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Hi folks,

Great forum--obviously I'm new. We just sold our 2007 Passat wagon and bought an '11 EXL (smokey Topaz). So far, so good (although I did get the low battery warning many of you have received the night I installed our car seats). Of course, we've only owned it since Saturday.

Anyway, I'm guessing many of you have dogs, and have the need to travel with them and your kids. In our Passat this was fairly easy--we had a VW metal screen separator between the cargo area and the passenger compartment. This was (supposedly) sufficiently strong to keep our Golden from turning into a 60 pound missile in the unfortunate event of an accident. Of course we couldn't pack much back there with her--one of the reasons we upgraded to the Ody.

With the Ody, I'm not sure how to best travel safely with the dog. I know they make after market barriers, but I'm not convinced they're as safe, and having to take it in and out depending on whether we're using the third row or not doesn't seem like fun.

We have a harness which can be attached via a seatbelt, but then the dog needs to be on one of the leather seats, which none of us like (us because of the wear, and her because she's not as comfortable as on the floor).

That leaves me with a pet carrier. We have a large one--but the big cons here are that a) she's not going to like it (to which we may have to say oh well) and b) I'm unsure of how to effectively secure it in an accident-safe way..

Of course some of you may say I'm paranoid and just let the dog be loose, but we do everything we can to be as safe in the car as we can--including still rear facing our 3 year old, and in our view allowing a 60 pound dog to travel unsecured isn't fair for the dog or the kids.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts / suggestions / experiences!

Regards,

Tim
 

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No, you are not alone! :)

We have a 2007 EX-L, three kids (6, 4 and 2) and an Old English Sheepdog (~75 pounds). What we depends on how long we travel and how much space we have:

- For shorter trips (less than 2-2.5 hours) we have kids in the middle seats and one kid in the back and we keep the dog in between the middle seats by tying his leash to the seat hooks on the floor. This is not the safest, but it keeps him in the middle so he goes flying forward he'll hopefully go between the front seats.

- For longer trips, where we usually have more stuff, we have all three kids in the middle seat (yeah, MagicSeat!), lower the third row seats and keep the dog in a large carrier in the back. By using the carrier we can put stuff around and over the dog, giving us more capacity. We put the carrier along the back of the middle seats, with the front facing the passenger side of the van and we direct the HVAC vents to the front of the carrier as much as possible, so he gets some air. We've done it for a couple of trips and so far he is not complaining. When it is set up like this the middel seats should be able to keep him back there.

Nicolas
 

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I agree, i couldn't believe the Odyssey didn't offer some little 'hook' or anchor area between the 2nd and 3rd row seats where you can attach some netting or something. In my first car (jeep grand cherokee) I got an aftermarket pet barrier that had 2 threaded long legs which applied pressure to the trunk floor and the roof of the car. Well that was a colossal waste of money. I had a 110lbs Doberman back then, and with that pet barrier, in the event of an accident, not only did I have a large dog flying around, but also a metal barrier.

Anyways, for us now, we no longer have the pet issue, but when we travel to see my parents we have the 3rd row down and the van is full up to the windows, so i would be very interested to find some way of securing the luggage back there.
 

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I wouldn't tie the leash to a seat support or anything solid. Even in a minor accident you can break your dog's neck.

I'd try an aftermarket barrier or keep your dog in a dog crate that is securely fastened. That way as someone else has posted, you can add cargo to the rear area while leaving your dog with dedicated space. You can even face the opening of the crate forward so the kids can look over from time to time to make contact with your dog.

If you want to use a barrier, perhaps this will be acceptable:

Vehicle Pet Barrier | Dog Vehicle Barrier | SUV and Van Vehicle Pet Barriers
 

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I had one of those compression barriers once in our 4Runner, and as I was taking it out one day the top fell backwards and cracked me on the nose. I took it back the next day.
 

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I wouldn't tie the leash to a seat support or anything solid. Even in a minor accident you can break your dog's neck.

I'd try an aftermarket barrier or keep your dog in a dog crate that is securely fastened. That way as someone else has posted, you can add cargo to the rear area while leaving your dog with dedicated space. You can even face the opening of the crate forward so the kids can look over from time to time to make contact with your dog.

If you want to use a barrier, perhaps this will be acceptable:

Vehicle Pet Barrier | Dog Vehicle Barrier | SUV and Van Vehicle Pet Barriers
If I have to choose I'll break the dog's neck before mine! (not that I want to, you get my point...) We want to get a harness that we can tie him to, but had to use the leash.

