Canine Cargo Conundrum

By Thursday, hopefully and maybe with a little help from my dog-toting friends, I’ll come up with a solution on how to best carry a pet in the car for their safety and the driver’s and passengers’.

The full size crate (something like 36 long, 28 tall and 24″ wide) will not fit in the back seat OR the hatch of the Subaru. If it were ROUNDED it might fit in the very back, but the opening would be on the end that is not accessible with the create in side-ways.

I’ve seen the harnesses that are like seatbelts for dogs, but give them access to the upholstery, seatbelts and other delicious items. Gandy is getting better about not chewing off-limits kinds of things, but still, why put such temptation in her way?

She is quite happy in the crate we’ve been using in the car all along, but she has also barely fitting, and growing so fast, I fear I might leave her in it at the beginning of a meeting in town and come back two hours later and find she has grown so much that I have to call the fire department to use the Jaws of Life to extricate her from her ship-in-a-bottle pen.

I can’t find many options in the Christiansburg-Blacksburg area. The Tractor store now in Christiansburg is very low in inventory of everything (we suspect they will close shop entirely soon) and Target, Lowes, Home Depot and K-mart don’t show me much in our future dog’s size .

Ideas, anyone?

About

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

9 Comments on “Canine Cargo Conundrum

  1. Don’t put her in the front seat because of airbags. Harness her in a seat belt and muzzle her to keep her from chewing? Dogs usually adapt to a muzzle quickly. It sounds cruel but they often don’t mind and it would give you enough peace of mind to drive safely. If you are very casual about it she may not object at all.

  2. Yikes – I hope Tractor Supply doesn’t close! Have you tried the PetSmart in C’burg? A few other thoughts: First, when I use my 24×36 crate in the back of my CRV, I angle it enough that the dog can get in the door, and then I close it up and push it the rest of the way in. Granted, all my guys are pretty used to traveling, so they generally hop right in to whatever little opening I provide, but I can still do this with the decrepit old dog who needs to be picked up and put in the crate.) Second, as long as Gandy is able to get up and comfortably turn around in the crate, it is big enough for short duration. My 40 lb dog still fits comfortably and happily in my 26Lx18W car crate. I wouldn’t want to make him sleep in it all night, but for a few hours of driving, it is fine.

  3. I’d forgotten about PetSmart, but just now, my mom from ‘bama called and reminded me. Gandy doesn’t mind the crate at all and loves to travel, so we must find a solution. Also we visit other folks and it’s nice having “containment” for her in a washroom etc where she can hear folks nearby. She can sleep through thunder! Gandy is probably going to end up close to 60# (she is ~ 30 at 15 weeks) and lanky, so guessing at final dimensions. BTW, she continues to MELLOW–even w the wife–so I think her permanent place w us is secured (even though I have a few bloodied places on my hands even yet, she relents quickly and is somewhat remorseful now.)

  4. Glad to hear your little gal is continuing to get the idea that she isn’t Alpha dog in your pack of three.

  5. DrsFosterSmith.com has a large selection – including soft-side crates the making loading in a car easier – fine for a dog past the chewy stage – but you probably wouldn’t want to leave her unattended in one now. I use a seat-belt harness for my old dog and it works well – she can lie down or sit up as she chooses without the risk of becoming a projectile in the event of a collision.

  6. I ordered (another) crate from Amazon, for the car, the limiting factor being the width to get in the back seat of the car. The dog will sit taller and grow in length, but lordy hopefully fit nicely width-wise in the 21″ of this crate. The thing should fit–with not much extra space–behind the seats and it should go through the door opening. SHOULD is the operative word.

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