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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hope this is the right place for this. In a few months, we're moving from the Southeast to Southern California. We're thinking of having our Ram pickup and Jeep transported cross country. We also have a Dodge Intrepid, which is an extra car we got when an elderly family member passed away. We've taken out the back seat and it makes a great dog car. It's easy for them to hop in, etc. We were considering using that to drive to CA. First, gas will be slightly less and we don't want the wear and tear on our primary vehicles. However, we've been thinking that this could be a hard trip on the two dogs. Dexter is a year old and very used to spending time in the car. He's not a huge dog. Luke, however, is 5 and about 110 pounds and is ok in the car but certainly not as laid back as Dexter. I think it's not very roomy for him, but they do both fit. It's fine for trips of an hour or so, but I have to wonder about an 8-hour day in the car. With breaks, naturally. Seems a nightmare to find hotels and it probably won't be as fun as I first imagined -- driving cross country and stopping to see cool things. (I've done it before, but not with two GSDs.) So, I started wondering if maybe we should just all fly out. I hate the idea of the dogs in cargo. Having said that, I flew an English mastiff from CA to here several years ago, and Dexter is from Germany, so he flew here as a puppy. But still... Has anyone done the drive with dogs? Any tips? Warnings? And has anyone flown the dog(s) out? Tips about that? I'm almost thinking that the price would be a wash. I'd appreciate any insight. Thanks so much. I'm including a photo of them on a recent road trip that was about 4 hours round trip.
 

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We just planned and completed a trip like this in December.
We moved one of our dogs (Am Staff) in rescue from PA to Southern Texas. 27 hour drive, my husband and board member driving.

They took our minivan, seats out. They drove straight through, stopping every 3-4 hours for a potty/stretch/play time. The dog did great.
What worked: Each time they stopped they took the dog out and really tired him out. Running, playing ball, etc. In the car, the dog was crated. They also only fed a few small meals to avoid car sickness.
 

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I currently live in GA but am from NY so twice a year we head home to see the family. we have now made the trip 3 times 16hrs each way with our 7 month old GSD and she did fine but what we found to work best was to tavel at night for a few reasons one being that there is less traffic to deal with and the other is that if we leave at 4pm its only about 3-4 hours until the sun has set and she falls asleep. she will usualy sleep so about 4 hours at a time so when she wakes its time to stop go potty and switch drivers.
good luck
 

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Thank you. I'll keep that in mind. Our other concern is that neither dog will releive themselves other than in our backyard. I imagine they're smart enough to go when there are no other options. Flying does seem like it would get it all over with easier and quicker, though.
 

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I made a round trip to Tehachapi, CA with Mac and Slider in 2003. The first day we drove from Central Florida to Chatanooga, TN to pick up my friend who was getting a dog from a breeder in CA.

Prior to the trip, I picked up a AAA Triptik travel planner and the travel books associated with the states we'd be driving thru (this is a free service for AAA members). I also purchased a book dedicated to finding motels that were dog friendly and I went to a few motels here in Ocala and picked up their national reference guides which usually indicate the places that accept dogs.

We never had any problems finding motels that were dog friendly (we'd make reservations about an hour or two before we planned on stopping for the night) - 2 dogs going out/3 adult GSDs coming back. In fact we found that the further west we drove, the more dog friendly it became. One thing I learned, just because a motel claims SMALL DOGS ONLY it's not always true ... we were accepted by many motels which said in print they only take small dogs ... and I was always honest about the breed, sizes, and number of dogs traveling with us.

We did some sightseeing - Grand Canyon - places like that. I LOVE tacky tourist traps so we even stopped at a few of them (my favorite was at the GREAT DIVIDE ... it had everything tacky you could think of).

We stopped every 2 or 3 hours, got gas, walked the dogs, etc.

Meals were the only difficult part. We ate at drive-thrus for breakfast (mostly McDonalds) and made picnic lunches whenever possible. And at night one of us would pick up wholesome (i. e. with salads and veggies) carry out dinners from a local restaurant and we'd eat them at the motel (a couple motels even had nice picnic areas). We were in Tehachapi a couple days and ate at a dog-friendly restaurant when possible.

The only area where I was hesitent about walking the dogs was at a rest stop in NM which had signs all over to watch out for rattlesnakes. :)

All in all it was an enjoyable trip ... the dogs seemed to enjoy themselves as much as we did.
 

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We've traveled alot with our dogs by car and it's always gone really well. Multiple trips from Colorado to Texas and Colorado to California and we usually drive those straight through (12-16 hours) with stops for gas, food and exercise breaks. We made a trip to Florida a few years ago and booked hotels before we started and it went really smoothly. Seems like there are so many more dog friendly places to stay these days.

I always cut their food back some the day before we started and brought all their records along in case we needed any kind of medical care along the way. Also made sure I had plenty of fresh water and travel bowls for our pit stops.

Good Luck....your dogs are beautiful, btw :)
 

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Thank you. Luke, the white fellow, cannot take a bad photo. Impossible. It's uncanny. Dex, on the other hand, is like me, and we can't seem to take a decent one. Scary to think we really look like our photos. :) Dexter is a cutie, though. And a nut.
 

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I've taken my GSD from Southern Texas to Western Kentucky - it's a 13 hour trip. He is kept in a kennel during the trip. We stop for potty breaks and water. Because my dog's tummy doesn't do well during car trips, I don't feed him at all. I wait until a couple of hours after the trip and then only feed him 1/2 his normal feed. He gets shorted the day of the trip, but it's easier on his tummy.

I do give him small treats - something easy on his stomach. But I really only do that to gauge how he feels. I have meds for him during the long trip, but hate to use them. So when he refuses a treat, I know he is really feeling poorly and will medicate him.
 
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