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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been having my dog ride in the back seat of my SUV. I got one of those hammock covers, it does a pretty good job but he sheds like CRAZY and even though it seems to cover all spots, somehow hair still gets onto the seats a little when I remove the cover for people to sit back there and with fabric seats I'm starting to reconsider this setup.

I've attached a pic of what my cargo area looks like in my car. So I'm thinking of getting a cargo cover and some type of barrier for behind the back seats so he can't stick his head through

My questions are:

1. In the summer time is there enough ventilation back there (with the AC on of course)? I do have vents in the back seat area but not in the cargo area. I've seen some people use those small car fan clips to add more ventilation or am I just over thinking this? Lol

2. Do you attach a leash of any sort to them while they are back there? Just thinking as a safety precaution for when I where to open the trunk portion (especially having a still somewhat reactive dog at times I'd rather play it safe and it's not like in the back seat where I can just open the door and block with my body when I attach his leash).

3. Is a soft portable crate a better option? I've looked at the 36" size as the 42" is just a hair too wide to fit. He is around 65 pounds or so, I'd rather the 42 but 36 he should be comfortable enough to sit lay turn around (just might bump his head if tried to stand).

Curious what others set ups are for those who ride in the cargo area. Thanks!
 

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my dogs do ride in the cargo area of my SUV. I don't usually take them in very hot weather but, for a weekend camping trip I do. Then I have a 12 volt fan (plugs into cigarette liter outlet, sold at truck stops.) I use the fan to make sure enough cool air form the air conditioning reaches the back of my car. I also have two water bottles (the kind dogs can lick- like rabbit bottles) attached to the cage that keeps them out of the seats. Those will drip slightly on bumps but, a potty training pad under them solves that problem and, the dogs have water for the ride.
 

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My dogs ride in the cargo area of my SUV. I have a SoggyDog cargo area cover and I used to use a barrier so they couldn't jump over the seats. I've discontinued the barrier because it was warping the ceiling. I do have a tether attached to one of the latch points in the cargo area that I use if I have to run into the store for a minute (never when it's hot of course) just so they don't jump over the seats. If you wanted to clip the dog in during the ride, I would suggest a car safety harness (don't clip to the dog's collar). I've trained my dogs not to jump out until I say "okay" (Pepper once jumped out while she was clipped in. She was fine, but she could have been seriously injured).

As for ventilation - Unless it's super hot out I usually just open the back windows about half way down for some fresh air, although it does get cool enough with the AC on, my dogs like the fresh air. Just be careful if the sun is shining in directly into the cargo area it can still get pretty warm back there. I like the 12 volt fan idea.

I don't have water back there for my dogs, but our trips are usually short. They don't drink it while we're moving anyway and it just spills everywhere. If I were to take them on a longer trip I would figure out something for water.


I find I still have dog hair everywhere. It just seems to float around and stick to EVERYTHING! Lesson learned for next time - get leather seats.
 

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Discussion Starter #5


Hmmmm, thanks for the replies! I measured out a soft portable crate and it pretty much fits snug in the cargo area like the attached pic. The one I'm looking at has 3 side entries and also has the zippered top that I'm guessing I could leave open for more ventilation (the top is just 3 or 4 inches short of the ceiling of the cargo area.

If I do this option should I enclose all sides or should I leave the front entry open like in the picture hear?
 

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Had a CRV (Honda) for awhile. Put a crate back there and the dog rode in the crate. I actually got a plastic crate with a side door (large size) and could put that back there and still have the back seats up.

I programmed the car so when the hatch was up no lights were on. I used a silver breathable cover ovwer the car and left the hatch open at training. It worked just fine. I also have a crate fan (battery operated).

Now I have a pick up with a cap. They ride back there in crates. Windows open or closed depending on the weather. Silver reflective cover when I park at training and the tail gate and hatch for the cap open.
 

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Personally it worries me having the dog in the crumple zone. I think if you have a dog back there it should be in a strong solid metal crate.
 

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If I do this option should I enclose all sides or should I leave the front entry open like in the picture hear?
If you do go this route, I would leave as much open as possible, since a soft crate will be hotter.
 

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My dogs ride in the cargo area. I have a Variocage because the rear area is a crumple zone and is designed to squish down if you get rear ended.
 

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My dogs ride in the cargo area. I have a Variocage because the rear area is a crumple zone and is designed to squish down if you get rear ended.
I've never heard of the Variocage before, but how would designing it to crumple be a good thing? I checked out the website and it seems it's more designed for the safety of the backseat passengers, not the dog. Maybe I'm missing something?
 

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I've never heard of the Variocage before, but how would designing it to crumple be a good thing? I checked out the website and it seems it's more designed for the safety of the backseat passengers, not the dog. Maybe I'm missing something?
The crate isn't designed to crumple, the cargo area of the car is. During a collision the passenger areas should remain intact but the cargo area is designed to crumple to dissipate the force of the collision. So a regular crate placed in the crumple area will crumple along with the car. The variocage is designed to withstand impact and not crumple so the dog stays safe. It's not designed for the safety of the passengers anymore than any other crate in a car would protect the people from the dog being thrown around.
 

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The crate isn't designed to crumple, the cargo area of the car is. During a collision the passenger areas should remain intact but the cargo area is designed to crumple to dissipate the force of the collision. So a regular crate placed in the crumple area will crumple along with the car. The variocage is designed to withstand impact and not crumple so the dog stays safe. It's not designed for the safety of the passengers anymore than any other crate in a car would protect the people from the dog being thrown around.
That does make more sense. Their website is a bit confusing since it says the crate is designed to compress so it doesn't get pushed into the passengers in the back seat. Ideally it will never have to be tested :)
 

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That does make more sense. Their website is a bit confusing since it says the crate is designed to compress so it doesn't get pushed into the passengers in the back seat. Ideally it will never have to be tested :)
Actually it is tested! It's one of the few crash tested crates on the market. I certainly hope I never have to test it myself

There's a little give front to back that it can compress, but not much. It doesn't harm the passengers in the back seat because the back seats of cars have a crash resistant bar across them that you can't see. So when the crumple zone crumples, that bar protects the passengers from anything in the cargo area, including a crate, so that keeps the variocage and anything else in there from crashing up into the passengers. If you installed it with the backseats down there wouldn't be any protection from the crate flying forward.
 

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My 11-year-old labrador is now too old to be able to jump up to sit in the cargo area. He now lies on the back seat instead.
 
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