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Eliminating the Single Largest Risk of Day Care. Safe & SECURE

Unlike other operators 84 Acres exclusively uses full-sized vans with a double door (un)loading system meaning your dog is never on the road-side being placed or taken out of a dog crate in the van. Scroll down to learn more about this important safety feature of day care with 84 Acres. Transport is tragically overlooked by others and the current regulations. Click here to see how 84 Acres is shaping new regulations.

Click here to read the full article about London Dog Club (fmrly City Paws Club)


84 Acres Exclusively Uses Full Sized Vans

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Internal Space

An internal safe (un)loading space which is 6ft+ high allows for both canine coach and dog to enter the van securely

Double Doors

With the van cargo door closed the dog can be carefully positioned into their crate and the lead de-datched

Leash Free Ride

Leashes are fully de-datched and removed preventing a choke or strangulation risk during the journey

What are Full Sized Vans?

Full sized vans are the largest vans you see on the road. They are not your typical builders van. Below are a list of models that cover the full sized category:

Full sized vans:

- VW Crafter (the 84 Acres Pet Shuttle!)

- Mercedes Sprinter

- Citreon Relay

- Peugeot Boxer

- Renault Master

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Non-full Sized Vans Present The Single Largest Risk of Day Care

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No Internal Space

The lack of accessible internal space due to the small cargo space and low roof height (humans can't stand-up) means (un)loading can't be done inside the van. The pathway or road has to be used but this is a very dangerous area

Leashes Can Kill

Leaving the leash on the dog during the journey can help make things safer but it presents a choking and strangulation risk

Using The Road-Side

(Un)loading is required to be done outside the van near the road-side which presents significant risks. During the the dogs transit from leashed walking on the pathway to being put in the crate it can break free and entre the road and live traffic and escape

Dogs & Taffic

Dogs and traffic don't mix. In the city motorbikes, cyclists and loud cars can easily spook a trusted and calm dog

2 Dogs in 1 Crate

This issue is made worse when 2 dogs are put in 1 crate. When the second dog is loaded into the crate both crate door and van cargo door are open. It means the dog already in the crate could break free and run into the road and escape the van

Lack of Head Height

There is simply no way the van can permit and internal safe (un)loading space due to the lack of head height to stand-up

What are Non-Full Sized Vans?

Non-full sized vans present the single largest risk factor associate with day care and can kill dogs due their inherent (un)loading dynamics with a small cargo space not permitting enough head room for a human to stand up in, nor facilitate enough space for an internal (un)loading space. Below are a list of models that cover the full sized category:

Non-Full sized vans (non-exhaustive):

- VW Transporter

- Ford Transit Custom

- Citreon Dispatch

- Peugeot Partner

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Why Don't All Day Cares Use Full-Sized Vans?

84 Acres invests in safety and leading the industry in terms of safety protocols.


Here's the sacrifice we make to make sure your pet receives 1st class treatment and the safest possible time at day care:

  1. Full-sized vans are approx. x2 more to insure

  2. Full-sized vans are up to x3 more expensive to buy

  3. Full-sized vans get 50% of the mpg making them x2 the cost to run in fuel

  4. Full-sized vans require special extended driver training to operate such a large vehicle

In simple terms non-full sized vans are used due to the ease of use (no need to invest in staff training as its like driving a car) and cost reduction (less to run in fuel, cheaper to buy and insure).

Stand with us to be Safe & SECURE. See below our open letter to DEFRA


Subject: Urgent Need for Enhanced Doggy Daycare Transport Regulations

As a committed member of the animal welfare and pet care community, I am writing to address a critical oversight in the current doggy daycare regulations, particularly concerning the transport of dogs by daycare services operating pet shuttles. The absence of specific guidance and standards for the transport of dogs not only compromises the safety and well-being of the animals in our care but also undermines the trust placed in us by pet owners and the broader community.

