I chose the Owens Hunter Series Dog Box for his next home-on-the-go. I'll admit, the price tag is a little daunting at first. But once I'd added up the amount of the now unusable plastic dog boxes I'd bought, it only made sense to purchase one that wouldn't be run through his digestive tract.
I was nervous at first. Living in western Nebraska, where temperatures can peak at 100°F in the summer and drop to well below 0°F in the winter, I need him to be well protected in all types of weather. I can't have him freezing in the winter, but I also didn't need him cooked to a crisp in the summer. The Hunter Series has a layer of insulation built into the roof panel, safely secured behind a layer of aluminum, which keeps the interior cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The aluminum also keeps it from being a daytime snack for a bored hound.
But a layer of insulation in the pitched roof panel is just the beginning. The sides and bottom of the interior of the box are lined with corrugated plastic that also helps regulate temperature and keeps your dog safe from exposure to bare metal when possible. The back panel and door are, of course, left uncovered by the plastic in order to control ventilation. The plastic also pulls double duty as incredibly easy to clean when the situation requires it. Just a quick spray-down with the hose and it's ready to be re-installed.
The back panel is drilled with several holes to aid in ventilation, but a unique sliding panel covers them for wintertime use. The door to the box has vertical bars to allow for airflow in the summer and a removable panel covers them in the winter to keep the maximum amount of heat inside. The panel also has a few holes drilled in it to keep it from getting too warm and to let fresh air in.
One thing to note is that the latch to the box is lockable. That much-needed feature came into play when my Lab realized that a quick twitch of his nose under the latch let him get outside into the truck bed. Luckily, it happened while I was standing there and I could put him right back in. Now, when he's in there, he's locked. Additionally, it's safer for your dog if he needs to sleep in his travel kennel overnight, at a hotel for example. That way people leave him alone and he's right where you left him the next morning.
Assembly is fairly easy and should take less than 45 minutes. The instructions are detailed and the biggest decision you have to make is which way you want the door to swing. I found it easier to have it swing to the middle of the truck bed so the latch is close to the passenger side of the bed. An electric screwdriver is handy for assembly, as you'll have quite a few small screws to put in. Once assembled, however, the four handles make it easy to remove from the truck. It's a little heavy, but an adult can easily handle it alone.
Lastly, the thing just looks cool. It's made with tread-pattern aluminum, so guys who want to match the overall trim package of their truck will have no problem. It matches many aftermarket toolboxes, bed rails and running boards. Personally, the look didn't matter as much to me as the functionality, but I do have friends that would take it into consideration.
If you're tired of replacing plastic travel kennels because your dog sees them as one big chew toy, or if you'd like a more stable alternative to haul your hunting partner, I'd strongly recommend the Hunter Series. Once you get past the one-time cost, it's a reliable product that you'll have for years to come.
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Owens Hunter Series Dog Box