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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are picking up our 8 week old Wheaten Terrier puppy in the next few days. We will take him home in a small travel crate, but have a question about what to do as he's grown...

We have two younger kids, both in booster/car seats. We have a GMC Acadia with bucket seats and not a huge trunk. If we are traveling for a weekend and need to pack the trunk, where is best place to put the pup? I don't think we'd be able to fill the trunk with kid stuff/luggage and fit a full size crate with pup in it. We don't have any other seats open because of the bucket seats and 2 kids/wife in passenger seat.

Can you keep a dog at the foot of the backseat, or between two bucket seats but not restrained? Any other ideas? I want to avoid swapping out into a new car.

Thanks so much,
 

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The safest option would be in a crate. A quick consult with the great and powerful Googles says that the Acadia is a three row SUV. I'm assuming you have the kids in the second row? If you fold the third row of seats down (or even remove them, if that's an option), the you should be able to get a crate in there. Otherwise, putting the crate in the back row of seating is an option.

The next safest option is to have the dog in a seat belt harness, and strapped into a seat of their own.

The least safest option is the dog loose in the car.
 

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Personally, I believe that the safety of the human occupants comes first of course, but the safety of the canine occupants should be a very close second. That said, I would NOT allow the dog to ride on the rear floor or between the bucket seats. I would somehow find or make room in the rear 'trunk' area for the dog to ALWAYS ride safely inside of a full size crate. Secure the crate with straps or tie-downs if possible, in case of collision or upset.

As well, you could consider the use of an enclosed rooftop carrier for your luggage etc, or perhaps a small lightweight tow-behind trailer to expand the cargo capacity during those occasional weekend travel trips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
These are some very good options to consider. Thank you.
I’m sure I’ll be posting again once pup is home with more questions!
 

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If you don't have a crate yet. Be sure to buy the crate with the dog's full grown size in mind. This way you will buy 1 crate.

Most crates will include a divider panel to make the crate "smaller" for a pup, yet allow space for the adult with the removal of the divider.

The crate should ride in the cargo area of the SUV. Learn to pack lighter and more efficient. As mentioned, small trailers will expand your capacity without a big impact on fuel consumption. Take a look at the small trailers for towing with a motorcycle.
 

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If you don't have a crate yet. Be sure to buy the crate with the dog's full grown size in mind. This way you will buy 1 crate.

Most crates will include a divider panel to make the crate "smaller" for a pup, yet allow space for the adult with the removal of the divider.

The crate should ride in the cargo area of the SUV. Learn to pack lighter and more efficient. As mentioned, small trailers will expand your capacity without a big impact on fuel consumption. Take a look at the small trailers for towing with a motorcycle.
Wire crates are fine for the house, but a solid plastic or metal crate is safer in a vehicle. And a small puppy in an adult sized crate in the car is at risk because the crate will be too large to keep them from being thrown around in event of an accident.

And "pack lighter and more efficient" is pretty darned hard when you got two little kids. Depending on their ages, where you area going, and how long you will be traveling/staying... well, lets just say that dogs can be the easier option to take along.
 
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Leo, yes. I agree that a pet carrier is the better option versus a wire crate. Although, two young kids can make a tight budget that excludes multiple crates.

FWIW, I had 2 girls and a wife to pack in a small SUV. As a family, we learned how to pack light and efficient. There is limited amount of space in a vehicle. If all your travel stuff won't fit, then something needs to be left behind. Now, when a chunk of cargo space is consumed by a carrier or crate.....not everything will fit in the limited cargo space.

Regarding the wire crate being "too large", the divider panel is placed in the wire crate to reduce the space available to the pup.
 

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We have two younger kids, both in booster/car seats. We have a GMC Acadia with bucket seats and not a huge trunk. If we are traveling for a weekend and need to pack the trunk, where is best place to put the pup? I don't think we'd be able to fill the trunk with kid stuff/luggage and fit a full size crate with pup in it. We don't have any other seats open because of the bucket seats and 2 kids/wife in passenger seat.
I had a similar issue with my last vehicle. I ended up putting the crate in the hatchback and getting a car topper for luggage.
 
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