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Cooper hates the car--help for a road trip !

joeysmama
January 10th, 2006, 09:51 PM
Cooper is now 5 months old and a really happy pup. Loves life and all the people in it. The one thing he really doesn't like is the car. He's sits very still on my lap-or someone else's if I'm driving. You can tell that he's not happy. Sometimes he'll put his head down and rest but after awhile he begins to pant. The longest ride he was on was over 2 hours on Christmas Eve. He survived, and he didn't throw up. But still I feel badly for him because he's unhappy about it.

At the same time I don't want to go the route of never taking him in the car. He's going to have to be in the car from time to time so I want him to be used to it. We speak to him reasssuringly and that sort of thing.

But my question is--for a longer ride say 5 to 7 hours--is there anything I can do to make him more comfortable? We'd like to visit the kids at college and I don't want to board him if I don't have to. I'm afraid it will confuse him since he's still a puppy really. Plus we like having him with us. :)

Prin
January 10th, 2006, 09:58 PM
I think before you have to go for a long trip, you should bring him everywhere with you- lots of short little trips. And bring cookies and about once every 3 trips, bring him somewhere fun- even if you drive down the street to the park to play. If he associates the car with fun stuff, he might be less anxious...

jawert1
January 10th, 2006, 09:59 PM
For longer trips, plan for more frequent stops if you can, just so he can get out, stretch, get some air and settle out before starting up again :) The first time I drove home to my folks house 3 hours north, I stopped every hour since they'd never been in the car for longer than 20 minutes. Both fared ok for the most part, only one yarf incident, but after the third trip up to PA, both were just fine.

joeysmama
January 10th, 2006, 10:55 PM
Thank you so much for the advice Prin and Jawert. I didnt' think about a fun destination. Yesterday I took him with me to the health food store. I'd noticed that someone had their pup in there once and no one seemed to mind so I took him with me and he loved all the attention he got. I'll think of some more fun stops for him and be sure to plan the trips so that he has some time to get out and meet people, which seems to be his favorite activity.

I've already located dog friendly hotels near both schools so that's a step in the right direction You really think this is ok rather than boarding him? I just don't want to board if I can have him with me.

Prin
January 10th, 2006, 11:40 PM
Definitely. I'd rather have my screaming Boo with me no matter what.:) (Jemma's perfect in the car)

SnowDancer
January 11th, 2006, 11:09 AM
My Eskimo is very attached to me. Once a week he goes to socialization and has a great time - the car ride is about 15 minutes. It was just getting there and me getting out of his sight that was the problem. He did throw up a bit the first few times but then I found if I pointed out people on the street with a "What's That" and mentioned the word "Cookie" - he is a cookie monster - he would perk up and forget that he was about to vomit. Going home was never a problem - back with Mom - everything was just fine. He still tries to delay leaving the house and while walking down the street after parking he will try and pull me back to the car, but once at socialization and he goes behind the 1/2 door he is the equivalent of the Cruise Director with every dog behind there. I have noticed though that say on a Sat. if I go out and leave him home with my husband, I have trouble getting out the door without him. Never saw a dog so anxious to get harnessed and go for a car ride under these circumstances. Re travelling and taking him with you, that is nice. But unless you have a 100% backup plan - family members or friends who you can rely on to care for him should an emergency occur - and the do - hospitalization, funerals (that all family might attend) it would not hurt to check out a few boarding places. Many people have found themselves in this situation. I do not have family, but have found a home boarder. I don't travel a lot, but if I do it is by plane so Eskie has to stay behind. Actually Eskie in a hotel would be a hoot. And of course I could not leave him alone in the room as he would alert every guest to possible intruders - not to mention hotel staff entering the room. Not about to take that chance.

joeysmama
January 11th, 2006, 03:19 PM
Snowdancer, thanks you for the advice. I do have an emergency back up plan. I found an animal hospital that boards and is fully staffed 24 hours. We had Joey treated there when he was ill and if I ever had to board it would be there. They were very kind and attentive. The vet boards but after 6 there is no one there. That doesn't sit well with me.

My mother always came here to watch Joey if we weren't taking him with us. And once or twice we took him to her house. I don't know if she's up to this guy as he has to go out so much more often. But if I did have to leave him home I would first try to get someone to sit with him here, then in an emergency I would take him to the doggie B & B.

Beautygirl
January 11th, 2006, 03:42 PM
Our last dog didn't like it in the van. She would get in willingly, but would crawl under a seat and stay there panting. We took her everywhere with us. We often times took her to walking trails etc hoping that she would begin to like the rides, but it always seemed to stress her. Our new dog loves it in the van though.