Road-trip Advice

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by noludoru, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    Please?

    How does your dog do on road trips? What did you do to keep them occupied?

    I will be leaving with Middie at the end of the week. We're driving 26 hours over two days. I may stretch that to three if I don't have the energy for that much driving - we'll see. I'm driving a rental, so he can't have any food-filled toys.

    I'm probably over-thinking this, and maybe he'll just sleep the entire trip away, but the last time we were in a strange car it was WHINE WHINE WHINE WHINE WHINE for three hours. I don't want to post a thread next week admitting that I left my dog on the side of a road somewhere, so that can't happen. :p
     
  2. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Really loud music? :lol-sign:

    Really though, does he ride in a crate? If so, I'd probably pack lots of bones/chews/bully sticks, or are those out too?

    I'd probably cut it into 3 days, personally, and then stop someplace you could let him run off some energy before leaving in the morning, or halfway through the drive each day. Though, *I* would probably go crazy in the car for 13 hours a day if it was 2 days, so that may be playing part in why I'd cut it up into 3 days.
     
  3. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    Bully sticks are brilliant. I don't usually buy those.

    He and I will exercise in the evenings. . . he's not really high energy anymore. I just don't want to listen to whining. But maybe I'll give him some dramamine and a pile of bully sticks. :rofl1:
     
  4. LostAndConfused

    LostAndConfused Active Member

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    I'd stretch it to 3 days too, but that's because I find driving more than 8-10 hours in a day to be awful.

    We are lucky because Hudson does travel really well. What we did the first time we went from NY to OH (about 9 hours) was we put him in a crate with lots of noms. Bully sticks, kongs with peanut butter, antlers, food just randomly tossed in so he would kind of have to hunt through the blanket to find it and toss some really yummy treats in when he was being good. We also stopped ever few hours for potty breaks and to stretch our legs, but part of that was because he was only 4 months old. Oh, we also drove through the night.


    Our most recent trip to Ohio, we also drove through the night and we bought a dog car hammock thing, so he could be loose in the back seat. Once again, we filled the back seat with lots of things for him to chew on, but he spent most of the drive just looking sad.

    We also get lucky because he plays with my sister's dog A LOT at my parents house and will then sleep for the return trip.
     
  5. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    IME, my dogs settle best when crated in the car, so that's what we always do. When I drove to Canada with Aeri and a foster I didn't do anything special, just made sure the crates were comfy, stopped a few times for walking and potty time, and the dogs didn't bat an eye. That was 15.5 hour drive.

    Trips to Indiana to visit my parents (9 hours) are handled the same way, though I do have a dog park that I like to stop at if there's time half way through so that the pups are tired before we get to my parents' house. ;)

    Some people swear that you need to stop every 2 hours or so with dogs, but I've never found the need to unless the dog was a baby pup. In general, I tend to stop every 3-5 hours for gas/food/bathroom for me, and the dogs get let out every 5-6 hours for a walk and potty break.
     
  6. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Considering my dogs hold it 10 hours at a time at home I can't imagine stopping every two hours on a drive.
     
  7. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I've only done really long drives with my dogs once.

    That was 18 hours STRAIGHT in a car (obviously we stopped for potty/food, but nothing else) with five people, and three dogs, two of which were puppies under 8 months, and one of which was a grumpy senior dog.

    Honestly, I think they did sleep most of the way. If they weren't sleeping they were looking out the window. My dogs always liked the car.

    Even though it's a rental...can't you put towels/blankets down and give him food in a toy? My dogs never make a huge mess with stuffed kongs.

    If all else fails...give him benedryl.
     
  8. BlackPuppy

    BlackPuppy Owned by Belgians

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    I agree with that. I have taken several dogs on long trips. They mostly sleep, but if you let them sleep too much, you're going to have your hands full at the motel in the evenings. I try to find a vacant park, or a high school field and let the dogs out for a good run once a day. Sometimes I have to wait until the end of the day if nothing pops up on the road.
     
  9. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    The couple times I've driven to Ohio and back with the dog(s)... they just slept until we were ALL SO TIRED of being in the car we needed a break.
     
  10. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    This never made sense to me - my dogs are crated/left in the house for 8-10 hours every weekday. Why would riding in a car be any different? People are so weird.
     
