Best Dog Crates for Truck Beds: Keep Your Buddy Safe in the Back!

Dog Crates & Carriers


Ben Team

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Let’s be clear at the outset: It is not safe to allow your dog to ride in the back of a truck.

Lots of people do it – I’ve been guilty of this in my younger and dumber years – but that doesn’t mean it is a good idea. A truck bed provides virtually no protection to your pooch and leaves him at risk of serious injury or death.

However, if you must let your dog ride in the bed of your truck or you are in one of the very few situations in which it is arguably somewhat safe to do so (more on this later), you’ll want to install a crate in the bed and allow your dog to ride inside.

So, we’ll look at a few of the best truck bed crates available below.

But first, let’s discuss some of the most appropriate situations for using dog crates and explain some of the things you’ll want to look for when making your choice.

Best Dog Crates for Truck Beds: Quick Picks

  • #1 Gunner G1 Kennel [Best Overall Dog Crate for Truck Beds]: With its five-star crash rating from the Center for Pet Safety, this double-walled crate is a top-tier choice for traveling with canine companions.
  • #2 Impact High Anxiety Crate [Best Truck Bed Crate for Escape Artists]: Anxious doggos and escape artists are no match against this welded aluminum kennel with multiple locking points.
  • #3 UWS Northern 2-Door Deep Dog Box [Best Multi-Dog Crate for Truck Beds]: Tote your dogs safely and comfortably with this two-dog kennel made with an insulated core and non-removable divider.
  • #4 Petmate Sky Kennel [Most Affordable Dog Crate for Truck Beds]: Save your doggy dollars with this plastic kennel, featuring a versatile design suitable for travel by air or road.

Reasonably Safe Situations for Truck-Bed Riding

Again, it is never safe to allow your dog to ride in the back of your truck. However, there are a very few scenarios in which the relative risk is probably quite low – especially if you use a truck bed crate while doing so. Some of these situations include:

Hunters Traveling in Rural Areas

If you are only letting your dog ride in the back of your truck while riding across farmland or down remote dirt roads, the risk of having an accident are much lower than they are driving around urban or suburban roads. Accordingly, this is probably one of the safer times in which you could let your dogs ride in the truck bed.

Additionally, because of the ways some hunting dogs are used – they are encouraged to sniff for prey while the truck is moving – it is necessary to let them ride in the back. If you accept this risk on behalf of your pooch, it is a good idea to have them ride in the most secure crate possible.

 Search-and-Rescue Dogs in Limited-Access Areas

Some professional dog handlers may need to travel through areas that are not crowded with other cars. In such cases, it may be permissible to allow the dogs to ride in the truck bed.

However, such professionals will be better served by using an SUV instead of a truck and allowing the dog to ride in the better-protected interior.

Note that dogs should still be transported in a crate – even when they are inside the cab of a car, truck or SUV.

 Farmers Working on Private Property

If your dog likes to accompany you as you tend to crops and inspect irrigation lines, and most of your driving occurs on your own property or empty public roads, you may be comfortable allowing your dog to ride in the back.

However, your dog will remain much safer if forced to ride in a crate, and it will prevent him from jumping out of the bed unexpectedly.

The Best Dog Crates for Truck Beds

best dog crates for truck beds

If you need to let your dog ride in the bed of your truck, the following crates should help keep your pup a bit safer:

1. Gunner G1 Kennel

About: The Gunner G1 Kennel is designed specifically for hunters who need to haul their dog in a truck bed, but it also offers a number of convenient features for non-hunting owners, such as drain plugs, lift handles, and dedicated tie-down pins for securing in place.

Rigid and durable with a locking door, three of the four Gunner G1 models have earned a five-star crash rating from the Center for Pet Safety.

Best Overall Dog Crate for Truck Beds

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Gunner Dog Crate

Gunner G1 Kennel

Featuring double-walled construction, a locking door, and water-repelling windows, this is the best option for most owners.