I looked at those barriers when we had our Subaru and while they can prevent the dog from walking or jumping to the front, it won't keep it there in case of an accident.

Nicolas
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We have a harness that the seat belt routes through which works very well to anchor the dog in a seat--but I just don't think she'll be comfortable, and as above, I don't think I want her on the seats.

I guess I need to figure out a way to secure the harness to the floor safely, or use the crate--but in that case I'd want to somehow secure the crate.

I agree with the concern mentioned about how to secure one's stuff too; the cargo net Honda sells keeps things from falling out of the van, but the one thing that seems to be lacking for vans is a way to keep cargo out of the passenger area...I can see it would be a challenge since at times the cargo barrier needs to be behind the 2nd row and at other times behind the 3rd, but that shouldn't be an insurmountable challenge for Honda's team of engineers!
 

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We ultimately let our dog travel in the back of our 4Runner unrestrained. We were going to get a Ruff Rider restraint, but he passed away suddenly, so we never got a chance to try it out. We had planned to fasten it to one of the tie down loops in the back, which the Odyssey doesn't appear to have included.

EDIT: According to the cargo liner notes there are tie downs back there, but I am unable to go take a look right now.

"Vacuum formed for a custom fit to the cargo floor while providing access to cargo tie down points"
 

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Hello,
I am brand new to this group. I saw "dog" and "Smoky Topaz", so started here. I will be going to pick up my brand new Smoky Topaz Odyssey, for my dogs, in a couple of hours. I'll search here to pick up ideas what to do to protect my new vehicle. Is there a group here specifically dedicated to pets?
 

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I am more concerned that you have a three year old rear facing, you have a seat that is rated for that? What does the child do with their legs? My 21 month old is jammed in as it is rear facing. I agree that rear facing is likely safer, but seats do have front and rear weight limits. LATCH points also have weight limits as well.
 

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I am more concerned that you have a three year old rear facing, you have a seat that is rated for that? What does the child do with their legs? My 21 month old is jammed in as it is rear facing. I agree that rear facing is likely safer, but seats do have front and rear weight limits. LATCH points also have weight limits as well.
It all depends on height and weight. My 3YO was rear facing until only a few months ago. She's quite small for her age though. Doctors are now recommending that children remain rear facing longer than before.
 

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We have a 65 lb husky border collie mix. The dog always rides in a kennel that sits in the well that the 3rd row seat would fold into if down. The dog actually likes it very well (we kennel the dog in the other vehicle too.) It can go 8 hours back there if need be, although we take the dog out for a short walk and bathroom break when we stop. The only real safe place for dogs in a vehicle is in a kennel that is itself fixed in place or restrained. I know that lots of people like to give their dogs more room, but if the dog is trained for the kennel, they actually find security in riding in it. Our dog has done almost 1100 miles in one day in the kennel and 900 the next. In fact, many times when we get home after short trips, you open up the back and the kennel and the dog will just stay in there content as can be. If you do a lot of driving with your dog, I encourage you to train them to ride in the kennel.
 

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I am more concerned that you have a three year old rear facing, you have a seat that is rated for that? What does the child do with their legs? My 21 month old is jammed in as it is rear facing. I agree that rear facing is likely safer, but seats do have front and rear weight limits. LATCH points also have weight limits as well.
Many rear facing seats go to 35-40lbs now. What seat is your 21mo old riding in where they feel squished? My son rear faced in a First years True Fit and a Diono radian until his 4th bday. Lots more space. If you have any more questions, feel free to wander over to www.car-seat.org. Lots of friendly and helpful child passenger safety technicians eager to help!

Also- Hondas latch limit is 40lbs, rear or forward facing.

And yay for extended rear facing!!! :)


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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We are using a Britax Marathon, and her legs are bent because they are too long...
Many rear facing seats go to 35-40lbs now. What seat is your 21mo old riding in where they feel squished? My son rear faced in a First years True Fit and a Diono radian until his 4th bday. Lots more space. If you have any more questions, feel free to wander over to www.car-seat.org. Lots of friendly and helpful child passenger safety technicians eager to help!

Also- Hondas latch limit is 40lbs, rear or forward facing.

And yay for extended rear facing!!! :)


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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[h=2]Best Way to Travel with a Large Dog[/h]
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