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Old 12-17-2009, 12:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tips needed... for a long drive with dogs

I'm moving very soon and taking my dogs with me, will be driving from Louisiana to Charlotte, North Carolina. I've made this trip once already with Loki who just slept the entire time.

I was wondering what other people do with dogs on long car trips, any tips? Stuff to bring? Aside from water, etc... I do have a dog canteen that I brought last time as well as a few snacks but i'd hate for them to need to use the restroom too often.

I did make frequent stops at rest areas and that isn't a problem. Luckily none of mine get very car sick or anything but one dog is a bit hyper and I drive a truck so there isn't much room for a crate unless it's in the cab and im not so sure that would be safe the whole way there.

I have some room behind me and some seats perfect size for dogs to lie down and sleep and Loki sleeps fine but the other would rather be in the front with me helping to drive. I'm hoping I can bring some pig ears or something to keep her occupied in the back.

It will definitely be an interesting trip!
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tips needed... for a long drive with dogs

water (including some that's frozen and will melt slowly to keep it cold), extra collars and leashes in case you lose one or one breaks; dog id tags w/cell phone number, bowl for water; lots of paper towels and cleaning solution and some extra water in case someone gets sick; baby wipes

that should cover any emergencies
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tips needed... for a long drive with dogs

I keep a Chuck It ball thrower in my trunk. That way when we do stop along the way I'm able to use that to really give the dogs some excercise. My dogs have logged thousands of miles but they sleep most of the time only waking when I slow down.

You likely won't need it now but I also keep a battery operated fan in the car just in case I need to stop and leave dogs in the car for a few moments (its more of a comfort thing than a safety thing as I would never leave my dogs alone in a hot car, etc. I've used it for example on a cool afternoon when I've parked in the shade and temps are low just to give them air as I shop for a few min's for things.

Don't forget the camera and you might try checking for doggie friendly places along your route that you can all enjoy together.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tips needed... for a long drive with dogs

My wife and I moved from Tampa Florida to minnesota. We have a 2005 explorer. I got one of those screen things at pet smart that you put behind the drivers seat to keep Sarge from getting into the front seat. I folded the back seat down, covered it with a few blankets. The put a few toys, food and water back there and off we went. 1500 Miles over 2 days including one night in a motel.

Sarge learned soon into the trip that when we stopped for gas or food he would be allowed out. So he would be asleep in the back and he would feel the car begin to slow as I hit the exit ramp he would jump up and start looking around like....OK!!! ITS TIME TO GET OUT!!...LOL

We ate in the car never leaving him alone for any reason. One person stayed in the car with Sarge at all times. I had no idea what to expect when the trip started but I knew there was no way we would leave him behind.

In short you would even know he was back there if you didnt look. He did a great job on the road and in the motel. Could not have been a better boy.

On a side note, we found out hes pretty partial to Arbys roast beef sandwiches...lol
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tips needed... for a long drive with dogs

I drove a 4 month old pup from Kentucky to Maryland a year ago, it took about 4 days because we didn't want the dog to get too sick or restless.

I had some ice cubes for my pup to chew on and rehydrate himself with, gave him some things to chew on like rawhides and pigs ears (though he wasn't too interested at the time) and we made a lot of frequent stops, though usually not at rest stops or gas stations. For the most part, he just slept a lot, only waking up when we stopped to get food or take him out to relieve himself. We tried to stop at less populated areas, since rest stops are pretty germy with all the dog poo that doesn't get picked up.

You can try filling a kong with some goodies and freezing it, that'll take a while for them to work through. Usually when I know we're about to go on a long car ride, I get up early and exercise my dog pretty thoroughly so he's tired before we leave. That way I know he'll be tired and sleep most of the way, instead of moving around the car and throwing up everywhere.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tips needed... for a long drive with dogs

We travel often with our dogs, at least 1-2 trips from PA to FL (22 - 24 hours in the car) and every fall we visit the Outer Banks of NC (about 8-9 hours).

Even on the very long trips to Florida we don't do much different. Like Loki, our guys pretty much sleep the entire time we are driving. Roxy like to look out the window for a while, but typically by the time we get through Delaware they are always snoozing away.

We bring water, bowls, their food (depending on the timing), clean-up bags, paper towels in case of an accident. I also travel with copies of their medical history, license, microchip info, current photos, etc and keep that within reach. Since you are moving, you'll have all of that anyway.