  • Double-wall construction protects your pup from UV rays, the cold, and impacts
  • Water-repelling windows help keep canines dry in the rain
  • Available in 5 colors, including Gunmetal, Tan, and DU Green
  • Made in America with stainless-steel hardware and a solid plastic shell

Safety Rating:

  • Small: 5-Star rating from Center for Pet Safety when used with strength-rated safety straps (For dogs up to 30 pounds)
  • Medium: 5-Star rating from Center for Pet Safety when used with strength-rated safety straps (For dogs up to 45 pounds)
  • Intermediate: 5-Star rating from Center for Pet Safety when used with strength-rated safety straps (For dogs up to 74 pounds)
  • Large: Unrated currently

Size Options:

  • Small (Measures 24.5” x 18.6” x 20.5”)
  • Medium (Measures 29.5” x 20.5” x 25”) 
  • Intermediate  (Measures 34” x 23” x 30”) 
  • Large (Measures 40.25” x 28” x 34.5”)


  • Most owners praise the crate’s quality
  • 3 of the 4 sizes have earned a 5-star crash-test rating
  • Pretty rigid and escape-proof
  • Comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty


  • Requires quite a bit of assembly
  • Primarily made from plastic, which isn’t everyone’s favorite material
  • Large model is not yet crash-rated, but we assume it will earn a score that’s similar to the other sizes

2. Impact High Anxiety Crate

About: Impact’s High Anxiety Crate is designed to contain even the craftiest of Houndinis with a locking door featuring four backup butterfly latches.

Made of welded aluminum, it has ventilation holes on all sides that are too small for panicked paws or teeth to fit into, protecting your pup from unnecessary harm.

Best Truck Bed Crate for Escape Artists

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Impact Dog Crate for Separation Anxiety

Impact High Anxiety Crate

Featuring a paddle-slam latch and sturdy, one-piece construction, this crate will withstand any damage your doggo can deliver.


  • Uses 99% recycled materials 
  • Military-grade handles for worry-free transport
  • Arrives fully assembled
  • Door features 5 different latches for top-notch security
  • Made in the USA

Safety Rating: 

  • Currently not rated by the Center for Pet Safety

Size Options:

  • 30.5” x 20.5” x 25.8”
  • 34.5” x 23“ x 28.8”
  • 40.5” x 23“ x 28.8”
  • 40.5” x 27.5“ x 30.8”
  • 42.5” x 26.5“ x 33.8”
  • 48.5” x 32.5“ x 35.8”


  • Pet parents praise the escape-proof nature of this heavy-duty crate
  • Eco-conscious crowd loves that it’s made with recycled materials
  • Comes with a 10-year dog damage protection warranty


  • Not yet rated by the Center for Pet Safety
  • No designated tie-down points (the manufacturer states the handles can be used, but actual tie-downs would be better)
Learn more about Impact’s Dog Crates!

I tried two Impact Crates with my dogs over the course of two years. Long story short, I think these crates are AWESOME.

Learn more here:

IMG 2251

3. UWS Northern 2-Door Deep Dog Box

About: The UWS Northern Dog Box is a safe and secure truck box, specifically designed to keep dogs warm and comfy in cold weather with a foam-filled, insulating core. This truck bed crate can contain two dogs at a time with a non-removable divider.

Best Multi-Dog Crate for Truck Beds

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UWS DB-4848N 48' Northern 2-Door Deep Dog Box with Divider

UWS Northern 2-Door Deep Dog Box

Made with foam-filled aluminum walls, this two-dog crate is safe, insulated, and comes with lots of extras, such as a storage rack.


  • Two independently opening doors with stainless-steel locks for added security
  • Stainless steel T-style handles for easy lifting
  • Lid cargo rack provides additional storage
  • Made in the USA with corrosion-resistant, extra-thick aluminum panels

Safety Rating:

  • Currently unrated by Center for Pet Safety

Size Options:

  • Single size option measures 48″ x 48″ x 31.3″


  • While relatively few owners reviewed, most report being pleased with the product
  • Insulating core keeps canines comfortable
  • Excellent protection against falling rain


  • One of the priciest models on the market
  • A few owners ran into some quality issues during assembly

4. Petmate Sky Kennel

About: The Petmate Sky Kennel offers a den-like hideaway for travel and at home and tie-down points for snug securing without walloping your budget. Its plastic hardware won’t rust, but swapping in a rust-resistant metal alternative is recommended for added strength.