The Necessity of Full-Size Vans with Double Door Systems

Our experience and observations have led us to conclude that full-size vans equipped with a double door entry and exit system are essential for the safe transport of dogs. Such a setup provides:

  • Internal Space: A secure internal space that is at least 6 feet in height allows both the canine coach and dog to enter and exit the van securely, significantly reducing the risk of injury or escape.

  • Double Doors: This system ensures that with the van cargo door closed, a dog can be carefully positioned into their crate and the leash detached in a controlled environment, away from external dangers.

  • Leash-Free Ride: Removing leashes during transport eliminates the risk of choking or strangulation, ensuring a safer journey for all dogs.

The Risks Posed by Smaller Vans

Conversely, smaller vans present numerous safety risks and logistical challenges, including:

  • No Internal Space: The lack of internal space forces (un)loading to occur outside the van, often by the roadside, significantly increasing the risk of accidents or escapes.

  • Leashes Can Kill: The necessity of keeping leashes on due to inadequate internal space introduces risks of choking and strangulation.

  • Using The Road-Side: (Un)loading by the roadside exposes dogs, staff, and the public to unnecessary danger, especially in urban environments with heavy traffic.

  • Dogs & Traffic: The proximity to traffic increases the likelihood of accidents, particularly if a dog is spooked or attempts to escape.

  • 2 Dogs in 1 Crate: Double or triple crating dogs without direct supervision compromises their safety and well-being, making it impossible to prevent or quickly respond to negative interactions. When compounded by the lack of a double door it allows a dog to more easily push out and escape when the other is being either off-loaded or another is being placed into the crate. My best friend is getting out, why can't I? you've even opened the crate door? 

Economic Compromises Over Safety

It is concerning that the choice of smaller vans is often driven by economic factors such as lower initial investment, reduced fuel consumption, and cheaper insurance. This cost-saving approach comes at the expense of animal safety and care quality.


The practice of cramming 2-3 dogs per crate in a transporter like van designed to carry significantly fewer animals is not only unethical but dangerous. Some market this as a "travel buddy" scheme but this is misleading and does a disservice to the trust placed in us by pet owners. Our investigation shows that multiple daycare centres are operating with 15-18 dogs per small van which may only have 7 or less individual seperate crates/cages.

Call for Regulatory Action

We urge DEFRA to consider these points and introduce specific, stringent regulations for the transport of dogs by daycare services. These regulations should mandate the use of full-size vans with double door systems, prohibit the overcrowding of crates, and ensure that the safety and well-being of dogs are prioritized over economic considerations.

In addressing the practicalities of implementing a double door system within doggy daycare transportation, it is vital to consider the spatial configuration inside the vehicle. Crates must be positioned away from the van's edge, ensuring there is an adequate internal safe space or corridor. This layout allows staff to enter and secure the cargo door before accessing the dog crate door, thereby creating a controlled and safe environment for both the dogs and the daycare staff. This adjustment may require daycares to either reduce crate capacity, to maintain this essential safe space, or to invest in upgrading their fleet to larger, full-sized vans capable of accommodating this system without compromising on animal welfare.

Recognizing the potential financial and logistical challenges this transition may pose for some providers, we propose that the implementation of these regulations could be phased in over time. This phased approach would allow daycares sufficient time to plan for the necessary investments and operational adjustments. Support mechanisms, such as guidance materials, workshops, and potential financial incentives for those who proactively comply, could further facilitate this transition. By adopting a phased implementation strategy, we ensure that the focus remains firmly on enhancing safety and welfare standards in dog transportation, allowing daycares the opportunity to align with these new requirements in a manageable and sustainable manner.

Implementing these standards will not only enhance the safety and quality of doggy daycare transport services but also reaffirm our collective commitment to animal welfare. We are prepared to assist in any way possible to develop and enforce these necessary changes. For more information on the steps we have already proactively taken and the safety protocols and van design we have formulated from first principles, please visit our website:

Thank you for considering this crucial matter. We look forward to your action and support in making doggy daycare transport safer for all.


Toby Roth
Director and Founder
84 Acres Canine Country Club

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