This past weekend while we were driving down the Interstate we saw something crazy. A pickup truck was pulling a 5th wheel trailer and tied toward the front of the bed of the pickup was a Golden Retriever. The poor thing was sort of stuffed to the side of the hitch. We couldn’t get over how terribly unsafe the whole thing looked. Should that hitch give way, bye-bye Golden Retriever.
It is not always easy to travel with our pets to be sure. Now that we have three dogs, we have to put more effort in to planning our travels with them. If at all possible, we prefer to crate our dogs while they are in the car. In our van we have three crates set up but as you can see there is little room left over for our stuff. We always seem to have a lot of stuff. We end up piling it on top of the crates which is not exactly safe for the people.
We also have crates in the back of the truck. When it is very hot or very cold, that is not an ideal situation because while the cap on the truck is insulated, it is not meant for extreme weather.
Often we put a pop-up tent over the truck, but that doesn’t always provide enough shade.
The other issue with this set up is that we often have to walk away from our dogs and leave them if we are at a hunt test or a dog show. Sometimes we pad lock the crates, but if someone wanted to mess with the dogs they could get to them. Believe it or not some people go around to doggie events with the purpose of messing with other people’s dogs. That is not as much of a problem at hunt tests, but we have been at a dog show when an announcement was made that someone was letting dogs out of crates and to check on your dogs. Just crazy.
After thinking long and hard, we decided to buy a dog trailer. For those of you not familiar with dog trailers, they are quite a nice way to transport the dogs. They are made of stainless and aluminum, well insulated and usually have a built-in fan. Some even have air conditioning. They are divided into compartments for the dogs. I have heard stories of bad accidents where the dogs were OK as long as they stayed in the trailer. (Of course nothing is full-proof, but they do seem to provide better protection for the dogs than just a crate in a car.) Many trailers come with water tanks and storage. Some of the large ones have a place to load an ATV. Here is one that I drooled over at a test last year.
Ours will not be as big or as fancy as that rig. We are only buying a smaller 4 hole trailer which will look something like this one.
This is not exactly our trailer because we are having some customization done to it. They are adding three inches to the length since Thunder is such a big dog. Instead of the storage on top, we are having a “breeze-way” built. You can see what a breeze-way looks like in the picture of the larger trailer above. It is a compartment with a door that swings up and will allow air to flow through the trailer and help keep the dogs cool. I think we are also getting a larger box on the front. That box holds the battery for the fan, but we wanted a little extra storage so they are making it a bit bigger. Ours will have a 20 gallon water tank so we will be able to carry water for the dogs and to rinse them off if needed.
We ordered our trailer back at the end of March from Ainley Kennels. (If you have a chance check out their site and all of the different kinds of ways they have for transporting dogs.) It is scheduled to be built and finished by the end of July. We are very excited to see the finished product. It has been a long wait since March.