Most Affordable Dog Crate for Truck Beds

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Petmate Sky Kennel, 36 Inch, IATA Compliant Dog Crate for Pets 50-70lbs, Made in USA

Petmate Sky Kennel

A travel-friendly crate featuring all-around ventilation, a vaulted door, and an easy-to-clean plastic shell at a decent price point.


  • Made of a plastic shell and steel wire
  • Ample ventilation from wire panels and air holes on all four sides
  • Comes with a travel kit of live animal markers, clip-on bowls, and ID stickers
  • Made in the USA

Safety Rating:

  • Not currently rated by the Center for Pet Safety

Size Options:

  • 21” x 16” x 15“
  • 28” x 20.5” x 21.5“
  • 32” x 22.5” x 24“
  • 36” x 25” x 27“ 
  • 40” x 27” x 30”
  • 48” x 32” x 35”


  • Versatile pick that can be used in your truck, during travel, or at home
  • Excellent option for travelers, as it meets many airlines’ flight requirements
  • Quality gets a thumb’s up from pet parents


  • While it provides some coverage, your canine buddy is still exposed to bad weather
  • Not crash-tested, though safer than simply tethering your furry friend

5. Owens Dog Box (55048)

About: The Owens Dog Box (55048) is a two-dog truck bed kennel that arrives in a kit-style package, giving you more control over the building process than most carriers. It’s also relatively lightweight and portable unlike bulkier metal options.

Best Dog Crate Kit for Truck Beds

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Owens (55048 Dog Box

Owens Dog Box

A secure, safe, and comfy truck bed crate for dogs that arrives in kit form, making it perfect for DIY-minded dog owners.


  • Kit includes rugged aluminum panels and a bolt pack — owner must provide plywood
  • Locking slam-latch doors keep canines secured
  • Slant-style air vents keep harsh weather conditions out
  • Made in the USA

Safety Rating:

  • Currently unrated by Center for Pet Safety

Size Options:

  • Single size measures 38″ x 48″ x 25″


  • DIY aspect offers more owner control over construction
  • Relatively cheaper than other two-dog carriers
  • Comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s guarantee covering defects


  • Some owners felt the install instructions were lacking
  • Requires more assembly than most truck bed kennels, plus you need to purchase plywood

6. Rock Creek Crate Aluminum Kennel

About: The Rock Creek Crate Aluminum Kennel is a welded metal carrier featuring a stainless steel lock with keyed entry, protecting your pooch from theft. With tie-down points and gripped feet, this kennel stays in place during travel with proper tethering, keeping your canine safe and secure.

Dog Crate Most Likely to Stay Put in a Truck Bed

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rock creek dog crate

Rock Creek Crate Aluminum Kennel

With gripping feet and dedicated tie-down points, this super durable crate is unlikely to slip and slide in your truck bed.


  • Crafted with internally welded aluminum for a sturdy frame
  • Available in seven colors, including Gray Slate, Plum Field, and Midnight Black
  • Powder-coated finish protects against scratches and rust
  • Made in the USA

Safety Rating:

  • 5-Star rating from the Center for Pet Safety awarded to the medium-sized kennel equipped with secondary door bolts and strength-rated safety straps

Size Options:

  • Medium (Measures 30″ x 20″ x 22″)
  • Large (Measures 36″ x 24″ x 27″)
  • Extra-Large (Measures 42″ x 28″ x 32″)


  • 5-Star crash rating is always a plus
  • No assembly required
  • Comes with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Pretty aesthetically pleasing for a metal kennel


  • One of the most expensive crate options
  • Metal tends to conduct heat and cold, affecting canine comfort

7. Bushwhacker K9 Canopy w/ Pad

About: The Bushwhacker K9 Canopy w/ Pad is not a true kennel, but it may provide value for owners in very low-risk situations. Essentially designed to keep your dog tethered and protected from the elements, this canine canopy may also be useful for hanging out with your dog at the beach or park.

