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New GSD coming and a long drive to get her home!

2110 Views 23 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Dcon67
Hi Everyone,

This is my first post here (only discovered this site yesterday), so first off a friendly hello to all.

I will be getting my GSD in a couple of weeks...anxiously awaiting it's 8 week birthday. Anyway, my question is that it's going to be a 500+ mile ride home from where I'm going to get her. So that's going to be a little over 8 hours in the car on day one. Any thoughts on how to prepare for that? I'm planning on purchasing a med/large sized plastic cat/dog carrier that I can seatbelt into the backseat for safety as well as bringing a toy or two for chewing. But what do I do in the case of car sickness?? She's going to be soooo little that I'm not sure I'd dare giving her dremamine, and by the time I'm aware of the problem if it occurs at all it will probably be too late for it anyway. Would you dare giving her maybe a quarter of a pill just in case?? Non-drowsy of course. Or I've also heard of ginger being helpful too. I'm just not sure, and want to be as prepared as I can be.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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Congratulations on your new puppy!

Personally, I would not give any kind of meds to a puppy this young, for motion sickness. I would just bring extra towels, and maybe just be prepared to clean her off and change the crate bedding a few times (whether she gets motion sick, or potties in the crate, this would come in handy).

If she gets motion sickness, it won't be the end of the world if she throws up. I totally understand you wanting to keep her comfortable, and not having her 1st day w/you be hard on her, but I wouldn't risk the meds. I'd rather have her motion sick one day, than be sorry I gave her a drug. JMO.

Maybe you'll get lucky and she'll either 1: sleep most of the time, or 2: not get car sick. Make sure you have a mild puppy shampoo at home to use when you get back. You might need it (also - no flea/tick shampoos at that age in my opinion. Someone just posted about a fully grown GSD that died from using a Hartz flea shampoo). Not to scare you, just to warn you.

Good luck! Have fun and take LOTS of pictures. They grow so fast it's amazing! (Maybe have the breeder take a pic of you two together when you pic her up! I wish I had one of those w/my baby).
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Might be easier if you break the trip up into 2 days for her. Make a mini vacation out of it.

I wouldnt give any meds either, just plan for if she gets car sick like KodeeGirl suggested.

Congrats on the new pup.
We had a 10 hour drive home with Dena. Fortunately, she never got sick, but if your puppy does, she does. I wouldn't give her dramamine - no idea if it's safe or not, I just don't think it's necessary. I'm sure the breeder won't feed her in the morning, and you can bring some small treats to give her throughout the drive if necessary. I used Natural Balance food rolls, and Solid Gold Jerkey, both are healthy snacks.

Definitely crate her in the backseat. My hubby drove and I sat in the back next to the crate. Can you bring someone with you so she won't be alone? She may sleep, or she may cry - Dena did both.
I talked to her, and put my fingers through the crate door for her to lick. Because I'm strange that way, I actually started training her on the drive, rewarding her with little treats for responding to her name.

We brought a bowl and some water for her, and a garbage bag and some paper towels in case of accidents, but we didn't end up needing them. Maybe a spray bottle of water would be good too, to help clean out the crate, just in case. If she gets sick and you don't want to stop and clean the crate, it's not going to kill her to wait until you get home to clean her off if she gets it on herself. Just make sure she's kept warm if you have to bathe her. I bathed my dogs in the kitchen sink when they were puppies, up until the time they were too big to fit. I'd towel dry them well, wrap them in another dry towel, and hold them on my lap.

Any time we needed to stop for gas or a food break for us, we offered her some water and let her out to potty. Be careful where you let her out, she doesn't have full immunity yet and you don't want to expose her to parvo. Dena was more interested in sniffing around than peeing or pooping, but she peed like a racehorse on the front lawn when we finally got home. She got a full meal then, and some water. I was paranoid that she'd slip her collar somewhere along the way, so I bought a martingale collar that tightens up if the dog backs up or pulls forward. A harness would work too, or you can just make sure her collar is tight enough that it won't pull over her head.
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Hi Troy,

Congratulations on your new puppy! I'm sure you can't wait to see her.

Just two weeks ago, I picked up my puppy after he was shipped by air, and drove the 500+ miles home with him and my other dog who came along for the 10 hr drive.

I agree with Kodee girl, best not to try to medicate such a young puppy. Hopefully, the breeder that you are getting your pup from has already started crate training and has taken her on short rides to get used to cars and get over the motion sickness. My breeder did so, and my pup coped with the 13+ hrs in the crate for air shipping and the long drive the next day just fine.

I would feed the puppy very lightly that day. Yes on the crate! That is a must for the safety of such a little thing. I wouldn't give her anything in the crate other than towels or blankets to lay on, but that's just me. Except if the breeder has a favorite toy or other item from home that is going with the pup for the reassurance of familiar smells.

Bring towels, paper towels, moist wipes, and plastic bags for cleanups if needed.
I stopped every two hours for a bathroom/excercise break with mine, gave plenty of water, and fed him as per his schedule, and no problems. He slept most of the way, the motion of the car and the noise tends to put them to sleep.

So hopefully, all will go well for you too and the new little one!
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I agree with the others as far and not giving her anything for motion sickness. When I picked up my pup, I had a 250 mile drive. She has also gone for a ride at least once a day since I got her 10 weeks ago and she has NEVER been car sick.

I woukld see if you could possible talk the breeder into feeding her something at least 2 or 3 hours before you pick her up. Maybe not a full meal but SOMETHING since she is so young and it is going to be such a long trip. Just going without food from the dinner the night before until you get home is enough to make her throw up from hunger.
Great ideas!

