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USMCvet 08-22-2014 12:41 AM

Driving across the country with 8 wk old pup
My puppy is 2 weeks and when she turns 8 weeks it am picking her up and driving from california to illinois with my brother..
It will be about two days of driving?
Does anyone have any experience with this or able to give tips and advice??

Malachi'sMama 08-22-2014 06:22 AM

Wow. That's a lot of driving...for you and for a young pup.

Is there a particular reason you're against having the pup flown to you? A few hour flight is much less stressful on a pup than a two day drive--and there's less risk of disease since pups are required up to date vaccines to fly. Stopping at gas stations and rest areas, etc is incredibly risky for an 8wk puppy whose immune system is somewhat weakened and who is still very susceptible to parvovirus, parasites, and other diseases.

If flying is completely out of the question, then I'd recommend crating the puppy during the trip. Not sure if the breeder has begun crate training or not. If he/she has, this should work well. If not, the puppy is likely to cry and that's not going to be fun on such a long trip. If absolutely necessary, I'd say you could put the puppy on the passenger floorboard space with your brother and yourself taking turns sitting with her between your feet. Obv the puppy will be less likely to get into trouble or use the bathroom in a more confined area. I don't like suggesting this because it's really not safe and you would likely lose the puppy in event of an accident. Also a good idea to bring toys and treats to keep the puppy amused. Please..when you stop for potty breaks--which should be pretty frequent--maybe a couple mins every hour or 90min, stop in an area that is NOT likely to have had other dogs frequenting. Do NOT stop at rest areas, gas stations, fast food restaurants, etc. Stop in areas that you feel pretty confident haven't been used by other dogs. You'll significantly lessen the likelihood of your puppy getting sick...

Hope others have some suggestions for you..

GatorDog 08-22-2014 06:25 AM

37 Attachment(s)
I drove 18 hours each way to get my puppy because shipping was unavailable due to weather conditions. He was crated and we made plenty of potty breaks and had zero issues

Steve Strom 08-22-2014 09:51 AM

I'd take lots of towels and some of those wipes you can buy at Petco or whatever. Buy bottled water, like in the gallon jugs so you arent putting all kinds of different things in him while your traveling. I'd probably feed him a little less then normal on the trip. Some kind of cleaner for the crate and rolls of paper towels. Something non-toxic and not too harsh. Simple Green or something?

I'd avoid rest stops and lawns, just let him potty on hard surfaces like parking lots. Plan on stopping a lot and taking longer then you thought.

kr16 08-22-2014 09:57 AM


Originally Posted by USMCvet (Post 5933089)
My puppy is 2 weeks and when she turns 8 weeks it am picking her up and driving from california to illinois with my brother..
It will be about two days of driving?
Does anyone have any experience with this or able to give tips and advice??

I did this last year from So Fl to Ohio to bring a pup back. Its no big deal at all. I didn't even need a crate which I had with me. A cardboard box with blankets works as well. The pup most of the time sat on someones lap or laid on the floor or on a seat. Her favorite spot was laying on the center counsel. I was lucky she didn't cry once, not even in the hotel. This pup adjusted better than any dog I have ever had. Most be the tough working line mentality.

Just be prepared to pull over and stop for the pup to pee or poop fast. I agree with the other poster be careful where you walk it. I always went to non doggie areas

middleofnowhere 08-22-2014 11:15 AM

I moved a pup from Oregon to Wyoming by car. We did have a visit with a friend in eastern Washington for a few days.

Avoid rest stops with pup. Also, the on ramps even in rural areas are frequented by travelers with dogs so plan to drive a bit out of the way for a safe toilet stop.

I would prefer not to have a pup flown to me but I flew out to pick one up (Oregon to Arkansas). That worked great. I used a soft crate and she fit under the seat in front of me on the flight. I had piddle pads in the crate & changed the one she used as we changed planes at DFW. Didn't have much time so I snatched it out and dumped it in the trash as I grabbed the train to the next concourse. Worked fine.

Cassidy's Mom 08-22-2014 01:33 PM

I would definitely crate the puppy during the drive. We had a 9 hour drive home with Dena from Oregon to the Bay Area. Rather than drive both ways, we flew up to Portland, rented an SUV and went to visit the breeder and meet Dena. We spent the night with my husband's aunt and uncle who live about a half hour away from the breeder, and then picked her up and drove home the next day. Tom drove the whole way, and I sat in the back seat next to the crate. I think we only stopped 2 or 3 times, but she didn't potty until we got home.

Liesje 08-22-2014 04:25 PM

It's do-able just be prepared for everything. My last pup came from quite far away. I had friends also getting a puppy so I provided the supplies (crate, bedding, leashes) and a gas card and they offered to bring my puppy back rather than both of us make trips. The puppies were quiet but they all did get carsick so I would bring old towels or something that can get thrown out along the way.

Sammiegirlgsd 08-22-2014 05:10 PM

At 8 weeks you can fly with pup in the cabin. I recommend the sturdi bag to fit under seat. Waaaay less stressful than driving and much lower risk for picking up diseases. ( potty stops risky).

zetti 08-22-2014 07:14 PM

For potty stops: you can mix up a bleach solution to take with you & keep in a spray bottle. Saturate the area the pup is going to use for potty. To be really safe, you should wait 10 mins before letting puppy use that area.

Then wipe her paws with baby wipes before you put her back in her crate.

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