Question about a long car trip for new puppy
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    sunnylaz is offline Senior Member
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    Default Question about a long car trip for new puppy

    We are getting our puppy in about 2 1/2 weeks! He will be 10 weeks old when we bring him home. The problem is, our breeder is 10-11 hours away (not including the many puppy stops). I was wondering what suggestions anyone may have for having a pup in the car for such a long time. I know we will need to make lots of stops (any suggestions on how often? I was thinking every 3 hours or so, is that enough?). How about feeding and watering? Should I continue with his normal schedule, and just allow for the extra stops 20-30 minutes after doing so?

    I obviously will also be talking to the breeder about any suggestions she may have. She is aware how far away we live, and offered to give us a smaller travel crate for the trip for him (that way we don't have to take out a seat in the van for the regular size crate). But I thought some of you may have traveled long distances to get your pups and was curious of your experiences and tips.

    We leave in a week and a half to travel up there. Coincidently we had planned a vacation for near where the breeder is prior to finding her. I expanded my search from our state to a 5 state radius, and the timing worked out perfectly to get this fellow on the way home from our vacation (he'll be older than the normal 8 weeks, but we'll visit him several times during our trip before we bring him home). So we'll have a van full of 2 adults, 3 kids, and a new puppy! Any suggestions for this "road trip" home would be greatly welcomed!

    <br />Jonah - born 6/20/07

  2. #2
    brody's Avatar
    brody is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question about a long car trip for new puppy

    a smallish crate is a good idea no need to go for a full size adult lab crate

    and personally when we are on the road with animals we stick to the normal schedule as much as possible ... even with adults honestly

    we switch drivers every 3-4 hours so if a puppy is sleeping that whole time we let sleeping dogs lie but if they wake up and are restless we stop more

    one thing to keep in mind is to stay away from obvious doggy stops - there may well be bugs and disease in the ground that you just don't want your unvaccinated (at least partially) baby exposed to

    make sure you let him play a bit somehow somewhere - or get some cuddles or whatever ... 10 hours of being still is impossible for a wee one

    cheers
    http://andrea-agilityaddict.blogspot.com/

    I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. H. Keller

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    Baloo317 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question about a long car trip for new puppy

    Quote Originally Posted by conrad
    one thing to keep in mind is to stay away from obvious doggy stops - there may well be bugs and disease in the ground that you just don't want your unvaccinated (at least partially) baby exposed to
    Very good point!!

    He will probably sleep for at least part of the way, but he'll probably be pretty LOUD for at least part of it too. So be prepared!!
    Kate
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    sunnylaz is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question about a long car trip for new puppy

    We leave early tomorrow morning for our vacation. We'll visit our boy on Friday or Saturday, and then will pick him up probably Thursday of next week for the trip home (unless I can convince my DH to come back earlier). Can't wait to get him home!

    Any final suggestions before we go?

    How often do you suggest stopping to let him out for potty breaks? I was planning on stopping about every 3 hours. Does that sound right for a 10 week old?

    Also, my husband read to skip meals for the puppy for car trips, offering only water, due to car sickness. Is that okay? It'll take about 11-12 hours (due to the frequent stops). That seems a long time with no food....
    <br />Jonah - born 6/20/07

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    HersheyK's Dad's Avatar
    HersheyK's Dad is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question about a long car trip for new puppy

    Sleeping pup, keep going. No stopping when sleeping. Puppy starts to fuss, emergency brakes, you won't get much warning. Probably good plan would be to stop as soon as he wakes. Unfortunately, for interstate highway travel, that does not mean the next rest stop or exit. It means now. Should get an immediate pee, give a few minutes to coax out a poop.

    I have never had a dog that got car sick, maybe others have. 12 hours? I think that pup needs some food. It will promote more sleeping.
    Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.

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    Karolyn is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question about a long car trip for new puppy

    When I went to get Harlee (3 hrs away) the breeder sent her home without any food or water and she was fine. This turned out to be from about 8am (when he got her up) until 1pm before we got home. She cried during the drive home and I assume it was because she was hungry.

    Because the puppy is only ten weeks it will go to the bathroom very soon after it eats so you could stop at least once or twice to feed. I am no expert (Harlee is 16 weeks) but thought I would offer my opinion!

    Karolyn


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    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question about a long car trip for new puppy

    With a very young pup, I'd stop every hour and let her out on a leash beside the road for a brief walk.

    With my first Lab (Bess), as a 5 week old pup, she rode the 80 miles home wrapped in a swaddling towel** in my wife's lap. That soothed her.

    With Puff (@ 9 weeks age), we had 170 miles to travel home. I had a small crate and Puff sounded far beyond most unhappy to be in it and made that audibly known every inch or millimeter we travelled. Finally, after 15-20 minutes of interminable, grating howling and protests, I swaddled her in towels** and put her on my lap. That quieted her immensely. She needed that body contact with a living being to feel secure.

    Just something to consider.

    ________________________

    ** Towels -- just in case there are/were bladder leaks.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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    sunnylaz is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question about a long car trip for new puppy

    Every hour Bob Pr?!?! The normal trip with 2-3 quick stops is 10-11 hours (about 700 miles)....I guess it's going to be a long day!

    We do have towels in the car, I did think about that and figured he may end up on my lap if being in the crate bothers him, so I put some in there just in case (I'll probably want to hold him anyway!).

    That's a good idea about stopping to feed him. We'll just plan a longer stop about that time to let him eat, get a little play out, and then go to the bathroom. I know places such as doggie parks, etc. wouldn't be good. Any suggestions on where to stop? Are rest stops okay? Or should we stick to fast food restaurant's small grassy areas? It is all interstate/turnpike driving, and unfamiliar territory, so I wouldn't know where else to stop....
    <br />Jonah - born 6/20/07

  9. #9
    Karolyn is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question about a long car trip for new puppy

    You need to be careful where you take your pup because it hasnt been vacinated. Make sure you don't go near any poop and try to keep the pup away from any dogs.

    You will be surprised how much the puppy will sleep, it will cry a bit but I am betting it will go right back to sleep. If I were you I would keep going til the puppy wakes up!

  10. #10
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question about a long car trip for new puppy

    I know places such as doggie parks, etc. wouldn't be good. Any suggestions on where to stop? Are rest stops okay? Or should we stick to fast food restaurant's small grassy areas? It is all interstate/turnpike driving, and unfamiliar territory, so I wouldn't know where else to stop....
    Puff and I recently made 2 long trips from KS -- one to VA and New England, and we're just back from another to Oregon. So we have much recent experience with Interstates and rest stops.

    Since many traveling dogs use those small grassy areas at restaurants, I'd favor Interstate rest stops. BUT avoid the designated "Exercise pets here" areas that many rest stops have so you lessen chances of picking up any germs/viruses before your pup's had all his shots. You can take along some bags to pick up & dispose of any poops that might happen to mollify any objectors.

    I do think a large bath towel on your lap will be the comfortable place for him to be because he'll be next to a living being and that'll give much more comfort than being in solitary confinement. If you can send some towels in advance to the breeder to be placed in mother's bed so they pick up her scent, too, they might also be a reassuring comfort to the little guy.

    Happy trails, to all of you....
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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