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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Traveling with a Puppy

Over the weekend, we made tentative plans to go visit my dad in Tampa, about a 12 hour drive away from us. The trip is planned for a long weekend in March and coincides with a family event. The potential problem is, assuming all goes according to plan, we will have a 5-month old Golden at that time (we're picking him up from the breeder in December). We'd like to either bring him along with us, or not take the trip at all.

This trip is completely optional and we are looking at it as a "mini-vacation" to get us through the winter - we certainly do not have to go. But as first time dog owners, I'd love some advice on the feasibility of a roadtrip with a puppy. We are frequent stoppers during roadtrips; between bad joints and small bladders, we can't usually make it more than 90 minutes in the car without a break So frequent potty/exercise breaks for the puppy wouldn't be an issue. We'll either be staying by ourselves in my grandparents' condo or at my father's house, both of which are pet-friendly homes right on the beach. We'd of course bring puppy's crate, x-pen, and other essentials to make it a home away from home for a few days. I'm leaning towards the condo right now, as I feel it'd be easier to keep the puppy to a schedule with less people around.

Are we crazy for even considering this trip, or do you think the puppy would enjoy it? We don't have plans to do anything except relax on the beach and visit family while we're there, so nothing that the puppy couldn't come along for. But of course we don't want to cause stress or worse, undo any of the training we will have worked so hard for by that point!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 08:43 AM
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I have taken my Goldens, one for 8 years and then another that is now 3 years old. Both started traveling at 8 weeks on weekly long trips up and down the East Coast. They love it! The younger one stayed in a crate with a carpet with a rubber backing to keep it from moving. We are all good for about 4 hours then they need to get out and exercise and have some water.
Just make sure all items in your vehicle including the crate are tight in place and will not move around going around curves and bumps. Enjoy your trip!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 08:50 AM
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Mine have been road trippers since I got them. They all go to sleep as soon as we get on the highway! I say go for it!

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 08:51 AM
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Our first trip with Tayla was when she was 5 months old. We have an RV and went to Disney with her. It was only a 90 minute trip for us, but we didn't stop on the way and it was a completely new experience for her staying in a different place, more crate time, etc. She did fine with it.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 09:06 AM
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My husband and I traveled this past March to Florida from Illinois with a little over three month old puppy. He traveled beautifully. We pulled our fifth wheel travel trailer and took a couple of days getting there. I bought a small plastic crate to fit in the crew cab part of the truck, for his age and size it was a perfect fit. We stopped every couple of hours at rest areas, because of the pup and because we too need frequent rest stops. I bought a harness to put on him for walking at the rest hours, I was a little concerned about him slipping a collar and getting away. It worked great. And I took water from home in jugs so we wouldn't have any tummy upsets. He surprised me what a great little traveler he turned out to be. We were in Florida for two weeks, I was a little worried he might not fit in the crate we had in the truck on the way home, but he did and made the return trip just as well as he did the trip down.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 09:07 AM
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We took Yuki on a trip to the beach when he was right around the same age. He loved it - especially digging in the sand. It was about a 5 hour drive, and he seemed to love that, too!
When he was about 7 months old, I took him with me on a trip to our farm in Missouri. Again, a long car drive (15 hours) that we did over two days. No problem at all. I have a seat belt harness for him and he had the whole back seat of the car that way. Mostly, he slept. We stopped every three hours or so for a potty break and to walk around a bit, and at the end of the day he was ready for a LOT of exercise, but no problems at all.
There's something extra fun about taking a trip with your puppy!
Oh, another thing we did which Yuki loved: I'd get ice cubes (from the soda machines) at our stops for his water bowl, which I just sat on the back seat of the car. No mess (not much, anyway), Yuki loves chewing on ice cubes, and he had constant access to water that way.
This winter, I'm really going to push it! I'm driving with him to Texas, a 25 hour drive that we'll do over three or four days. I wouldn't attempt this if Yuki didn't like riding in the car so much, but thankfully he equates riding in the car with going some place fun.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! Sounds like I was overthinking it a bit I'm glad to hear you all had great trips with your puppies, because I'm really looking forward to playing with our little guy on the beach! I think it's going to be a great trip.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 02:04 PM
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I say go for it! Willow & I make frequent trips to Orlando- about a 3 hour trip for us. I was amazed to find her crate fits perfectly in the back of my SUV, she has toys & her blanket to make her feel more at home. I find I'm more comfortable when she is crated or buckled in the back seat, otherwise she's trying her hardest to get in the front seat.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 05:55 PM
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My girls have been traveling since they were 7 weeks old. First in a plastic puppy crate and now in seatbelts. I find each year it gets easier, as more hotels become dog friendly. The best accessory I have found is a 50 ft long line, that comes in very handy at roadside reststops. It gives them a lot more freedom, without the risk of running off, and my "ball" dog can even play fetch safely. I also have separate ID tags when traveling, printed with "TRAVELING" one side, and my cell number on the other. They also have a tag with their breeders name and kennel phone number, in case I can't be reached.
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