Best Canopy-Style Truck Bed Accommodation

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Bushwhacker - K9 Canopy w/Pad and Tether for Truck Bed Dog Shade Shelter Kennel Hound Hut Tent Leash Pup Restraint Carrier Lead Barrier Vehicle Crate Harness House Cover Chain Tie Out UTV

Bushwhacker K9 Canopy w/ Pad

A great option for owners looking for a way to shade, rather than contain or protect their pooch, this is an easy-to-install option.


  • Includes 4 key components: canopy, 2 mesh sides, a pad, and a leash-clip tether
  • Secures in place with four included straps
  • Simple to assemble without tools

Safety Rating:

  • Currently unrated by the Center for Pet Safety

Size Options:

  • Single size measures 48” x 32” x 30”


  • Quality praised by pet parents
  • Padding provides comfort to canines
  • Lightweight and easy to install


  • Offer zero protection in the event of an accident
  • Dogs could easily chew through the tether if sufficiently motivated

8. Lucky Duck Kennel

About:  The Lucky Duck Kennel is a top-notch choice for large dogs who may feel cramped in dog boxes. Bearing glowing crash-test ratings, this carrier’s high-quality construction focuses on safety and comfort during travel with a den-like design and excellent cross ventilation through a series of air slots.

Best Truck Bed Crate for Large Dogs

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Lucky Kennel Intermediate

Lucky Duck Kennel

A safety-focused kennel with a locking door and a lightweight yet durable frame big enough to tote large breeds.


  • Made with a solid shell of rotomolded plastic
  • Built-in tie-down points for anchoring and gripped feet to prevent slippage
  • Pitched floor with drain tunnels for trapping messes away from your dog
  • Made in the USA

Safety Rating:

  • Lucky Duck Kennel Intermediate: Earned a 5-Star Rating from the Center for Pet Safety for dogs up to 75 pounds when used with Lucky’s strength-rated anchor straps
  • Lucky Duck Kennel Large: Earned a 5-Star Rating from the Center for Pet Safety for dogs up to 110 pounds when used with Lucky’s strength-rated anchor straps

Size Options:

  • Lucky Duck Kennel Intermediate (Measures 32.5” x 22.5” x 24.5”) 
  • Lucky Duck Kennel Large (Measures 38” x 24” x 29”)


  • 5-star safety ratings are a major win
  • Quality received high marks from dog parents
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty against defects from the manufacturer


  • Pricier than competitors (though likely much safer than cheaper dog crates)
  • Taller canines might have an issue with the crate’s height

9. Dakota 283 G3 Framed Door Kennel

About: The Dakota 283 Gr Framed Door Kennel comes in eight eye-catching colors, from rich Purple and Pink to neutrals like Coyote Granite and Sandstone, bringing flair to your truck while keeping your fur kid safe. The paddle-locked door features a keyed option for added security and a grip-style handle for easier transport.

Best-Looking Dog Crate for Truck Beds

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DAKOTA 283 G3 Framed Door Kennel - X-Large - Coyote Granite

Dakota 283 G3 Framed Door Kennel

A good-looking crate available in a rainbow of colors, with top-notch safety features like a one-piece design and locking door.