We tend to avoid the rest-stop pet areas since no seems to bother cleaning up. If there's some open space, we might put them on a long line and let them explore or play ball for a break. Generally though, they're like a lot of babies . . . a ride in the car means a nice nap.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tips needed... for a long drive with dogs

Just a couple more tips. Plan on making lots of stops for drinks, potty breaks and for them to stretch their legs. I keep a good ten gallons of water in my truck whenever we travel. I never stop at rest stops unless its for me. I look for roads off the beaten path where I can pull over and safely let my dogs run. Rest stops are great for people but much too restrictive for dogs unless you have no other choice.

If you are moving 'soon' hot temps likely won't be a problem, but I am always mindful of where the sun is comming in the car. I put those sunscreens on the windows and that really does help keep the temps down.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tips needed... for a long drive with dogs

drove from NC to MN a couple of times last year in the fall and then winter - stopped over in Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin and then drove into MN. 3 days :-)

Camera, rawhides or other chewies if your dog likes those, stops at McDonalds for Vanilla ice cream cones and nuggets or chicken strips - now Angeles loves going for rides and when he hears the drive through attendant on the speaker, sometimes he barks at them I think to let them know what he wants! - paper towels, garbage bags, food, water and bowls. Also had his leash and his collar was on him with tags all up to date. Poopy pick up bags. Also carried some canned food for when we stopped at the hotels. That way I knew for sure he would eat since he wasn't quite sure of the new place he was at.

He slept a lot on the ride and then sometimes looked around. One trip I was in a Mazda 5 minivan looking thing, so I could use his crate. The other was winter/snow time so I used a RAV 4 with AWD so no crate, but he could sit in the back seat in the floor with no problems. I used those Petco or store bags that you buy for a $1 and can reuse to transport his stuff - made things easy to bring into hotels and in and out of the car. And of course a mobile phone.

Have fun on your trip!!!! We did plenty of stops for breaks and stop at local petsmarts so he could walk around and have fun besides just being outside. And if you make a stop overnight, check the hotels ahead of time, like Super 8. They let us stay with no problem and in Virginia it was a private Motel in the mountains but they didn't mind having dogs.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tips needed... for a long drive with dogs

Besides supplies for your dog, make sure you have the supplies for your self so rest stops are quik. i did a round trip of 1900 miles during the dead heat of summer and took enough snacks and drinks for myself as well as the dog so all i really did was stop for gas and restroom breaks and excersize and potty breaks without leaving the dog in a Hot or freezing vehicle for extended times. i would try to avoid public rest areas at nite due to undesireables hanging out there.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tips needed... for a long drive with dogs

Wow, thanks for the huge response. I have a folder full of medical records/rabies/city licence all ready to go. All are microchipped but also have rabies vaccination and mine are ninjas with ID tags..they always come off no matter what so I had dog collars made that stitched in a name/phone number so they do have that...dependingo n the week they might have an ID tag. Im not sure what they do but O hook, S hook it doesn't matter it gets off somehow. I've even been asking the vet for extra rabies tags up front and just keep one taped on their vaccine receipt.

That's a good idea though about towels and cleaning solution in case of an accident. I don't anticipate one but you never know. Luckily they are used to the car but it's usually only to and from Dallas (3 hours) so 14 hours is another story!

I will also bring my long line. I didn't last time and kind of regretted only having 6 feet of room for them when walking around. I have a retractable leash but I don't like it very much. It worked great when Loki was a pup but one good tug on that thing and it could probably split in half.

I don't plan on needing to stop at a hotel but I do have a list of some pet friendly ones on the way or at least not too far off course.

Last trip I found that Loki was very partial to the sausage, egg and cheese biscuits at mcdonalds. He also loves sno cones or at least the ice from them. He's not too fond of big ice cubes, i think they might be too cold for him but he loves sno cone ice or the small little ice circles at Sonic he enjoys eating.

I do have a kong so I will fill that with goodies and freeze it. That's an excellent idea. I used that quite often when he had to be in a crate while i was at work, and he would still be working on it when I got home. Both are VERY food motivated so any munchies that last awhile will be awesome. I've heard bad things about rawhides, are there any that wont cause blockage? What about those health bones or health edibles i believe they are called. I bought a bunch at Petco on sale when Loki was a pup and he loved them. I want to say i heard they were safe and wouldnt cause blockage or anything like that.

Mine love pig ears so i always have those available but i know those make them very thirsty as well. I think i've covered most everything. I still have both of their puppy dog beds from when they were young and use that behind my seat for soft comfort. I think it will be a good trip. I'll be sure to have my camera ready for any shots to post once i'm done moving.

I'm scheduled to move into my place January 1st so definitely moving soon!
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