Important information concerning all discussions about Variocage safety. A crash can happen at any speed and there are many variables with respect to the circumstances involved in an accident. Predicting every possible scenario and outcome is impossible. Depending on your vehicle, speed and circumstance, it might be possible that nothing can protect all occupants from injury or fatalities. Please drive safely and always use your MIM Safe Variocage for transporting your animals.

How can I choose a Variocage that is the correct size for the safe transport of my dog?

A properly installed Variocage of the correct size offers the best protection available on the market for safe transport of your dog as well as all human occupants in your vehicle.

To assure a proper fit, please click here to see the measuring guide for Choosing the right Variocage.

When measuring your dog, please remember that the Variocage is a transport cage and it is not a kennel. Transport cages serve a specific application and therefore have specific requirements. A kennel is not designed for the safe transport of your dog.

There should be enough room for your dog to stand-up in the cage with just a few inches of clearance above the shoulder. There should also be just a few inches of clearance from the base of the tail (not the tip of the tail) to end of the cage. These clearances are perfectly normal for the Variocage when used for safe transport of your dog.

Professional handlers typically use the correct size cage based on the measuring instructions found on our website for transporting their dog. Oversized is not necessarily better, especially when it comes to safety.

Typically, your dog will want to lie down in the Variocage once they settle down for the trip. In fact, the design of the Variocage tends to contribute to the dog relaxing and lying down while in motion. This keeps your dog calmer and contributes to their safety as well.

There may be instances when the size of your dog and/or your vehicle may require you to make certain exceptions to the recommendations made above.

Large dogs that exceed the maximum length of the cage may require the use of a Double Variocage versus a Single Variocage, even when traveling alone. The width of a Double Variocage will provide them with the room they require that the length of the cage cannot. Restrictions on the length of the Variocage imposed by your vehicle may also require the use of a Double Variocage to allow enough room for your dog.

Typically, we do not recommend putting a single dog in a larger oversize cage. A larger transport cage is not necessarily as safe for the dog and is not desirable from a safety perspective. However, you can transport several smaller dogs in a larger Variocage as long as they are always traveling together.

How do I calculate the inside dimensions for a Variocage I am interested in purchasing?

To get estimated interior dimensions for a Variocage, deduct from the outside dimensions as follows:

Height 0.60 in
Width 1.96 in
Depth 2.36 in

Please review the measuring instructions and sizing guides on our website to choose the correct Variocage that is best for your dog and your vehicle.
If you are not sure exactly what size you need, going one (1) size larger than indicated by your measurements is and acceptable and safe alternative.

Will the MIM Safe Variocage fit in my vehicle?

The MIM Safe Variocage is suitable for use in Station Wagons, Minivans, and SUV’s. The Variocage design, features and adjustable length allow it to fit in most suitable vehicles.

The Variocage is angled to match the slope of the back seat and the slope of the rear cargo door. The roof of the crate is also narrower in width than the floor. These features allow for a proper fit in almost all suitable vehicles.

What is the correct way to install the MIM Safe Variocage in my vehicle?

MIM Safe Variocage is designed for placement behind the rear seat (or a barrier similar to it) with the sidebars traveling in the direction of the car. This placement allows the cage to work with the car’s crumple zones in the event of a crash.

The Variocage is safest mounted level on a flat surface secured to the floor in your vehicle. It is important to use the straps provided with the Variocage to secure it to the tie-down hooks in your vehicle. These straps are integral to the safety design of the Variocage. The straps are engineered to give way in a severe impact allowing the crumple zone protection of the Variocage to work properly.

Proper use of the Variocage relies on the crumple zone protection designed in to your vehicle and the Variocage. For best safety and by design, the Variocage must be facing lengthwise in the vehicle for maximum protection of both your dog and human occupants. Please make sure you measure your vehicle with this placement and positioning of the Variocage in mind.

What if I have a Minivan or SUV with 2nd row captain’s chairs?

MIM Safe Variocage can be installed in a Minivan or SUV with the 3rd row seats folded down or removed. The 2nd row captain’s chairs would then act as the rear seat. This should work even if there is a gap between the Two (2) Seats. Please make sure the MIM Safe Variocage is strapped down properly to the anchor points in your vehicle and that you have support from the 2nd row seats for the cage.

Can the cage be installed anywhere else in a vehicle other than behind the rear seat?

MIM Safe Variocage offers the best protection in the event of an impact or rollover when properly installed and secured to the floor behind the rear seat of your vehicle. There are several reasons for this which are outlined here:

In most vehicles, there is a protective plate that covers most of the width and height of the rear seat. This plate is designed to prevent penetration into the rear seating area by the corners of hard or sharp objects being transported in the cargo area thereby helping to protect occupants from serious harm or injury.

The front seats in most vehicles do not have a protective plate. They only have a frame. The frame is designed to withstand impacts but not penetrations by hard or sharp objects. In fact, putting a plate in a front seat might cause damage to rear seat occupants if they were to contact the plate with a body part or their head. The front seat typically allows for some cushioning for human occupants during impact yet still serves to protect front seat occupants from serious harm or injury.

Placing any cage on top of a folded seat that does not fold completely flat into the floor can be hazardous. Any elevated position above the floor increases the risk of penetrating a seat with the base or lower corner of the cage. This position can also apply more force against the upper portion of the front seat, causing it to break. Also, if it is not secured properly to the floor, the cage is more likely to become a projectile in your vehicle placing all human occupants as well as your dog at risk of serious harm or fatal injury.

If you do place a cage behind your front seat, please bear in mind that you are compromising safety when using this location. If you decide to put a cage in this position, please understand you do so at your own risk. MIM Safe Variocage cannot recommend this installation. The cage must be placed up against the rear seat and secured to the floor for the best possible result in the event of a crash.

MIM Safe Variocage has not tested cages for crash protection when placed sideways in a vehicle and properly secured to a floor. Therefore, MIM Safe Variocage cannot recommend this placement since no test data is available for this type of installation.

Placing a cage on a rear seat is never recommended. The cage cannot be properly secured in this location and it places the cage at an unsafe height in the vehicle. MIM Safe Variocage does not recommend this installation in a vehicle.

Can the Variocage be used in a Pickup Truck?

Variocage is primarily intended for use in the enclosed area inside a vehicle. Variocage is not designed to be used in a pickup truck without a hard top over the pickup bed. However, if you choose to install a Variocage in a pickup truck with a hard top, then you must place the Variocage in the bed of the pickup with the back of the cage against the rear of the driver / passenger cabin. The Variocage must be in this position in order to assure the crumple zone of the Variocage will work as designed.

Please be sure that the backside of the Variocage is firmly placed against the wall in the pickup bed behind the passenger cab. The Variocage must also be securely strapped down to the bed of the pickup truck. Please note that the purpose of strapping down the Variocage is to keep it from sliding and to keep the Variocage in the best collision safe position as described above.

A mat (rubber or other suitable material) is recommended to protect both the surface of the Variocage as well as the pickup bed. This also serves to prevent the Variocage from sliding. All cargo must be placed and secured in such a manner that it cannot damage the Variocage in case of emergency braking or collision.

Please note that a Variocage installed in a pickup bed without a hard top is not ideally protected in the event of a serious rollover accident. The use of a Variocage not in full compliance with any of the above installation methods will be at the user’s own risk.