The 7 Best Dog Kennels For Truck Beds (Expert Opinion + Buying Guide)

Do you need a dog kennel for your truck bed? Our expert opinion and buying guide will help you find the best one. We have included 7 of the best options available, with all their pros and cons. You’ll also learn what to look for in a truck bed kennel so that it is easy to choose the right one for your needs. Read on or scroll down to see our list!

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The 7 Best Dog-Approved Truck Bed Kennels

We’ve sniffed the market for the best doggie-approved kennels that you can fit on your truck. Table could not be displayed.

Gunner Kennel

Duck hunters have often turned to the aptly-named Gunner Kennel, which features a 5-star crash test vehicle safety rating much as the Lucky Duck one does. On top of this, the Mid Valley Mercenaries found that it was impressively designed:

Since it comes in four different sizes, the Gunner is likely to fit pretty much every dog that people might want to transport. This flexibility also makes it easy to find a kennel from the series that will fit the back of any truck or van, which is another popular feature for those heading out on a hunting trip.

Pros and Cons of the Gunner Dog Kennel

Like the Lucky Duck kennel, the Gunner is extremely durable. It features a double-wall rotomolded design that the manufacturer refers to as being overbuilt.

On top of this, the Gunner provides:

  • A reversible door that’s hard to escape from
  • An oversized drainage system
  • All-weather joint sealing
  • Sturdy roof to keep dogs dry
  • Stainless steel tie-downs that won’t rip on impact
  • Rounded edges to prevent injuries

Common complaints about Gunner’s design from pet owners include:

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Gunner Kennels are not sold on Amazon. Check their website for current availability and pricing.

SMONTER Heavy Duty Dog Crate

SMONTER Heavy Duty Dog Crate is a tough kennel. Your dog’s safety is practically a guarantee with this one. This crate isn’t solely designed for trucks. It features wheels so that you can move them easily, which might pose a problem when using them in trucks.

Actually, it’s not a problem at all. Simply don’t install the wheels when you’re assembling the cage. It’s made with welded reinforced steel. In other words, it’s going to take a lot more than a dog to do any damage.

This is the most important thing to seek when hunting for a truck bed kennel. You can relax knowing your dog is well protected. SMONTER dog crate was manufactured with stubborn dogs in mind. Chances are you know exactly how much damage a stubborn dog can inflict. Therefore, this crate is treated with a multi-layer coating to withstand scratches and teeth marks.

Because your little buddy’s health is a priority, this coating is non-toxic. Chew away furry-friend, it won’t make a difference! This design is an upgrade to the previous one. The locks are better than they used to. Now there are two patent locks with safety buckles to keep your pup safely locked up.

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  • Dimensions: 38 x 26 x 32 inches
  • Shipping weight: 77.2 pounds

What We Like

  • Metal is very sturdy
  • Pipes are too thick to bite
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to assemble
  • Sizes between 39 and 48 inches are available

What We Don’t

  • Might be out of budget

Petmate Ruffmaxx Outdoor Dog Kennel

If you still prefer a plastic dog carrier, Petmate Ruffmaxx Outdoor Dog Kennel is a pretty good option. This kennel was designed to be airline-adaptable. This means that it’s made to keep your dog secured. It’s made of heavy-duty plastic to protect your precious cargo.

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Because it’s designed to be used on the go, it can be set up pretty quickly. Its latches can be opened without giving you any trouble, so it won’t be an inconvenience to you. The upside of using this kennel in your truck is that its design might not require a cover. It pretty much protects dogs against the elements by itself.

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  • Dimensions: 28 x 21.5 x 20.5 inches
  • Shipping weight: 9 pounds

What We Like

  • Easy to carry
  • Dual usage as a carrier and crate
  • Dogs can’t escape

What We Don’t

  • Tenacious dogs might bite their way out

MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate

MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate is one of the best dog kennels on the market. Your pup will feel right at home! No matter the size of your dog, you’ll fit an iCrate that fits your dog. The sizes start at XXS, which is 18 inches, up till XXL, which is 48 inches. If you’re not sure which size to get, there’s a photo guide that you can use!

This all-inclusive dog crate comes with a divider panel. If your dog is still a pup, you can use it to narrow the space within the kennel until he/she grows into it.

There is a double-doors option to make the kennel more versatile for you. You can place it however you like without having to worry about blocking the only door. The single-door options are also available in pink and blue which we love!

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  • Dimensions: 30 x 19 x 21 inches
  • Shipping weight: 19.5 pounds

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Sturdy design
  • Collapsible for easy storage
  • The carrying handle makes it easy to move
  • Easy to assemble

What We Don’t

  • Might need a carabiner to prevent smart dogs from opening the lock

MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate Starter Kit

iCrate Starter Kit contains everything you need to make sure your dog is comfy and safe inside his kennel. Dogs love this kit! The iCrate you receive is the double-doored kennel with the free divider. Your pup’s comfort is as important as its safety, which is why the kit includes a bed.

