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First road trip...suggestions please

March 20th, 2007, 08:43 AM
Cody, our Cocker Spaniel, is almost 9 months old now. We will be taking him on his first out of town visit on Easter weekend. The car ride is about 4 hours long. We will, of course, make stops at all the service centers (only good thing about the 401!), so he can stretch his legs and relieve himself. In addition to the long ride, the family we are visiting have 2 dogs (Labs) which will be another new experience for him.
I appreciate all of you experienced dog owners sharing any suggestions/tips to help make the journey easier for both Cody and ourselves.

March 20th, 2007, 08:52 AM
"the family we are visiting have 2 dogs (Labs) which will be another new experience for him"

You are not saying that your pup is 9 months old and has not socialized with other dogs. If so it may not be a good scene. Bring a crate with you in case you need it.

When you make your stops for your pup I would recommend you let him out to stretch in other places besides the major stops. Many dogs have been there and you don't know what other dogs may have had that yours may catch.

March 20th, 2007, 08:59 AM
Harley has been on major road trips since he was brought home from the breeder. first one from breeder to home was 7 1/2 hours. Most dogs love car rides, but if it is his first bring a towel, some dogs get car sick. We do road trips 2 times a year, shortest one being 5 hours

Loves Labs
March 20th, 2007, 10:01 AM
I don't have anything particularly useful to add to the roadtrip advice. Our dogs have always loved the car and long trips have never been a problem. I hope you have similar luck.

As for meeting with the 2 new dogs. I suggest when you first arrive, to let them meet on "neutral ground". Maybe first introduce them at a nearby park or something similar. This way they can get to know each other outside the lab's territory (i.e. their home).

I hope all goes well!:dog: :pawprint:

March 20th, 2007, 10:39 AM
If the dog has been in the car for trips before, it should be fine. We take a break halfway between here and most places we go if it's over 4-5 hours. Cider sleeps most of the way anywhere, and sometimes doesn't feel the need to pee even when we get to a point to stop.

The way you wrote about meeting dogs as a new experience I agree is concerning. New experience meeting those particular dogs.. Or your dog is lacking in socialization? If the latter, you have a potentially huge issue on your hands, and your relatives may be hugely unimpressed.

We took one trip in which Cider got herself crated way way too long for 5 days when my car unexpectedly needed repairing so we couldn't just leave. Resident dog of my friend had a mean streak.. Since it lived there, Cider got stuck in her crate most of the time. Upsetting for you and the dog.

March 20th, 2007, 04:25 PM
Many thanks for your replies. Cody has had minimal socialization with other dogs. He has been through a basic obedience class, and also took part in a couple of puppy play sessions.We do have a leash free zone near home, but our Vet does not recommend the use of it, so we don't go. We find that with some dogs he is just fine, and with others he shows some initial aggression. We have yet to figure out why this only happens sometimes.

We will bring his crate, he stays in it quite happily overnight or if he is going to be alone for any length of time during the day.

As for car rides, he has only had short trips around town. I wonder if I should take him on a few longer rides over the next couple of weeks?

March 20th, 2007, 05:44 PM
A couple longer rides would be a good idea. I think you'll only need to stop once during your trip. The crate is an excellent idea. Introduce him to the labs slowly under constant supervision. If the labs are still young they can be very exhuberant which Cody may not like. Good luck and enjoy your trip. :)

March 21st, 2007, 11:40 AM
I'm a big fan of seatbelts for dawgz in cars and always travel with a portable water dish, copies of their recent vaccinations, microchip papers, licences and as was suggested in another thread, a recent photograph is a good precaution. If you think car sickness might be an issue, speak with your Vet about using an anti-nausient (i.e. children's gravol).