Tips For Taking A Road Trip With Your Dog

By: Adam Katz

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 ( at http://www.dogs-life.com/travel.htm ) sells a nice product called the "Rollover Travel Pack

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