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It’s an ultra-soft fleece bed with polyester-filled bolsters that’s perfect for naptime. Not to mention, it’s a perfect fit for the kennel. MidWest’s crate cover is also included in the kit. This is crucial when it comes to putting the kennel in a truck bed, as you must know by now.

It protects your doggie while maintaining the ventilation he needs. You can open either door with this cover too. Two Snap’y Fit bowls come with this kit. They can be secured firmly to the kennel using wing nuts to provide mess-free food and water for your furball.

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  • Dimensions: 30 x 19 x 21 inches
  • Shipping weight: 24.4 pounds

What We Like

  • The bed cover is machine-washable and quick-dry
  • Kennel cover is machine-washable
  • Cover sides can be hooked upwards to provide some light
  • Bowls are rust-resistant

What We Don’t

  •  Hard to clean hair off the bed

AmazonBasics Kennel

Like almost every AmazonBasics product ever made, this kennel gets the job done beautifully. It’s basically two for the price of one, thanks to the divider panel that comes with it. You don’t need to buy a smaller cage for your puppy and then upgrade it for a larger one.

Simply pop in the panel to make the kennel fit your little one. You can either choose between a single or a double-door cage. The latter comes in handy sometimes, especially if your dog doesn’t like cages much. It’ll give you better access.

The wires’ quality is amazing. Zero scratches or rough ends with this puppy, pun intended. Let’s talk about security. There are not one but two slide-bolt latches that seem to cause a headache for the people who’ve tried this kennel. If a human has a hard time opening two locks, do you think a dog can do it easily?

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  • Dimensions: 30 x 19 x 21 inches
  • Weight: 16.62  pounds

What We Like

  • Sizes start from 22 up till 48 inches
  • Collapsible for easy storage
  • Carrying handle for versatility
  • Within budget

What We Don’t

  •  Not the sturdiest option

MidWest Homes For Pets LifeStages

Another MidWest Homes for Pets prodigy, LifeStages is yet another impressive kennel of theirs. LifeStages isn’t unlike iCrate in most aspects. However, it’s more heavy-duty. Its wires are made of heavier gauge steel and tighter mesh. This gives the frame strength to withstand dog bites.

If your dog doesn’t like being cooped up and fights back, this crate should handle it. LifeStages crate is reinforced with two heavy-duty slide-bolt latches. These latches ensure the door won’t open on its own. It also keeps mischievous doggies from independently making their way out of the kennel, which is a problem more common than you might think. The dog tray is another plus here.

Its durability means it won’t break easily either. Not to mention, you can easily remove it to thoroughly clean the kennel. This crate anticipates troubles dogs might have with other crates. Therefore, its threshold is pretty low so that shorter pups can enter and exit without any trouble.

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  • Dimensions: 30 x 21 x 24 inches
  • Weight: 22 pounds

What We Like

  • Free divider panel
  • Collapsible
  • Carrying handle
  • A two-door kennel is also available
  • Sizes range between 22 and 48 inches
  • 1-year manufacturer’s warranty

What We Don’t

  •  Might have some sharp wire ends

Petmate ProValu Dog Crate

Another den-like kennel is the Petmate ProValu Dog Crate. It’s popular among doggies. The wires are coated with a rust-resistant finish. If you live somewhere where humidity is frequent it will no longer be an issue. The doors feature a 5-point locking system.

It’s patented for leaving no gaps when the door is closed. It decreases the likelihood of your dog escaping the cage.

No products found.

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  • Dimensions: 30 x 19 x 21 inches
  • Shipping weight: 19.2 pounds

What We Like

  • Cat-approved too!
  • 2 doors
  • Free divider
  • Collapsible
  • Easy to install
  • Sizes between 19 to 48 inches are available

What We Don’t

  •  Not ideal for smaller dogs or puppies

Things to Consider

Before we get started, you might want to know some essential information.

Importance of Truck Bed Kennel

A lot of people simply pat their truck beds for their dogs to jump in before they hit the road. The reason why you should avoid doing this at all costs is that it puts your dog in peril! “According to the Humane Society of the United States, 100,000 dogs are killed each year in accidents involving riding in truck beds,” according to Trips With Pets. When a dog is in a truck bed exposed to the weather, it might result in eye, ear, or nose damage.

The combination of air currents, insects, and even debris flying around and hitting your pup might cause damage. Not to mention the obvious risks of a car accident, flying off the truck bed because of sudden braking, and jumping off the truck. Placing your dog in a kennel before securing it in the truck bed eliminates almost all of these risks and keeps them to a minimum.

How To Sniff the Right Kennel

So how do you know which kennel is the right choice? We’ll share our tips and tricks with you.

Types of Kennels

The first decision you need to make is which type of kennel are you aiming for?

Metal Kennel

Metal kennels are cages or crates with metal wires or panels. They are usually available in all sizes so you can easily find one for your doggie. These are the ideal kennels when it comes to truck beds, thanks to their durability first and foremost. The metal keeps your dog well-protected inside.