  11. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    After the first hour or so, Zander settles down and just goes to sleep. I keep his leash, water bottle, and treats up front with me. He also gets hot easily, so I blast the air and wear a hoodie. Benedryl does wonders too. I give it half an hour to 45 minutes before we leave, then again before we stop to ease any stress about the hotel room and all the noises and smells. Whenever the car slows or stops for gas, food, or going through towns he still gets a bit antsy. Click/treat for quietly looking out the window and we're golden.

    I make a roundtrip 64+ hour drive every 6 months, so we've nearly got the system down pat.
     
  12. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    I only stopped once about halfway through on 8-hour drives down to Texas with the older dogs. On the way back because I had the pups about every 3 hours, or when they woke up and were being restless.
     
  13. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Yikes, I don't envy you. I just did 5 hours one way, 3 hours back this weekend, and Lucy whined the ENTIRE time in her crate. I put her bark collar on to keep her from totally going crazy, but yeah...it was "turn the radio up, cover the crate, and pray for no traffic". She does much better loose, but it was a friend's car so she had to be crated.

    I really thought she'd sleep in the crate on the way home today. She had 2.5 solid days of running on the farm with 6 other dogs, chasing goats, hiking, training, swimming, wrestling, chasing the gator when we drove it around, etc...and STILL she whined and scratched at the crate door the whole way home. Booger!
     
  14. PlottMom

    PlottMom The Littlest Hound

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    I've never had a dog have to make less than a 3 hour or so trip on their date of purchase, so I don't know if that's made a difference but until we moved cross country I'd never crated a dog in the car, and never had anyone whine. Mostly they just sleep.
     
  15. Raegan

    Raegan Member

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    I took Marsh to Ohio last year, it was an 8 hour drive. I stuck an antler in his crate and we just went. Stop a couple times to air. But Marsh is always good in the car. Poor boy spent about four days in a crate before he got a turn to work at the seminar, and WOW was he wound for sound!
     
  16. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    :eek:

    That's what I am worried about. I bought a huge pack of bully sticks this evening and gave him one as a test, though - mostly to see how long it takes him to finish it off and whether I can stand the smell. It went well. He's been chewing on it for almost an hour and a half and isn't finished yet. I figure if we start out with a couple bully sticks he'll have time to get comfortable in the new environment. I'll have the truck for a day before the actual move, so I am going to try to get him in it and stuff treats in his face.

    Agreed. We will definitely not be stopping every two hours - I can't imagine how much time that would add to the trip! We'll be stopping every 4-6 hours or however long it takes me to have to pee (I generally go 6-8 hours and so does he), and I'll just let him go to the bathroom at the same time.
     
  17. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    no kidding, i used to stop rather frequently, like every 4 hours on long trips and they just look at me like "you got me out for this again?" Now we rarely stop at all if ever on a trip except for me. I have a tiny bladder and feel the need to drink a lot when I drive. Great combo.

    We travel a lot. For that reason, my dogs are crate trained early and they travel in crates. They lay down and sleep and could care less where we are until they car stops and they are let out.
     
  18. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

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    When I drove to NM I had Bamm and Goober in the car. When I moved back this way I had Bamm and Cricket. We stopped roughly every 4 hours since Cricket was still a puppy and since I have a tiny bladder. Bamm settles real well in the car, but Cricket had to have chews. We didn't crate them on the way back since there was no room to set up crates unfortunately and we were all a little squished together.

    I absolutely LOVE road trips though and I've been really aching to take a road trip to New Mexico and CO with Cricket and plan to hopefully soon. Cricket just sleeps in the car nowadays.
     
  19. Bailey08

    Bailey08 New Member

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    How often does he ride in the car? You may want to try to desensitize him by driving him around more. If you're going to medicate, try that in advance too (B had a paradoxical reaction to Xanax, and I know people can have that reaction to Benedryl).

    Bailey stresses out on long car trips and doesn't settle down, poor boy. Grace the crazy dog does amazingly well.

    Be sure to bring water and a travel bowl. Both of mine drink a lot on trips. I like to bring long leads and stop at rest stops so they can burn off some steam.
     
  20. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    At least two hours once or twice a week. Sometimes four hours in one day. I never really know where I'm going and when, so I drag him along with me a lot. The problem is not riding in the car - it's a car he doesn't know. If it was the other Miata or one of the Expies we'd be fine.

    The last time we went somewhere in a strange car he whined the entire time. We will be in a moving truck this time, so. . . yeah. But with benadryl or dramamine (he's good with both) and some bully sticks I think we'll be fine. Good reminder about the water, too - I need to get a bowl or a zip-lock bag or something to put water in for him.
     

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