We've all seen them, the dark dingy dreaded dog vans which look horrible to be in!
When I first bought this van it was all panels, lined with ply wood - my own dog wouldn't get in it.
So I got to work thinking how I could adapt it to be a nicer experience straight away.
First thing to go were the panels and ply. I got the tinted windows and fitting kit from Van Pimps and put them in straight away to allow it natural light inside the van where the dogs would be, to block out direct sunlight and stop people from being able to see inside.
Second thing to go was the metal bulkhead. I wanted my dogs to be able to see and hear me, and vice versa. I ordered the mesh bulkhead online and Balham Cars Ltd manager Vai was lovely enough to make the switch over for me. On top of the added comfort and added interaction between myself and the dogs, this also allowed even more natural light into the back of the van, meaning they'd never be in the dark. Happy dogs.
Next I bought non slip rubber flooring to line the remaining ply with, this ensured the dog bedding I put down didn't slip whilst we were in transit. Ensuring a more comfortable journey for my dogs - making it easier to clean.
Lastly it was off to Burtons k9 Cages for the professional crates to be fitted. For maximum space and efficiency we opted for a two up, two down system in the back and two side crates. The driver's side crate had a storage shelf installed above it, so that I could keep all towels, coats, cooling equipment, harnesses and grooming equipment etc safely stored. All crates are double ended, meaning in the event of an accident all dogs are accessible. The two middle crates, two back bottom and two back top also have removable dividers. All crates come with their own keys, should I wish to lock them.
I had already bought a Flettner ventilator, which Burtons also installed for me. The ventilator helps to remove strong odours and airborne spores. It significantly reduces heat build-up, minimises condensation and excess humidity, reduces bacteria spreading keeping the van in good nick for longer, and improves driver productivity. Not to mention, it does all this quietly. Happy Maddie.
My van also comes with air con (so you will see me wearing a jumper in summer!), so in hotter weather cool air is constantly being put into the van, whilst any hot air is being removed.
Each crate is lined with a non slip vet bed. I chose to use vet beds because they're soft, comfortable, tough, durable and hygienic. They're also a non allergenic, non toxic and non irritant . They do not support bacterial growth and are easily machine washable. Each crate also comes with its own water bowl - attached and filled at all times and its own pillow. Each pillow case is water proof and also machine washable.
All bedding ,bowls and towels are washed every weekend, along with any other equipment I've had to use, ensuring hygiene is kept to a high standard. The van is also cleaned by myself weekly, and taken to be valeted front and back once every quarter.