Riding in the car part 2 – Crate reviews

If you read my last two posts over on the Stroller Brigade website, then you know we’ve been experimenting with crates for the car. Mom finally figured out that what I hate about being in the car is being in a little bitty PTU, no matter how much I like that same PTU when it’s sitting on the living room floor or how easy it is to get me to go into it to start with. We went through three crates before we found one I liked and that Mom could manage easily with her hands that don’t work real well.

Candy trying out the crate. It was furry comfy.

Crate #1 was the Pet Gear The Other Door Steel Crate with Plush Pad and Carry Bag. We all loved it when Mom first assembled it. It was easy to put together, and opened from the front, sides, or top. It came with a nice comfy bed and a carry bag that could be used to transport the crate when it was taken apart or could be used for my stuff. We thought it was perfect. That is, until Mom tried to move it with me in it. For our trial run, Mom put me in the crate, carried me and the crate out to the car, and put us in. Suddenly, the doors which had worked perfectly in the house suddenly wouldn’t stay closed. Mom kept trying to get them lined up right to shut and just couldn’t.

Mom decided to take me for a ride anyway just to see how I reacted to being in the car when I was free to get up, walk around some, and see out the windows. I didn’t cry once! I was too busy watching the world go by. So the idea of a crate was a success (so far) but the crate itself wasn’t. What Mom figured out when we got home was that when she lifted the crate, the clamps that held the top on had come loose so the top wasn’t tight enough to keep the side doors closed. The plan was to have a crate that could be easily removed from the car for potty stops (Mom refuses to leave alone in the car even for a 5 minute stop). A crate the kept coming apart when it was lifted was no good. so back it went. This crate is good if you don’t have to move it with the pet in it.

Crate #2 was the Nature’s Miracle™ AdvancedSingle Door Port-A-Crate. It’s a soft-sided crate with a metal framework that collapses for storage. It set up easily, but had no bed in it. Also, it was difficult to take down. One of the parts had a metal button you had to push in so a part could slide over it, and Mom had a terrible time with that button. Her poor hands couldn’t manage it. So this one went back to the store, too. But the price was good, and everything else about the crate was good, so we’d still recommend it if it doesn’t have to come apart too often. Sorry, Mom forgot to take a picture of this one.

Crate #3 – success! It’s another model by Pet Gear, the same people who made my stroller. It’s the Pet Gear Generation II Deluxe Portable Soft Crate. This is also a soft-sided crate with a collapsible metal frame. It has roll up windows and sides to get in and out or you can unzip the top. It came with a bed (though not as nice a bed as the one in the hard crate) and a waterproof liner to put under the bed in case of accidents. It also has a pouch on top for your stuff and a bag on the side. The side bag can carry more of your stuff or hold the bed and liner for storage. Although Mom put extra comfy cushions in there for us, she could still fold it up without taking out the beds or the liner. The handle of the side bag comes off and can be used as a leash.

The mechanism in this crate for collapsing the frame was much easier for Mom to operate. She still had to push buttons, but they’re large plastic buttons and much easier to push. Nothing slides over anything. The frame is jointed and folds up. We didn’t get pictures of the car ride I took in this crate (you can read that adventure here) but did get some pictures at home.

Exploring my new crate. You can see the top and side pouches.
Treasure and me relaxing in the crate. See the extra cushions mom put in under the bed that came with it?
On the back patio enjoying some fresh air. If you biggify the picture and make your screen really bright you can see me in there.

So this is the crate I’m taking to go to BlogPaws. I’ve never been on such a long car ride before. Mom’s hoping that since my 3 1/2 hour outing was such a success, I’ll tolerate the car ride as I won’t be squished into a PTU. Wish us luck!

 

Sunday Musings

Happy Sunday efurybody! I hope you all had fun at #SciFiPawty yesterday. I know I did!

I also got my first stroller ride of the season yesterday. Here I am in my stroller:

We saw hawks and a robin. We didn’t have the good camera, so we didn’t get a good picture of the hawk, but we did get a good picture of the robin.

We were walking along, and all of a sudden we heard this squeaking coming up out of the ground!

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

We kept walking along and then we saw all these mounds that hadn’t been there last year.

Finally our mystery was solved. Look what we found! A prairie dog. Their tunnels must be so close to the surface that we could hear them squeaking in their tunnels.