  • Molded of single-piece, thick plastic
  • Excellent airflow on all sides for cross ventilation
  • Drain hole allows for easier cleaning
  • Made in the USA

Safety Rating:

  • Not currently rated by the Center for Pet Safety

Size Options:

  • Medium: 31” x 21.5” x 25.5”
  • Large: 35.2” x 24.5” x 26.5”
  • X-Large: 38.5” x 25.5” x 29.5”


  • Bright color options are truly unique
  • Lock and key feature keeps your canine secure from theft
  • Quality and durability receive heaps of praise from pet parents


  • Pretty pricey
  • Door style not ideal for anxious canines

Different Types of Truck-Bed Crates

There are three basic styles of truck-bed crates, although it is important to note that some of the best crates for truck beds aren’t designed explicitly for this application. The three basic types of truck-bed crate include:

Metal Wire Crates

Metal wire crates are essentially identical to traditional wire dog crates, except that the bars used are often much thicker. They offer excellent ventilation and visibility. Nevertheless, metal wire crates are probably the least escape-proof of the three basic types of truck bed crate, so they aren’t a great idea for Houdini-like hounds.

These types of wire crates are better than nothing, but they won’t provide very much protection in the event of a crash, nor shield your dog from inclement weather or wind. This can make for a wet, cold, and miserable pup.

Plastic Panel Crates

Plastic panel crates usually provide great protection from the elements, and if they are designed well, they can be quite escape proof. Some of the best models feature double-wall construction, which provides further insulation against temperature extremes, and they’re typically lighter than metal crates.

However, plastic panel crates don’t provide much protection for your dog in the event of a crash. Flimsier plastic crates can also be chewed or scratched, leading to sharp edges that can become a safety hazard. 

Metal Panel Crates

Metal panel crates are typically the ideal crate for owners who want their dog to ride in the bed of a truck.

While the metal panels still won’t provide complete protection for your dog, they will provide more protection than metal wire crates or plastic panel crates will. They’re also moderately effective at shielding canine companions from inclement weather.

Many truck bed kennels and dog boxes are made of aluminum, specifically. An aluminum crate may be made of recycled materials, which is always a hit with eco-friendly fur parents.

Metal crates are, however, heavy, so you may need a friend help you move the crate around. They’re also quite expensive, but if there’s anything that justifies dropping a chunk of cash, it’s your family’s safety (we’re assuming most of our readers consider dogs members of the family).

Things You Want in a Truck-Bed Crate

dog crates for truck beds

Because of the security and safety concerns involved in the decision to allow your dog to ride in a truck bed, it is imperative that you scrutinize the available crates carefully to make the best possible choice.

Among other things, you’ll want to look for a crate that includes the following features, characteristics, and design concepts:


A truck-bed crate may not provide total protection for your pooch, but it certainly provides some. So, you’ll want to ensure that your dog can’t escape from the crate while you’re riding around. Ideally, you’ll want a keyed lock on the door to keep your dog inside and keep unauthorized individuals from opening the door.

Additionally, you want to select a crate that can be securely attached to your truck bed – a thief could conceivably make off with the entire crate if it isn’t exceptionally heavy or connected directly to the bed in some way.


Few crates are designed to keep your dog safe in the event of a crash, but you’ll want to provide your pet with the most protection possible, should something terrible happen. Rigidity has as much to do with the crate’s design as it does the materials used in the construction, however, metal crates are generally less likely to collapse or break than plastic crates are.

Note that there are a few collapsible truck-bed crates on the market. But, while convenient to store and transport, a collapsible crate may not be as rigid as their non-collapsing counterparts are, leaving your dog at risk.


Your truck bed dog crate will be exposed to the elements and road debris, so you want one that is built to last and not your average dog crate. Galvanized metal will last longer than just about any other commonly used material, but most economy metal crates will eventually rust if allowed to get wet repeatedly.

Plastic crates will usually handle moisture fine, but they may get dinged and scratched from the rocks, gravel, sand and other things that blow up off the road.

It’s also important to pay attention to the smallest components to ensure durable construction. This includes quality fasteners that won’t rust or snap and door hardware that won’t break with repeated use.

 Suitable Size

Make sure that the crate you choose is the proper size. Essentially, you want your dog to be able to lay down, stand up and turn around inside the crate, but you don’t want them to have much more room than this.

In the case of a car accident – and this is difficult to explain gently – your dog will be thrown around more in a large crate than a small crate, so it is important to avoid providing a crate that is much larger than necessary.