Your dog can’t really fall off the truck or jump out if it’s locked inside. The only thing that remains is the risk of debris or bad weather and there’s a solution for this too. You can easily get a cover for the crate, to protect your buddy. Some kennels even come with their own covers. No need to worry about the price here, they’re pretty affordable.

Deep Dog Box

Deep dog boxes are usually made of aluminum. They’re typically large closed boxes with few openings. Plenty of people believe these are the ultimate way to go. Their large, tough exterior means they’re pretty safe for your furball to nestle inside them. The downside is that they cost a couple of hundred bucks, maybe even a thousand or two. Therefore, they might not be an option for everyone.

Another negative is that they’re so bulky that they’ll eat up your entire truck bed. If you’re traveling somewhere, you won’t be able to pack anything back there! There aren’t many options on the market. Not many people buy them due to their price, which means it’s hard to really find which are the best ones. Many have received criticism for being too flimsy, which defeats the whole purpose of spending this much money.

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Plastic Kennel

Plastic kennels are probably in all pet-owning households. They’re typically used to transport pets, especially little ones. You probably have one already. Some people find it to be the most practical way to transport dogs in truck beds since they already own them. It is possible to secure them to your truck bed and simply lock up your dog in there. There is still a risk, however. We don’t recommend using them regularly, as plastic hardly does anything to protect your doggie. It could break pretty easily in an accident.

Soft Fabric Kennel

Another popular dog kennel is the fabric kind. This kind is stunningly versatile and easy to use. Not to mention, pretty cozy for your buddy. They are, however, the worst kind of kennel you can use in a truck bed. They offer little to no protection at all, leaving your dog exposed to all sorts of dangers.

Size of Dog

Picking the right size for your dog is more important than you might think. A car ride can be uncomfortable with all the bumps along the road. Therefore, you need a kennel that’s not too tight of a fit. Otherwise, your dog will probably end up with some bruises and maybe even injuries. Don’t overdo it too. Remember how Thor was thrown around the cage in The Avengers? Yeah, you surely don’t want your pup to go through that either! Make sure your choice gives your dog a little room and doesn’t cram him, yet doesn’t have too much room where he’ll keep getting thrown from side to side during the ride.


The whole point of getting a kennel for your truck bed is safety. Make sure you do your research about a product before purchasing to ensure it can keep your pet safe. Opting for a heavy-duty kennel will probably be a good choice. Better be safe than sorry.

Leading Dog Kennel Brands

When it comes to kennels, these brands are dog-whisperers.


SMONTER products are rapidly becoming favored by pet owners. There’s a good reason for that. Those who’ve tried SMONTER products rave about them. True to their word, SMONTER manufactures only top-quality products. Their focus is on pets and them alone. Durability is their forte. Their products offer great value for the money.

MidWest Homes For Pets

Midwest Homes For Pets began in 1921 to produce high-quality products to keep their customers happy. Today, they’re one of the largest companies in America, and, true to their goal, they’ve earned their customers’ loyalty with their exceptional products. Their products are crafted with the needs of pets in mind. They’re comfortable for the furry creatures and healthy too!


Amazon is perhaps the most in-demand website on the internet. It’s indispensable to us all, thanks to its endless supply of all products. Amazon has evolved beyond just selling other brands and has started a line of its own. Amazon basics is a stunningly affordable brand with all sorts of products on the market. Its quality is practically a guarantee, as is its variety.


Petmate started in 1960 as Doskocil Manufacturing. They manufactured their first wooden kennel in 1964. In 1973, they created their first plastic kennel. Along the way, they’ve also been making various pet products that are high in demand. While their main concern is making products that are comfortable and likable to pets, they’re quite conscious about doing it in an environmentally friendly way.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions fellow dog parents are asking.

How do I transport my dog in a truck?

The safest place for your dog in a truck is for it to be in the cabin with you. This way, it’s least likely to get hurt. This might not work if you’re not alone. If this isn’t an option for you, the next best thing is to secure a dog kennel to your truck bed and lock your dog safely inside it.

How to secure a dog kennel in a truck bed?

You need to use straps to secure your kennel to the back of the truck bed. You can use tethers, tie-down pins, and nylon straps. Make sure your kennel is secured tightly enough so that it doesn’t move back and forth with the truck.

How can I keep my dog warm in the back of my truck?

The easy answer is to cover the kennel. Kennel covers protect dogs against cold wind and rain which means that your dog will be pretty warm and cozy inside. Throwing in his/her favorite blankie won’t hurt either.

Do I need to tie my dog to the truck bed?

Yes! Not only will you be endangering your dog’s life if you don’t at least use a tether to secure it at the back of your truck, but it’s also illegal in most states to drive with an unrestrained dog at the back of your truck.

How do I find the right kennel size for my dog?

The ideal size of a dog kennel is one large enough for your pup to stand in, maybe move around a little bit, and lie down comfortably.