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Old 09-13-2012, 05:52 PM
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LostAndConfused LostAndConfused is offline
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Default Long car ride with puppy?

Any suggestions for travelling a long distance with a puppy?

Since we (I) sometimes make bad choices, we (I) decided to go with a breeder 12 hours away and we'll be driving down to get the puppy.

what are good puppy entertainment toys? Should I bring a few bully sticks? Kongs? Other toys that you can hide food in?

What about potty breaks? I'm concerned about taking a little puppy that has only had his first vaccines into the 'pet area' at most rest stops.

Water? Out all the time or just offered occasionally? I think the plan is to bring a crate, but kind of rotate the puppy between crate & lap.

Pet friendly hotel chains? Since it's 12 hours straight driving, I imagine adding a puppy to that will increase the time quite a bit so I think we'll have to stop part way back. Any good dog friendly chains? Once again, kind of concerned about taking a puppy somewhere where I'm not sure who has been there.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:32 PM
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I haven't done that long with such a young puppy, but I do a ton of traveling with my guys.

If you are worried about pet areas at rest stops, pull off the interstate and walk outside grocery store or restaurants, or just pull off the side of the road if it is pretty rural.

I wouldn't keep water out in the crate all the time, just because of possible sloshing issues, but would offer it when you stop every couple of hours. If puppy is too wound up to think about drinking, soak the food to get some water in.

I'm not sure what quality of pet-friendly room you are looking for (I'm a cheapskate) but Red Roofs are usually (maybe always?) pet friendly and rarely charge a pet fee in my experience. If you are going to let the puppy run around the room, lie down on the floor and look under the beds first (put a towel down to lay on if you don't want to go directly on the floor yourself). I've found everything from garbage to nuts to gum to pills under motel beds.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:38 PM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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It was 17 hours home with Aeri, so I feel your pain. LOL

Tips:
- make sure puppy has been exposed to crating by his or herself prior to pickup - Aeri was very familiar with crates so riding in one was nbd for her, which helps immensely.
- do NOT stop at rest areas or truck stops - the dog areas are DISGUSTING. We found that the grass outside restaurants and nicer gas stations (BP, Sheetz) seemed to be in cleaner condition
- Stop every few hours - Aeri was 13 weeks, so we stopped every 3 hours or so, a younger pup might need more frequent stops.
- Offer water at stops only, otherwise it just gets you a wet puppy
- a puppy nylabone and Kong were all we needed to keep her entertained. She slept almost the entire way.

Long drives home really seem to help set the tone for rides in the future - Aeri is a GREAT car traveler and always has been!

Also, we drove straight through - long day (we got home at about 2a), but worth it to have a fenced yard for puppy pottying and fewer worries about disease.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:46 PM
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We drove about 10 hours, more with the border crossing.

For potty stops we went to rest areas and then carried her 'off the beaten path' to potty, worked great. Did not take her out at all when we stopped at the reserve. Mind you we didn't stop for anything either, no good food.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:53 PM
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We always stay at Motel 6 because we're cheap but also because they are totally pet friendly, no extra fees, etc. Also, ditto on the checking under the bed. My parents won't even let their chihuahuas on the floor in the hotel.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:04 PM
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When I brought my puppy back from Montana and I lived in Idaho, it was about a 5 hour drive, I think. (?) I've forgotten now exactly. Anyhow, I stopped at a gas station and there was a big grassy area, sort of unkempt around back. I got out and asked the attendant if I could let my puppy go potty back there. She informed me that they had a lot of cases of parvo in that town and I shouldn't let him out anywhere around. So, we drove on. Before I got back in my car, I used some Clorox type spray she had in the bathroom on the bottoms of my shoes just as I got in my car. I wound up stopping along side the highway (dangerous) where I didn't think anyone would stop with a dog and it was quite a few miles out of town.

I think I had his stuffy and his blankie from the breeder in the crate and we listened to Girl from Ipanema all the way home. It was his favorite song, as it turned out. It seemed to entertain and keep him calm.

So, I'd maybe make a plan and call ahead to towns you might stop in and ask vet offices or shelters if they're aware of any parvo cases in the area. Or you could perhaps take some kind of thing he could potty on, like a rolled up piece of sod that you could put on a piece of plywood. I don't know how much space you have and it might be a hassle....plus he might not go on it, but it's a sort of half-thought. lol.

I wouldn't recommend rest stops because so many dogs pass through those places. You never know what they might have had. I didn't stop at those even with my adult dogs. A people park might work better if they allow dogs. But definitely find out if they have any bad diseases in the town, like parvo or distemper or anything serious.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:06 PM
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Quinn was only about a 3-3 1/2 hour drive all in so SHORT in comparison to your trip, but for potty breaks we'd stop at quiet parks, if there were nice grassy areas besides plazas, or even if there was a grassy spot right off the shoulder of the highway. She was already pretty much in the habit of peeing as soon as her feet hit grass so that really helped. We'd also run around and play with toys in some of the nicer areas we went to, so that wore her out nicely until we would stop again. She rode in my lap the whole way with zero issues (always either sleeping or quietly laying STARING at my face) - we did bring a crate though, which I probably would have used had the trip been longer and/or Quinn more restless.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:30 PM
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Well I just did more than 12 hours with Cookie a couple weeks ago, solo.

Mira was only 5 or so when we got her and there were two humans which helps.

I stopped about every hour at first just to see if she needed to potty (I knew she did but she was too wound to know it herself!) then once we settled in to the drive we would go about 4 hours without stopping. Go with what feels right. I tend to stop at gas stations because there's less dog traffic for walking the pups, and I can park under the gas pump roof so I can use the restroom and such while the dogs are in the shade.

I'd never had luck with Kong or toys in the crate with a very young pup on their first major drive. So what I did was strap in her crate where I could reach it with one hand and without taking my eyes off the road, and stashed a bag of super yummy treats in one of my cupholders...and rewarded for quiet. Worked like a charm for both Mira and Cookie, who were both screaming banshee puppies determined to be freed of this infringement on their God-given right to run amuck They both had Kongs and bully sticks and antlers and didn't touch any of that...but a yummy treat delivered via people-fingers was still highly desired.

La Quinta are usually pet friendly as well. Like any chain, some are pretty nice and some are scary. Choose wisely and map out potential places to stop before you leave...if you don't need it, great, but that way you are prepared!
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:36 PM
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Thanks so much guys! We haven't planned things out too much yet, but thanks for giving me some things to think of
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:47 PM
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Park over near the trucks and no one will bother you about walking a puppy Even if an attendant says something to you, if you explain why you can't walk the puppy in the pet area you shouldn't have any problems. No one had a problem when I'd travel with Gonzo, my big blue cat, and would take him in to the restroom to use the toilet, lol. I got asked a couple of times, and when I explained that he used the toilet and I wasn't about to put it in his head to start using the ground or a box again they were totally on board People who work at rest stops are usually pretty laid back, and if you stay closer to the trucks you can usually avoid any tightasses who are stopped there

I wouldn't, though, give a puppy anything much as far as edibles go until you find out if he gets carsick.
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