Vehicles: With the possible exception of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a side car, I’ve seen practically every type of vehicle used for taking the family pooch on a road trip.
Below I review three of the best:
1.) Tom Rose of High Ridge, Missouri, had a Ford van he converted into a dog-friendly transport vehicle. By enclosing the back area, installing custom upholstery and a special air conditioning vent, he created an area in the back of the van where his dogs could ride in their crates and still stay cool.
The best thing about this set up was that on hot summer days, he could leave the diesel engine running (and the air conditioning too) and leave the dogs in the van for an hour or two, without the threat of overheating.
2.) If you’re travelling in an area with less extreme weather (like Los Angeles)… a pick up truck with a shell on the back is extremely convenient. I’ve installed sliding windows on mine, and put in hardware mesh so that the dogs cannot jump out, and nobody can get in. A light colored, fiberglass shell with cross-ventilating windows will keep the temperature in the back of the truck about equal to the outside ambient temperature in the shade.
If you don’t like to keep your dog in a crate, you can purchase a rubber bed liner that will make it comfortable for your dog to lay on. These usually run about $50, and can be purchased at the same places that install camper shells.
3.) A convertible Jeep. For obvious reasons, the Jeep Wrangler (designed originally for military use) is easy to clean after long trips, and the convertible nature of this vehicle allows you to leave your dog in the back while refueling or running into a gas station rest room, without worrying about your dog over-heating.
Products you can use to help keep dog mess in your vehicle to a minimum I came across this web site by a company called, Black Armor. Their web site is: http://www.black-armor.com/
You’ll find a number of products designed to protect the interior of your Car, Truck, or Sport Utility Vehicle from spills, stains, as well as premature wear. Many of these products:
– install and remove easily
– are unaffected by gasoline or oil
– clean and wipe easily
– are made of a tough, durable material that is non-skid to minimize the possibility of your dog getting tossed around.
– are guaranteed for a lifetime
– are made in the U.S.A.
You’ll also find that most are custom fit to the exact dimensions of your vehicle.
A gear bag to keep water, training equipment, and other dog related stuff is essential.
A Dog’s Life Web Site sells a nice product called the “Rollover Travel Pack & Bed For Dogs”. The pack is described as:
“- Perfect for on-the-go dogs and their owners, the ROLLOVER® Travel Pack & Bed for dogs has a snap-on shoulder strap and built-in handle for easy carrying. The reinforced nylon pack-cloth construction will hold up over the long haul.
– Unbuckle the compact unit, and it unrolls to rugged storage pockets for everything your traveling dog will need– including dog food, water bottle, dog bowl and other necessities. Dogs can easily get dehydrated when traveling. Now the dogs water and bowl can always be in easy reach. And the insulating cushions inside the product keep your dogs cold water bottle cold longer, even on hot, sunny days.
– Fully opened, the ROLLOVER Travel Pack & Bed for dogs becomes a cushioned, fleece-topped travel dog bed with a water-resistant base for indoor & outdoor use. The thick polyester cushions also provide superior insulating qualities to keep dogs comfy, no matter what your destination.
– Now you’ve got a convenient way to help your dog feel “at home” with familiar things they can call their own.
– And at the end of the journey, the ROLLOVER Travel Pack & Bed for dogs is completely machine washable and dryable for easy care. Unlike other dog beds, the entire bed gets cleaned, not just the cover.
– Available in Small, Medium, Large and X-Large– comfortably sized to fit most dog breeds.”
(Check out their web site… they include a picture!)
Don’t forget to include a first aid kit for your dog, too!
Here’s a cool product for anyone who does a lot of outdoor camping/travelling with their dog: A first aid kit designed for both you AND your dog!
Called, “America’s first pet owner and pet first aid kit!” This don’t-leave-home-without-it product costs $32.95 and includes:
1 Blue clean-up mitt
1 First aid scissors, blunt tips
1 First aid forceps
1 Sterile eye wash (.5 oz)
2 Triple antibiotic ointment (1/32 oz)
2 After bite wipes (insect)
1 Adhesive tape (1 x 1 yd)
6 Gauze pads (2 x 2)
1 Self adherent bandage (3 x 5)
5 Cotton balls
4 Cotton swabs (3″)
1 Instant cold pack
1 Styptic pencil
1 Pair Latex gloves
1 Animal First Aid Guide
1 Human First Aid Guide
Travel Dog.com – http://www.traveldog.com/TD1999/resource/resour~1.htm
This site has a bunch of good resources you should read before embarking on your trip, including articles on choosing a kennel, travelling by car, and staying at a hotel with your pet. The site also has a number of resources for finding dog friendly beaches, camp grounds, events, kennels, parks, pet sitters, and pet transportation.
If you’re looking to purchase a wire cage for travelling with your pet, Foster’s and Smith have a variety for sale, and their return policy (if you don’t like it) is excellent!
If you’re looking to purchase a plastic crate, you can also find them at:
Bringing a crate with you is practically a necessity if you’re going to be on a long road trip.
That’s all for now, folks!