 Tie-Down Pins

Tie-down pins provide a place to attach the straps included with the purchase of the crate (or aftermarket alternatives).

They aren’t absolutely necessary as you can strap down truck bed crates in a number of ways, but tie-down pins, which are generally built into the frame of the crate, provide maximum security.  

 Insulated Walls

It can get pretty chilly riding around in the back of a truck – even during warm weather, the high winds will lower the effective temperature your dog feels. Conversely, dog crates can get pretty hot while sitting in the summer sun.

Accordingly, you may want to select a truck bed dog crate with insulated walls to protect your pooch from temperature extremes.

If you don’t have a crate that has solid insulation, purchasing an insulated kennel cover is another option. You can simply place the cover over an existing dog crate in colder weather.

 Rain-Deflecting Vents

Even though dogs are covered with a layer of fur, they can experience hypothermia pretty easily if they get wet (especially if they’re also exposed to low temperatures and high winds). So, it is important to select a crate that will keep your dog dry. Some of the best crates feature rain-deflectors around the vents to prevent water from splashing inside.

Extras that Are Nice (But Not Necessarily Must-Haves)

Some features make toting your best friend around a breeze. While they may not mandatory, they’re certainly nifty for day-to-day life with a doggo. 

Additional Storage Space

Carting around canine accessories is easier if your kennel or dog box has a storage compartment or two for leashes, bowls, and more. Ideally, the storage compartment should have a secure closure, too, with either a latch or keyed lock. This prevents opening during travel or theft.

Double Doors

Dual entry points allow for easy access to your canine and let you configure your truck bed’s layout in more ways than a standard crate. Double doors are also helpful while cleaning. Just be sure that each is a quality closure, like a paddle-latch door.

Escape Hatch

An emergency escape hatch is an excellent feature in case of an accident. It gives you access to your pup, even if the primary door is damaged. Most are roof or rear-mounted, but all should include a secure lock to keep your pup in place when not in use.

Easy-Cleaning Setup

Keeping your dog’s kennel clean can be tricky, particularly if he’s a hunting hound or a mud monster around the farm. Some crates make the process easier with features like a removable tray with a smooth finish or floor drain holes to rinse messes away effortlessly.

Types of Crates to Avoid for Truck Bed Travel

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Two types of carriers are too dangerous to be used as a truck bed dog crate, regardless of brand or features. These canine carriers may be acceptable inside the vehicle’s cab, but they aren’t cut out for #truckbedlife. 

Wire Dog Crate

While this collapsible crate is great for at-home use with its portable nature and removable tray, it’s far too dangerous for riding in a truck. It offers zero protection in collisions or hostile weather conditions and is easy for dogs to escape from.

Soft Crate

Pet parents love the wide range of styles these portable carriers come in, but they are useless for protecting your beloved pooch in a crash. They’re also a breeze to escape from and for pupnappers to steal.

How Do You Mount Your Dog’s Crate in a Truck Bed?

For the most part, crates that are designed specifically for use in a truck bed will come with dedicated attachment points, along with instructions for how to hook everything up.

But unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for crates that aren’t specifically designed for use in a truck bed — you’ll simply have to use your best judgment and hope for the best.

On the other hand, there are a few crates that are marketed as being suitable for truck bed use, but still lack dedicated tie-down points — such as the Impact High Anxiety Crate discussed above. Fortunately, Impact has put together a video that explains how to safely secure their crates to your truck. And for that matter, this video may help give you some ideas for mounting other kinds of crates to your truck bed too.

Truck Bed Crates: FAQ

We get it — reading about dog crates for truck beds can be confusing! In fact, it often leaves owners with more questions than answers.

Don’t worry! We’ll answer some of the most common truck bed crate queries below!

Is it safe to put a dog crate in a truck bed?

While your crated dog is safest inside a vehicle’s cabin, he can travel safely in a truck bed if several critical steps are taken. For one, select a crash-rated crate if possible to ensure the best possible outcome in the event of an accident. You also want a secure kennel with a locking door and a strong build. This is particularly important if you have an escape artist pooch.

