Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bring Your Dog On Vacation

Should you bring your dog on vacation or camping trips? I say yes. Dogs are like people in that they love to experience new things. They love to explore and smell new smells. I have a Miniature Dachshund, Thomas. Just mention the word camping and he gets excited. If he see’s me pull up to the front of the house with the trailer he goes crazy. He wants to go with us, you can see it in his eyes. He loves roaming around the campsite and smelling all the plants and tree’s. He particularly loves the smell of Pine.

When you travel with your pet you do have to make some accommodations for them. I found that the beds in RV’s are generally very tall. Thomas loves to sleep in bed with us. I was afraid that he would hurt himself if he were to jump off the bed. So I built a platform on both sides of the bed. I made them out of 2x3’s and plywood.  I made them free floating so it can easily be removed and not damage the camper. I covered them over with carpet. Now he can get up and down by himself. It also makes it easier for us to get in and out of bed.

These Pics are from our previous camper a 2012 Aspen Trail. It illustrates
the construction well. I screwed the 2x3's together for added strength and ease of removing in the future. I built it in three sections, here again it is free floating and not attached at all to the trailer. The new owners loved the platform and wanted me to leave it in. I did the same thing on our current trailer. I covered the platform over with carpet and stapled it down.

My Trusty Helper

Current Trailer with 2 Seperate Platforms

We will sometimes leave him in the trailer while we go off and do things where they don’t allow pets. We make sure that it is comfortable for him such as leaving the A/C running. Thomas likes to watch out the windows so we leave the shades up. We found out the hard way that if we leave the shades down he will tear them down to see out. We also had to Thomas proof the screen door because he may scratch at it for a little bit. He once tore out the lower screen. I made an insert for the bottom of the door out of foamboard and covered the lower screen with it. Foamboard is poster board with a ⅛” thickness of foam in between.  You can purchase foam board at any hobby store for about $4.00 a sheet.  I used a foamboard with matching color to the door and you don’t even notice it. I secured it with matching color Duct Tape. It blends in very nicely, you don't even realize it's there.

As for the actual traveling, Thomas has a custom made bed that I made from a cloth laundry basket.  I took the basket apart and lined it with particle board for sturdiness and foam for comfort, then sewed the basket back together again.  I sewed two handles on the back for the seat belt  to go through.  I then cut about 12 inches from an old leash and sewed it securely to the bed in order to strap him into the bed by his harness for safety.  This way, I don’t have to worry about him hurting himself if I need to slam on the brakes, and it prevents him from jumping all over the truck and all over my wife and I while we are driving.

Straps For The Seat Belt

Seat Belt Fits Nicely Through

Leash To attach to harness Keeping him safe!

Thomas enjoying his car bed!

Thomas is a part of our family and we hate to leave him behind. When we make plans for our trips we always consider him in those plans.I hope you will consider to bring your pet with you when traveling as well.

If you have any questions or comments please post them in the comments section.
I would love to hear any of your ideas as well.

Thank you for your support and happy camping!

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