Car Shopping for Transporting Dogs Safely
Tags: dogs, transport, safety, crates, car, truck van
Cars and Dogs
Question Comment 1: Well I have to begin to think about replacing my beloved off road Chevy Truck with close to 200,000 miles on it.......it's the second such truck I've had and I'd get another in a heart beat except that I am not safely transporting my dogs, and know that I need to find a way to haul all the stuff I do, keep doing all the stuff I do, AND safely transport the dogs, who currently ride free in my cab. (I know I know...no lectures please, that's what this email is about.....)
I currently have 4 Alaskan Malamutes and might add another this spring or summer if current breeding plans work out......in Winter (when we have one) I do dogsledding, small races, and in Fall I have a Risdon Rig that currently rides in the covered 6ft bed of my current truck. My friend has a Toyota truck with an awesome dog box and something to carry her rig attached to the back, but I fear the dog box thing won't work for me because I travel a lot in the summer also, AND I do lots of shows, agility, obedience, conformation, so sometimes haul, in addition to the rig or a scooter and the 4 dogs, grooming tables, all the odd show paraphenalia (dryers etc.) and as many as 8+ crates, depending on show set up, hotel needs etc........My friends dog box is awesome, but in no way would accomadate all this crap.......I cannot afford more than one vehicle unfortunately, so I need one all purpose vehicle.
I am considering a van, but fear I will get stuck somewhere for sure, I've even managed that a couple of times in the off road truck when there is a lot of snow. (not now......) I do lots of dirt roads, fields etc. too...and if I do get an AWD van...what kind of van..needs to be BIG etc........Any ideas........I'm thinking of an 8' bed truck with a really really fancy box of some kind too if I can afford it, which I'm not sure.....any ideas welcome.
Car Shopping for Dogs and their Crates
Comment 2: I made this same decision a couple years ago when my little Jeep Cherokee got smashed up. I loved that car, but even before I got hit I knew I needed something larger that would allow me to transport all the dogs crated and would allow for more carrying capacity for all the other "stuff" that comes along with running the dogs, showing, obedience, rescue, etc, etc,.
I did some very serious car shopping trying to find something that would fit my needs, and I gave some real thought to a custom designed dog box as well. On top of everything else I did NOT want an ugly van. My key priorities were the ability to crate up to 5 large size dogs in an air conditioned environment (SoCal in the summer) and storage space with room for dog show equipment or my cart. In the end I ended up with a big 8(or is it 9)passenger Dodge Ram Van (so much for the no van theory). A van of that size was simply the only vehicle capable of doing all the things I wanted. The largest size is a 12 passenger...I went with the next size down and have not been at all unhappy with that decision. I wouldn't go any smaller, but have never had the need to go longer.
I took out all the seats except the front two, which leaves a huge open space that can be customized in many ways. I built a platform that runs across the back and one that runs along the drivers side from just behind the drivers seat to the rear platform. I have two 500 crates on the back platform facing the rear doors. My soft crates, dolly, etc go under the back platform and my ex-pens and grooming table fit on top with room to spare. I can get three 400 crates on the inside platform, and can access them standing at the side door with just a little reach for the furthest one. My EZ-Up lives under the inside platform. This leaves tons of storage space up on top of the crates.
It also leaves all the space between the passenger seat and the rear platform empty. It's something like 3'X5' of empty space. My SAM cart folds down and stood on it's side fits perfectly in that area. I can get two scooters in there along with it, as well as all my gear box, water jug, and misc junk needed for running the dogs. And still have room to spare.
My van is surprisingly comfortable to drive. It's only 2WD, however I've run it down dirt roads and in the snow and with reasonable caution I've never run into problems. It's very much like driving my dad's Dodge truck actually. All wheel drive was not a priority for me so I'm afraid I didn't research it.
The only thing I'd change if I could is that I'd prefer a sliding side door instead of the double ones that open out. They make it hard to angle long objects into the interior (like my sled...which also fits inside).
Big Dog Blog
Do you read the blog?
Visit the new Big Paws Blog and information on new dogs, fashion, show, and more that's new in the dog world. Click here to visit and start reading.
Welcome to Big Paws Only with the best Big Dog Chat and Message Boards. Registration is Quick & Easy, takes only a few seconds, and allows you to view all of the wonderful pictures of our babies, and chat. Posting Pictures is really easy too, and we host them!