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Old 06-19-2013, 11:05 AM
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Emily Emily is offline
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Default Crating in the Car

So, as I'm sure you all know, it's pretty common at dog shows and such to leave dogs securely crated in vans and SUVs with the windows down and the hatch open. Because I've now got 3, count 'em, 3 dogs that I'm actively training, sometimes all at once or back to back, it's not practical for me to lug crates into whatever facility we're at.

So what I'm asking is:

A.) Up to what temperature (thinking hot, not cold) would you feel comfortable using such a set up for your dogs? They would, of course, have water.

B.) What clever ideas do you have to mitigate heat stress? I was thinking battery powered box fans on crates, and some form of cooling matts?

Thoughts?
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:09 AM
SaraB SaraB is offline
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Depends on if I can park in the shade and if there's a breeze.

If I'm parking at an outdoor trial, I use my pop-up to create some sort of shade for the back half of my vehicle and drape the rest in the reflective heat shades.

I have two battery powered fans that I set up in the rolled down windows to help push air. Water bowls in all of the crates and cooling coats if it's really warm out. Any crate covers are super breathable and lightweight if they are needed.

Also, I use wire crates so that the dogs are getting really well circulated air.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:12 AM
SizzleDog SizzleDog is offline
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I don't like crating them in the car anywhere past 65F or so, but sometimes it has to be done. I have an Element, so I have more options than some folks.

If I can't run the air conditioner, this is what I do:
- open all doors, windows, back hatch and sunroof
- put reflective sun screen in front window
- hang a mesh reflective sun screen over back hatch, or wherever the sun is shining (if I can't park in the shade)
- make sure pails are full of water
- run two small battery powered fans
- run a large box fan, plugged into a power adapter.

That's really the best I can do.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:12 AM
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I don't trial, but the dogs go just about everywhere with us and that often means they are left in the car for periods of time. When at all possible we have someone stay out with them, but if not, our rule of thumb is unless you, as a person, would be comfortable sitting in the car for x amount of time, then the dog won't be comfortable. And by comfortable I don't mean sweating half to death while feeling miserable. Lol Typically when temps get into the upper 70s we have to start watching the weather closely, but a lot depends on humidity, shade, breeze, etc.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:19 AM
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I have a lot different standards I guess. My dogs are crated in a van, it has tinted windows so the helps, but I have regularly trained when the temp has risen into the 90's with pretty good midwestern summer humidity.

I roll down my front windows and open the back and one side door, whichever is away from the sun. I don't use fans or mats, just make sure they have plenty of water. If I haven't worked them yet, they often aren't even panting.

I am usually in places that are rather wide open and there is air moving. I suppose if I was in parking lot with cars on either side and not much air, i'd invest in some battery powered fans.

With some shade and airflow, I have no issues with temps around 90, mid and upper 90's? I don't even want to be out in that
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:22 AM
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I wouldn't personally do that set up with 70 degrees or higher.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:29 AM
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The car I usually drive now is a small economy car, with a lot of window, and it heats up pretty bad. I can't really leave dogs in the car for long if it's at all warm. In my pickup truck (which used to be my only vehicle), it was really easy to keep the crating cool, and that was without AC. Window to interior space is the enemy, it's the glass that intensifies the heat. I had the crates in the back, the truck canopy (topper, cap, whatever you call it in your area) had only small windows. The one I had with a white canopy was best, because it reflected sun. I now have one with a red canopy, not quite as good.

I'd put cool mats in the crates, crate fans, and water dishes hooked to the doors so the fan blew across the water dish. Flip up the rear door on the hottest days, and it was good up to about 90 degrees.

In a car/van/SUV you need to open all the windows you can, and put sun screens in the ones you can't. Tinting windows as dark as legal would also help. Draping the mesh sun screen over helps. I've actually draped one over my whole car, with good effect.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:30 AM
SizzleDog SizzleDog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaNola View Post
I wouldn't personally do that set up with 70 degrees or higher.
Which setup are you referring to?

RTH trains in protection sports... crating/containment in your vehicle is simply what people do in that situation. Thousands of us make it work.

As for my setup, it works just fine. You get a heck of a lot of air movement in an Element with all doors and hatches open. Granted, if I'm around I like to stick the dogs out in an expen in the shade, but I don't do that if I'm off showing or otherwise unable to be right there with the dogs.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:31 AM
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I crate my dogs in the car often or outside often. Last summer when I was doing agility classes (outside) I had Mia and Summers classes back to back. I crated in the shade always with water and that was about it.

My dogs are often out working in upper 80s to 90s weather. I will crate in the back hatch up to about 80. Windows down, water , crate mats, hatch up, car in shade. If I'm working the trial I can check on them every few classes.

There are almost always dogs crated in the shade whenever anything is going on at our facility. Weather here and lack of indoor facilities means we work the dogs in 90+ weather. If there's a breeze and the sun is mostly down it is not too bad.

Eta: I should add that both my dogs tend to turn their crate mats into personalized swimming pools lol. I freeze water bottles and give them cold water in their bowls and they spill it to lie down in it. They have kong crate mats with raised sides and it holds the water in. We also have kiddie pools and a water trough set up for dogs to go in between runs.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SizzleDog View Post
Which setup are you referring to?

RTH trains in protection sports... crating/containment in your vehicle is simply what people do in that situation. Thousands of us make it work.

As for my setup, it works just fine. You get a heck of a lot of air movement in an Element with all doors and hatches open. Granted, if I'm around I like to stick the dogs out in an expen in the shade, but I don't do that if I'm off showing or otherwise unable to be right there with the dogs.
I'm personally not comfortable leaving my dog in a hot car, regardless of the setup. Then again though, I live in Florida. Heat + humidity = bad idea.
Yes, I know you can make it work. I have made it work, but not above 75.
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