K9 Transport Vehicles – A Complete Guide to Available Options

K9 officers need special equipment to ensure their canine partners travel safely and comfortably. Many options exist if your department uses dogs for tracking, search and rescue, detection, or apprehension.

Options for Visibility

Whether a police K9, a personal protection dog, or even a championship sport K9, working dogs spend most of their time in an automobile. Because of this, these remarkable canines must travel comfortably and safely with their handlers. To ensure this, many departments upfit their vehicles with various solutions designed to keep dogs safe and secure when in transit.

For example, some departments have their K9s transported in cage inserts that take up the vehicle’s back seat. These are typically hard-sided or soft-sided crates that can be easily secured to the car using the LATCH system. Other options are specialized harnesses that attach to the seat belt system or even plush carry boxes with plenty of room for the dogs and can be quickly opened at the press of a button.

These systems provide sufficient space for the canine to roam around during transportation and allow officers to monitor their K9s at all times. The crate can sometimes be lowered for easy ingress and egress while the car is moving.

Some specialized systems can even divide the vehicle’s back seat for dual-purpose use. This allows the team to carry both a prisoner and their K9 in the exact vehicle at the same time.

Options for Safety

For your canine partner, safety is paramount. Dogs are trained to alert their handlers of threats and attackers and subdue them until emergency personnel arrives. This means that they must be able to remain calm and safe during travel in a vehicle, regardless of how long the trip may be. Many K9 transport vehicles are designed with safety, comfort, and versatility in mind. Unlike the crates typically placed in the back of police vehicles, K9 inserts feature front sliding escape doors, windows that can be opened or closed, and guards that prevent the dogs from being ejected from the car during an accident. Some even include a rear cargo area that allows officers to store additional equipment for the canine and their handlers.

K9 transport systems are designed to be as quiet as possible so your canine partner doesn’t become anxious or stressed during long drives. Some come with air-circulating fans that keep the interior relaxed and comfortable and heat alarms that send notifications to the handler’s phone in case the vehicle gets too hot or stalls out.

Some K9 transport vehicles are made from a black material, which is aesthetically pleasing and helps reduce glare during the day and headlight reflection at night. This can help to keep the unit discrete and less noticeable, making it an excellent option for police departments looking to upgrade their fleet of K9 patrol cars during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Options for Comfort

A properly trained police K9 or personal protection dog will want to rest and relax during the ride. For this reason, crates are often a good option for K9 transport vehicles as they can be placed in the back seat or trunk of a car without interfering with the driver’s visibility. A crate with a padded nonstick rubber floor can make the journey more comfortable for long rides.

When patrolling with a K9, officers must stay calm, too, and the best way to do this is by using a cooling system that attaches to a police car’s air conditioning vent. These systems are designed to fit between a police officer’s vest and shirt to deliver cool air to keep them and their partner comfortable in transit.

This fully contoured unit is fabricated of heavy-duty aluminum and features a front-sliding door on a sliding track and hinged window bars for easy access and cleaning. The rounded corners maximize the drivers rearview, and a solid roof with dome light and ventilation holes enhances the vehicle’s interior. A white powder coat finishes on the main housing and partition parts, and black on the window guards ensures durability.

Options for Versatility

As police departments look to make the most of their resources, some of the latest equipment includes partitions and transport units designed to keep K9 officers and prisoners together in one vehicle. Special kennels with cooling fans are especially helpful on long stakeouts so that the K9 team doesn’t overheat and lose their ability to work at their handlers’ command.

Many K9 transport vehicle up-fit options feature innovative designs that keep safety, comfort, and versatility in mind. Their collapsible crate, for example, can be easily moved from vehicle to vehicle and is made in the USA with heavy-duty materials that ensure it will last a long time.

Many suppliers have several K9 transport vehicle upfit options that help keep law enforcement teams safe and comfortable on the road. It includes a combination of prisoner/K9 transport for SUVs and other options that can fit most sedans.

Other companies have developed a range of K9 transport system options designed with law enforcement needs in mind. These include a variety of vehicle inserts, window guards, and door panel guards, as well as heat alert systems that monitor temperature spikes and notify the handler in case of an emergency.