When we got home and Mom took me out of the stroller and took the harness off, guess what she did. She put the harness on Candy! Then she put Candy in MY stroller. MY STROLLER! How dare she! Don’t believe me? Just look at these pictures:

She looks like she’s made herself entirely too comfortable in MY stroller. I just don’t know what I’m going to do. I really don’t mind having fursibs, but do I really have to share everything with them? Next thing you know they’ll be taking over my blog and my twitter account! What’s a kitty to do?

That’s it for this week. have a good week my furriends!

Pet Gear AT3 Stroller Review – Update

I’ve had my new stroller for a couple of weeks now and I want to compare the old one and the new one.

 Old stroller.

 New stroller.

This is the second generation of the stroller that I had. As you can see, it no longer has the big pet step sticking out in the front. This makes the stroller more compact, more maneuverable, and easier to fold up and put in the car. But that’s just the first improvement!

The drink tray, which in the old version was so difficult to put on, now comes attached. The fabric cover has been slightly redesigned and zips with ease. The mesh windows are lighter so it’s easier for me to see out and for Mom to see me.

The way the stroller folds has been changed completely and is now so easy I could do it! (If I had opposable thumbs. MOL.)

The front wheel is now the same size as the other two wheels. The wheels simply snap on. And more important, they can now be removed to be replaced if by some miracle you actually manage to wear them out.

The only thing on the version that I would consider a negative is that the basket underneath sits much closer to the body of the stroller which makes it harder to put things in it. But frankly, everything else is soooooo much better that it really doesn’t matter. I thought this stroller was pawsome when I had the first generation of it. The new version is miles above the old one. I would recommend this stroller to anyone wanting wheels for their pet.

I’ve had a few requests for tips for buying a stroller. So here they are!

Pumpkin’s Tips for Fancy Wheels for your Pets

Bring the stroller in the house and let your pet get used to it before trying to take him/her out in it. Also, get your pet used to wearing a harness. Even though I’m enclosed in the stroller, I’m also harnessed and on a leash attached to the stroller. This way Mom can open the stroller to give me water or treats and I can’t run off. The leash and harness also help with getting me from the carrier to the stroller if we’ve gone somewhere in the car. I can’t run off while Mom’s taking me out of one and putting me in the other. I wouldn’t run off anyway, but you can’t be too careful. 
Mom also always brings something for me to play with in the stroller. Usually it’s my duckie, Fred. As much fun as riding in the stroller is, sometimes it’s nice to have a toy to play with.
My stroller came with a nice pad in the bottom, but Mom put a fleece bed in anyway. I like fleecy beds and Mom wanted to make the stroller extra inviting. And like any other time you’re training your four legged furriend to something new, make sure lots and lots of treats are involved!
When picking a stroller, think about how you’ll use it, how big your pet is, and what fits you. How easy or difficult is it to use? Will you take it in the car a lot? How easily does it fold and unfold? What kind of terrain do you walk on? Lots of the paths around here are mulch or hardpack (very fine gravel). The strollers with the little wheels would get stuck, so we got all terrain wheels. How tall are you? Mom also liked this stroller because it’s very tall and she’s on the tall side. Some people don’t mind using a stroller with a lower handle even if they are tall and then other things would be more important. Will you need to haul anything in it beside the pet (like a picnic)? She also liked that there’s a basket for stuff underneath and a tray for drinks and keys and other small stuff (like the flashy box).
There are lots of strollers to choose from. Some can go from carrier to backpack to stroller. That would have been nice because I wouldn’t have to go from carrier to stroller when we go in the car. But we couldn’t find one with big wheels. There are double-decker ones for people with multiple pets. There’s every color of the rainbow to choose from. There are strollers special for small pets all the way up to one like mine that’s for 60 lb. pets. Of course, I don’t weigh anywhere near 60 lbs. MOL! But Mom liked everything else about the stroller and I have lots of room to play in. Look at several before picking one. If you don’t get the best one for your needs, likes, and that suits your pet you won’t like it.
I think a stroller is a great way for people to take their pets with them to places they otherwise wouldn’t get to go. Without it, I’d always get left behind when Mom goes out. Now we get to go fun places and have more together time. What’s better than that?