Long Car Trip with a puppy - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Long Car Trip with a puppy

Soleil will be short of five months when our family drives from Chicago to Maine via Toronto and Montreal this August. Once we arrive, we'll be at my in laws' cabin in the forest on a shallow bass fishing lake.

Of course we plan to stop a lot and I'll bring Soleil's crate and pen for when we stay with relatives and friends along the way but I wonder if anyone here might have more tips to share to make the trip as comfortable as possible for all?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 12:06 PM
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Either plan on some picnic lunches at rest stops or going to drive-throughs. Too hot to leave a puppy in the car even with some windows down unless you are in a cooler place than we are!

If you have space a doggy carseat is good especially since they can be tethered in so they're safe in case of an accident or sudden stop.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Is a car doggy seat better than her crate or the sherpa? I assume both can be held down with a seatbelt but I haven't actually tried yet. Recommend a doggy car seat brand?
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 02:04 PM
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Towels, light weight blanket come in very handy! Drinking water from home. Food.

Grooming supplies. Comb & spray mist for sure!

Medications (Heartworm, Flea medications).

How does your pup do with current rides in the car? If sick, ask Vet for traveling medication.

You will soon discover....it is like packing for a child. Don't forget favorite toys!



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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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HAH Thanks Linda. I don't actually have her yet but her breeder said she is fine in the car.

I do have an almost four year old daughter so I know about packing for kids! My daughter has been on more than 40 airplanes already. I've never done a long road trip, though. Should be interesting.

I had kind of pictured Soleil being able to run around the camp (no cars) but since she's going to be so young, chances are low that her recall will be perfect already, right? And poison ivy abounds off the paths. And there are nests of Bald Eagles not too far away. Not to mention any number of wild animals that live in the forest at just about puppy level.

Ugh, I'm starting to freak myself out.

Long leash, harness. This will be a great adventure. Breathe, repeat.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 02:32 PM
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I would make sure that she has ALL her vaccinations before taking her to a camp site like that! She could come across other animals, or feces at the lake which could be harmful to her. Make sure she has frontline on her!

I have the "lookout" car seats for three of my guys and I love them. They sit higher on the seat and are able to look out if they want. They are tethered into the seat using the seatbelt. It is also ok to travel with her in her crate if you prefer or dont have room for both.

I am always sure to pack extra wipes, towels and papertowels, just in case one does in fact get sick. My Logan gets sick so often I bring a bowl and just put it under his chin in the passenger seat and catch it while driving - it is too funny.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Wow and ick on all the barf! Poor baby.

Does the third and final set of puppy shots usually happen three weeks after the second set? If that's the case she'll be all set with a couple of weeks to spare. Obviously I'll also discuss the trip with her vet.

Worse case scenario, she's on a shorter leash and we stick to the front and back "yards" of the cabin which are all nicely cut grass. Doesn't bother me, I hate mosquitos and tend to stay in the cleared areas anyway.

Speaking of, my previous dog never was bothered by mosquitoes but since Havs have hair instead of fur, can the mossies penetrate more easily to the skin?
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 02:46 PM
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I would not allow her off leash and be cautious with the long leash. Remember to an eagle she will be food. At 4 months she will still be pretty small. I take my hav to my daughter's farm and even at her age (6 yrs and 7-8 lbs) we watch very carefully because the eagles can swoop down and she would be gone. Good luck and have fun.

Linda & Sasha
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 02:58 PM
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Oh! Little plastic baggies for cleaning up poo!



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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divaskychick View Post
Is a car doggy seat better than her crate or the sherpa? I assume both can be held down with a seatbelt but I haven't actually tried yet. Recommend a doggy car seat brand?
It depends on the dog. A lot of dogs travel fine in a car inside a crate. Others get disconcerted by losing their footing in a crate. Kodi is one of those. WE don't even have a "real" dog car seat for him... he rides in a donut-type dog bed, with a car-harness attached to the seat belt. Make sure you use a real car harness, not a walking harness. A car harness has a broad chest piece, often padded and fleecy, that will spread the impact in case of a sudden stop. These can mat their coat (though that's probably not a big problem with a puppy as young as yours) but the extra grooming is WELL worth the added safety.

Other tips...

Make sure you have paper towels some "Shamwows!" and no-rinse shampoo along for unexpected clean-up on the road.

A pile of extra towels can be useful for all kinds of "problems", from needing to re-line a bed after an unexpected "upchuck" to just drying off a puppy who has had to pee in wet dewy grass first thing in the morning.

Bring several different chew toys, Kongs or filled bones that you can rotate during the trip if she gets bored with all the confinement.

Bring a good long flexi. I'm not a fan of flexis for regular walking, but to exercise a puppy who needs to RLH, when there's no place safe off-leash, it can be a godsend. They can just go out on the end of the cord and run circles around you. (I've used this method to let Kodi blow off steam before classes at Rally trials!)

If you have to go through mountains, you may find that the changes in elevation bother her ears. We found (quite by accident) that letting Kodi lick ice cubes while climbing through mountains kept him swallowing, which equalized pressure in his ears and kept him comfortable. Before we figured this out, he cried all the way through the mountains.

You might want to consider brining enough bottled water (of the same brand) or water from home that you can keep her on a consistent water source during the trip. More than a few of us have found that changes in water supply can cause poopy butts that you DON'T want to deal with on a car trip!!! Once you get to your destination, you can change her over to the local supply, where it's easier to manage any potential problems.


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