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What's in the bottom of your traveling crates?


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At home my girlies have whatever blankets they've shown a liking for, wadded up just the way they like them and washed periodically when I get to it....because chewing, accidents, being (mostly) clean, etc are not really an issue we have with them. They've traveled loose in the car because my commute is pretty small, and to crate all of them takes up a lot of space I need for other things like, kids. Who also don't fit well in crates. :D

 

HowEVEH, now I am going to be driving Starr around a bit more, and she travels best in a crate and so I bought one the right size for her...but duh...forgot she'd need some kind of pad. I had a stack of sheepskins in the car (we use them for all kinds of things in the barn) so I tossed one of those in there and it's nice because skin down it won't slide around...BUT...I don't really want to have to wash that as much as a muddy working dog might need.

 

I've heard all kinds of suggestions but I'm leaning towards just cutting up one of our stall matts...shock absorbant, easy to hose off, not easily chewable (not that Starr does, but for future), customizable with an exacto knive and no sewing or fraying. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

 

What do you use?

 

What have you used and not liked?

 

I don't think Starr's a go-to-the-pet-store-and-test-plop-down-on-the-cushions kind of girl. :D At home she likes Roy's chair the best but I think he'd have issues if I took the seat cushion and put it in Starr's crate. Silly husband. :rolleyes:

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I have dri-dek tiles inside of my crate at home, but they can be a tad pricey, but for a crate it only costs about 15 bucks. The have small holes in them to raise the dog above liquids, and are pretty cushioned. It also fights bacteria. Even though it's pretty springy, I have a sheepskin mat I keep in there when Joy's clean.

 

http://www.dri-dek.com/index.asp

 

They also come in an array of colors :rolleyes:

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I use double-sided cotton bath rugs (from WalMart, but now I'm having a hard time finding them). Folded in half they fit intermediate crates perfectly, and the doubling up makes them soft enough, but also not so plush as to be overly warm in the summer heat. Easy to wash and put back in the crates. In cold weather, I sometimes use those $5.99 striped "Mexican" blankets you can get at truck stops and the like. They make a much thicker bed and hold warmth, but are still cheap enough that if a dog chews holes in one or whatever, I don't feel like I've lost a lot $$ wise.

 

J.

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I go to Value Village or a similar type of used clothing store, buy as many blankets as they might have on hand. Last time I was there, I bought 9 blankets for $30. Since Cricket is a chewer, I don't feel too bad if she puts holes in the blankets...not like Zachary's $60. cedar bed that she shredded :rolleyes:

Since I have a good supply on hand, I can change them as needed (like now, MUD SEASON!!) and generally wash a bunch once a month or so.

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We cut up 1/2" thick trailer mats to fit into the bottoms of our crates. This gives the dogs traction to prevent them from sliding around on the smooth crate bottom. They are nearly indestructible; there is often enough space under the mats to allow drainage of accidents. Those dogs that will not consume softer materials (potentially blocking their system) will get softer bedding in colder temps and when appropriate. Thicker stall mats will work, but this makes the crate a lot heavier.

 

Mark

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I have cheap rubber-bottomed bathroom rugs from Target. I think they cost 3.99 or thereabouts.

 

 

Ditto - that what I use in the crates as well! I never really worry about them getting dirty or chewed up, because they are cheap and easy to get

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We cut up 1/2" thick trailer mats to fit into the bottoms of our crates. <<snip>>> Thicker stall mats will work, but this makes the crate a lot heavier.

 

I've been thinking to go this route for Sir Eats His Beds - can I find something like this at TSC? Is it very difficult to maneuver around to cut?

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Laura,

 

We found our mats at Sheepman Supply; I've seen stall mats at TSC but I think they were thicker than 1/2". I think they came in 4'x6' sheets. I was able to cut the mats using a sharp utility knife and a carpenter's square, but I did have to make several passes to cut all the way through the rubber.

 

Mark

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Our stall matts are 5/8ths (good eye!)..when we have had to customize around a tyre well or a drain, we've used a small electric hand saw. I didn't think about them being heavy, because it's a relatively small piece and I won't have to do too much hauling it around, but you're right, it could be quite heavy if I wanted to take a crate into a hotel or something. Hmm.

 

The bath matts are a great idea in terms of ease of use and you have to love the price.

 

The Dry Dek stuff looks interesting. Is it rigid? It doesn't look like it would be very giving. Do you do that and then a softie thing of some sort over it?

 

I'm not so sure I'm keen on straw. At this point, I'm shipping the crate inside the car. It's bad enough I have mud all over everything, to add straw to it... :rolleyes: And straw down here is expensive. I've only used it for broodmares on a sparing basis. It's just not all that absorbant, so anything wet stays on the animal. With a rubber matt I could just throw in a small blanket or something over the top to provide nesting/drying material. I want to live where you do, to find good straw and round bales! Wait, no, aren't you the one with all the snow too? Never mind. :D I have to say, though, the image of a dog snooting and rootling around in the straw makes me feel a bit nostalgic. Snooting and rootling are words, right?

 

I wonder about the D earth. I would be really reluctant to use that in bedding, because of the way it works, basically minutely scratching up/scoring the surface of whatever it touches. Am I wrong about that? I'd worry about eyes and mucous membranes. If you'd like to expand on DE and bug control, I'd love to hear more about it. A long time ago I heard some people growing carrots in it, and then feeding the carrots to livestock as a dewormer. I am not sure how it works, exactly, but it interested me enough that ten years later I am still here wondering about it. Feel free to hijack this thread or start another one which might get more attention.

 

 

Thank you all so much.

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I use what Melanie uses, inexpensive latex-backed bathmats for travel crates. They have a non-skid bottom for in the car, wash up easily, and are inexpensive. They aren't as cushy as some alternatives but they seem to work very well for my dogs, and aren't too warm in summer. I don't use them for chewers.

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The dri-dek is semi-flexible. It has a little give, but not enough to put alone, so I put some sheepskin mats. Underneath the mats I put some diatomaceous earth.

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