Once you select the right crate, install it with screw-in mounts or tie-downs to ensure it won’t move during travel. Always use the equipment provided with the crate, if applicable, or high-quality straps and hardware if the equipment is not included.

How can I protect my dog in a truck bed?

You can protect your dog while traveling in a truck by securing him in a crash-rated crate. Not only does crating your pup protect him in the event of an accident, but also from severe weather, including rain and snow, and from roadway debris.

As always, secure your dog’s crate with appropriate straps to prevent shifting or tipping, and keep your truck bed tidy to keep objects from striking his kennel.

How do you keep a dog crate cool in the back of a truck?

Keeping your dog cool in the heat is essential, especially if he’s a brachycephalic (flat-faced) breed like a bulldog. Crate fans are a popular solution to beating the heat, with most being battery-operated and door-mounted. You can also place a cooling dog bed or mat inside the crate if your dog isn’t a chewer. Always offer fresh, cool water in a mounted bowl as well.

In addition to tending to your dog, you want to tend to the crate. A reflective sun shield placed atop it (without blocking ventilation) can also prevent UV rays from heating the kennel.

How do you keep a dog crate warm in the back of a truck?

The best approach depends on the temperature, as a chilly day in the 50s differs significantly from a day below freezing. You don’t want to overheat your dog accidentally. 

A comfortable bed or mat inside the crate is a great starting point, as it helps keep your dog toasty, barring his belly and feet from the chilly bottom. For more severe bouts of cold, you can opt for a thicker mat or heated dog bed.

Outside the crate, you can block the wind by anchoring the kennel just behind the cab. An insulated kennel cover is an excellent option for shielding your dog from extreme cold. 

Can you use a harness for a dog in a truck bed?

Tethering a harnessed dog in your truck bed is legal in some places, but it isn’t something we’d recommend. A dog outside of a carrier is in significant danger, left exposed to roadway debris, dust, severe weather, and more. A tethered dog also has zero protection during accidents.

Another concern is with your dog’s security overall. A harnessed pooch might chew through a lead and escape or can possibly be stolen.

Is it legal to ride with a dog in a truck bed?

Maybe. Most jurisdictions require dogs to be secured when traveling in a truck bed. This may mean tethering or housing your dog in a kennel with adequate airflow and protection against the elements. Check the laws in your location to ensure you and your woof are road-ready (and legal!)

Do dogs like riding in truck beds?

Some dogs enjoy the bounty of fresh air that comes with riding in the bed of a truck, but others may find it a bit much, particularly small dogs, seniors, and those with short coats who may chill easily. It’s also quite noisy back there, making the ride terrifying for anxiety-prone pups.

The weather also significantly influences how much your dog will like truck bed travel. Mild days with sunny skies are tolerable, but riding in hostile weather conditions such as rain, snow, and extreme temperatures can be miserable or even dangerous.

You know your dog best. If he’s anxious or sensitive to weather changes, keep him in the cab with you. For safety’s sake, remember to secure him there, too, whether it’s in a vehicle crate, travel harness, or canine booster seat.


While it is always better to allow your dog to ride inside a crate placed in the cabin space of your car, there are a few scenarios in which it may be acceptable (though never ideal) to let your dog ride in a truck-bed crate. Just be sure to select the best model for your pooch if you decide to do so and keep safety in mind at all times.

Have you ever used a truck bed crate for your pup? We’d love to hear about your experiences and learn about any crates you’ve found to be particularly effective. Let us know all about it in the comments below!

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Written by

Ben Team

Ben is the managing editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. Ben’s had the chance to work with hundreds of different species, but his favorite animals have always been dogs. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his spoiled-rotten Rottweiler named J.B. Chances are, she’s currently giving him the eyes and begging to go to the park.

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  1. Hannah Avatar

    I’m in the market for a dog crate and these ones look awesome. Thanks for sharing!

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