins read
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.
Pet Safety

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.

Safety

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.

Versatility

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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G1™ KENNEL
Regular price
499
Sale price
499.00
5 Star Crash Tested. The original.
Double-Wall Rotomolded. 2x impact protection.
Lifetime Warranty. All kennels.
American Made. No corners cut. View More Details
Quantity must be 1 or more
Color:Gunmetal
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TIE-DOWN STRAP KIT
Regular price
79
Sale price
79.00

GUNNER strap sets are the only ones that we recommend, and have met each of the brand’s crash test standards. They are the straps that the Center For Pet Safety recommends using when anchoring your crate to your vehicle for 5 Star Crash Test certified safety.

Our new & improved tie-downs are made with an extra-thick custom cam buckle for additional break strength and a synthetic material that ensures you can leave these out 24/7: better guarding against fading and stretching, and perfect for high abrasion environments.

Read why it's important to use GUNNER straps for safe travel.

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Quantity must be 1 or more
Strap Color:Blaze Orange
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PERFORMANCE PAD
Regular price
Starting from
89
Sale price
89.00

This GUNNER tough-skin insert provides a 3/4” pad of cushion for the crate, as well as waterproof comfort for the sporting dog’s tired joints on the ride home.

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Quantity must be 1 or more
Performance Pad Color:
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GUNNER FAN KIT
Regular price
229
Sale price
229.00

Your dog works hard for you – this fan works hard for your dog. The GUNNER Fan Kit is a high-powered device designed to mount easily to the crate, with a stainless steel mounting rod and custom tensions bolts. Built to provide significant ventilation, especially while kennel is stationary. A durable structure, just like our customers are accustomed to.

View More Details
Quantity must be 1 or more
Fan Color:Black
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small_gunmetal
Regular price
499
Sale price
499.00
blaze-orange
Regular price
79
Sale price
79.00
intermediate_black
Regular price
99
Sale price
99.00
black
Regular price
229
Sale price
229.00
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Filter Reviews:
BM
07/05/2021
Brandon M.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Gun or Bird Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
It’s like an insurance plan….

This is by far the best kennel made. I use mine daily and they take lots of abuse. They never even seem to wear at all. Hose them off with soap and water and they look brand new. I encourage all of my puppy buyers to get them as well. It’s like an insurance plan for your best friend!

GUNNER G1™ KENNEL Review
KT
06/14/2021
Kris T.
United States United States
  • What's your primary use of the product? TravelHomeHome & Travel Equally
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
Wow, Just Wow

Wow, this kennel is the Yeti of dog kennels! everything about this kennel is first rate. Yes, there are cheaper, but none can compare to a Gunner kennel.

AL
05/31/2021
Alec L.
United States United States
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
Amazing travel kennel

This thing is built like a tank. I have no doubt this will protect our little guy if we are ever involved in an accident. We recently completed an 800 mile road trip with him in the crate. It was well worth the money. This was the first time he was calm in the car and not whining. He slept easily during the drive. We felt calm know he was secure and comfortable. Cannot recommend this crate enough!!

AO
05/08/2021
Angus O.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
Unlike any other crate I have seen

I purchased two Gunner kennels, a medium and a small, for my pups. Immediately, you understand this is a different level of product compared to what you’ve used before. The construction is fantastic and legitimately heavy duty. I feel so much better knowing I’ve done everything I can to keep my dogs safe in case of a worst case scenario.

PK
03/18/2021
Patrick K.
United States United States
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
  • How would you describe your dog? Gun or Bird Dog
Best purchase for my best friends

I’ve been buying cheap kennels for the four years I’ve owned my dogs, none of them seemed to hold up. I’ve wanted a Gunner for a year now, and the more I read stories of how they have saved dogs lives, it made me think of how losing my best friends would damn near **** me. So I made the purchase and will never look back. It is one solid kennel and I will not let the kennel hold me back from traveling farther to hunt anymore. It’s well worth the investment. I’m a firm believer in you get what you pay for, and this will not let anyone down.