I’ve been holding on to this for quite a long time… life has been keeping me busy of late and so I haven’t done much with it other than to think I should do something about it from time to time. Well, it appears its time has come do something about it!
So, let’s talk briefly about the travel crate and what ‘right’ looks like. I’m very happy I came across this infographic as it shows us what is more likely to be safer and prevent injury to your dog in the event you are in an accident or have to take some abrupt actions to avoid an accident.
We have seat belts and airbags, your dog? Well, is it loose in your car? In the bed of your truck? Or is it in a kennel and if so, is it secured and sized correctly? While your dog’s crate at home should be fairly roomy his travel crate should not be. In fact a travel crate your dog should be touching 3 of 4 walls at any time when laying down, and it should be snug enough that it encourages your dog to lay down and discourage moving around!
This snugness keeps your dog from being tossed around inside the kennel in the event of sudden changes e.g., hard braking, accident-avoidance maneuvers, or possibly an accident. But for this to really work, your dog’s kennel will need to be secured fast in your vehicle. Consider tiedown straps hooked into your vehicle’s child seat restraint moorings, a seatbelt alone is likely to allow slippage. The same goes for bed of your truck, if not more so. You will want to keep his kennel as stable and securely mounted as possible to allow the kennel to help protect your dog.
With all of this having been said, it is important to recognize that being in such a snug environment you now have a responsibility to ‘air your dog out’. Dogs do spend a great deal of their day sleeping, and this is what most will do when traveling, however they cannot stretch out from time to time, and can cause some stiffness in some dogs. The rule of thumb we use is, for every 3 to 4 hours of driving your dog should get about 30 minutes of time to stretch, walk, and potty.
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I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Forty some years later this is what you get.