I hadn't thought about bringing a spray bottle of water. I'll bring that and maybe some fantastic to clean up any messes. Plus a few towels to use as bedding in the crate. I didn't think dramamine was a good idea anyway, I just wanted to be prepared for the worst case. I'm also going to have the joy of going through customs along the way
they supposedly check the puppy for good health before letting you through.

Oh..and also thanks for the tips on which treats to get. I haven't had a little puppy since I was a kid. My last dog was a rescue and already full grown when I got him. So this is all pretty new territory for me. Fortunately I found this forum, where a little searching and reading is providing me with a wealth of info.
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My first puppy got sick on a 45 minute drive home and my new pup did not get sick after a 3 hour ride home. I guess its a 50/50 chance so just follow others advice and you will be fine. edit time expired by the time I got the picture thing figured out. Here is the pic.

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How totally adorable!!! What a beauty and a sweetie-pie! Congratulations and warmes wishes!

She is adorable! You should have warned us a solid black pup was on the way...what names have you picked? Above advise is great and be sure to take lots of pics along the way, you can never have enough pictures when they are puppies!! Is she lime green collar? Onyx was lime #6 when I adopted her:)) BTW welcome to this great site!
What a sweet baby.
I have a 10yo solid black female.

Who are you getting your puppy from?
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Thanks and yep, she's got a lime green collar. I simply can't wait to meet her. It's really tough trying to pick out a pup from pictures/video well as the breeders notes and advice on the personalities. But, since I can't go at week 6 (this weekend) when most of the new owners are going to pick, I had to do it this way.

That picture was taken a few days ago at about 5 1/2 weeks, she's the second largest pup in the litter, only one of the males is larger. I'm also expecting she'll be a LH...which I personally prefer. It's still a bit early to tell, but according to the breeder she's got the longest fur of all of them, and her daddy's a LH.

Oh..and I'm planning on naming her Teyla.
Re: New GSD coming and a long drive to get her hom

Another good treat is Zuke's Mini Naturals, which are a perfect size, and we also like the Old Mother Hubbard biscuits, but even the smaller puppy size are too big for training. I like to use them as housebreaking treats for when puppy potties outside, or for when she goes in her crate.

Because I'm cheap and like REALLY small treats for training, I've even pinched Zuke's into 2 or 3 pieces. I cut the Natural Balance rolls into pieces about 1/4", and the Solid Gold Jerky, which comes in flat pieces about an inch square, I cut into at least 12, or even 16 pieces. A bag of treats will last you a looooong time that way! Yummy Chummy makes some salmon treats that my dogs love, and we also like Liver Biscotti, but those are a little big for training too - we mostly use them for nail trims.

People food, such as really tiny pieces of cheese or hot dogs are good too, but can upset puppy tummies, so make sure she can handle them before giving too much. In a pinch, kibble can be used for training. No matter what you use, if she's getting a lot of training treats cut back her meals a bit so she's not getting too many calories. If she'll work for kibble, the easiest thing to do is to measure out a portion of her daily allotment, and use that for training. You can also mix more interesting stuff into a ziplok bag with the kibble to flavor it a bit.

She's adorable!
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Re: New GSD coming and a long drive to get her hom

Originally Posted By: TroyDI'm also expecting she'll be a LH...which I personally prefer. It's still a bit early to tell, but according to the breeder she's got the longest fur of all of them, and her daddy's a LH.
I don't know if she's a longcoat. Hard to tell by that picture though, do you have any others? I have two coaties, and they were fuzzier around the ears at that age.

Here's what Dena looked like at 5 weeks old:

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Here is the profile, she looks a little fuzzier here

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Re: New GSD coming and a long drive to get her hom

Oh wow.. how cute is she!! I miss the puppy fuzzys!! They grow so fast!
This is Gabriel @ 8 weeks. He's also a LH.. we use to call him Fuzzmaster G, & ButterBall

7 wks

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Re: New GSD coming and a long drive to get her hom

I think you'll do fine. I did 1000 miles in three legs the last time. We had one upchuck because the kennel help had fed the pup right before we left. There was a several day lay-over before starting the second leg. So we had several days at a friend's elegant home with only one spot on the rug; one night in a motel; and home. The time before that it was about 150 miles (with a very pushy puppy that wanted to crawl under my feet while I was driving). Both dogs have traveled ever since.

To be more specific with the "be careful where you stop advise" With puppies, avoid rest stops and just-off-interstate exchanges where everyone else toilets there dog. (Transmission of diseases like Parvo in particular.)

You might as well take along the huge bottle of nature's miracle that you're going to buy anyway - maybe just part of that huge bottle. If there happens to be urine on your car seat you will want to get it up FAST! And poop pickup bags because you will want to use these so someone else doesn't have to avoid the spots you stop at.

BTW if you need to add a stop Super 8 & Motel 6 are pretty good about dogs although Super 8 depends upon the franchise. Some Holiday Inns also take dogs. You will need a crate to reassure most of them that your pup will not piddle in the room. (Another reason for that bottle of nature's miracle...)
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We had a 3 hour ride with Otto. When we picked up him up, we asked to see his mother again and Otto played with her and my son for an hour before we left - he was good and tired! On the breeder's recommendation, I rubbed a towel all over his mother and put that in the crate. He slept with that towel for a few days!

I bought a mini crate that fit in the front seat next to me. He'd never been crated so Otto cried a bit until I got in the driverseat. Then he settled, by the time we were on the highway, he was a sleep. He slept the whole way home.

I think it's more nerve wracking waiting and anticipating how the trip is going to go! I found I planned the snot out of the trip and it went smooth.
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