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Any tips on bringing dogs on long car rides?

User
Dec. 16, 2014

My husband and I are going to visit my in-laws. It's a 10 hour drive and we want to bring our dog with us. Is that too long for a dog to be in a car? How often should we plan to stop? Anything we should bring with us?

Answers

If your dog is comfortable in the car, then it's simply a matter of being sure to stop every couple of hours so your dog can get out and stretch, take a potty break etc. Bring water and even bowls from home - so your dog is most comfortable. Give a very light breakfast if at all - and during the trip - you can feed a handful of food at your mid-ride stop. This way your dog is not suffering from an empty belly, but not full either. Keep safety in mind (mine wears a car safety harness - something you would need to put on your dog and practice a few shorter rides in the car to get the dog used to that). Make SURE your dog's ID tags are CURRENT - and that all vaccinations are up to date as well. Should your dog get lost, these things are important. If you have a micro-chip - make sure the information is up to date. You can also put on a temporary ID card with the address and phone number of your destination - JUST in case your dog gets loose while on your trip. I'd also give a call to a veterinarian where you are visiting. You want to be sure you have a vet available should your dog get ill or injured during your visit. Remember to bring your own vet information with you as well!

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User in Brandon, MS
May 12, 2015

general rule.....dogs need to relieve themselves at the very longest every 12 hours before urinary track crystals start to form. I would stop as much as possible....no longer than 12 hours ever!!!

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I agree with the above answers. I would also suggest bringing your dogs favorite toy(s) as well as a their blanket or a sheet off of your bed, something familiar. Think of it in terms when we were little kiddos, little things that reminded us of home and safety would give us reassurance. You want your buddy to know he/she is safe and okay. If your dog is food motivated at all, you may want to bring a special bag of cookies or most gas stations will sell string cheese, they love string cheese. Most importantly for everyone involved - stop often, make sure everyone feels like it's a family event and keep it as fun as possible. One last tip that works well with my girls is to have a big super fun day the day before so they start out tired. Good luck to everyone, hope it's a safe and wonderful trip!

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Ask the vet for a small dose of anti anxiety meds before

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User in Garland, TX
May 12, 2015

Ok. So you wanna bring your dog to your in-laws house, huh? Well it's not a bad idea. Stop every 2-4 rest stops, walk the dog I guess, and bring an old topperware, and about a gallon of water, could be tap water. And no, it's not a long time to be in a car. Don't forget to lower the window when he's either on you lap,or on the backseat, dogs love that stuff

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User in Chicago, IL
May 12, 2015

Depending on the dog, you should plan on stopping every three hours to let him out to go to the bathroom and walk around a bit! I would suggest bringing a leash, baggies, toys, a blanket for them to sit on and food and water bowls.

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let the dog rest in a resting area for at least 30 minutes to rest and give some wate to drink

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I agree with other answers I'm seeing but would add that it would be wise to fasten your dog safely. You might not wear a seatbelt for a 5 minute drive but you definitely would for a 10 hour one. Dogs need to be protected also. A specialized harness and seatbelt or dog crate is the safest way for a dog to travel. Also beware of letting him put his head out the window at high speeds. Debris can injure the eyes/ears/nose or simply dry them out.

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User in Tampa, FL
May 13, 2015

bring dog food, water, dog carrier dog toys. stop to get gas. if you stop to eat. stop for restroom.watch how much food and water you give your dog during the car ride.

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User in Woodland, WA
May 13, 2015

I would only take a dog that is comfortable riding in a vehicle. Always have water, food and their blanket, their collar and leash, and always a current ID tag. Make sure your vehicle has air conditioning if it is on a day that is over 65 degrees. I would make a stop every hour whether the dog needs it or not. Give it a short walk and let it potty, and give it water. Feed the dog at its normal times that it would eat if you were at home.

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My dog used to get car sick. We would give her a few skittles every once in awhile. Weirdly the skittles helped it is something with them having a little sugar. but dont give them too much.

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User in Newark, DE
May 15, 2015

The trip may be drive your pet a little stir crazy. It all depends on if you are driving straight down with no pit stops along the way. I suggest stopping every other hour to two hours to let the dog do its business. Bringing fresh water, the dogs favorite treats/food and a few toys should keep him/her occupied. Also, if the dog is allowed, perhaps a bone or toy they can naw on to divert his/her attention from the long trip. I hope this has helped you and have a safe trip!

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It is not too far providing you allow potty and water breaks. It is best to travel with a pet carrier so the dog can feel safe and secure and not distract the driver. Also,in the summer months you need to provide proper ventilation for the dog as the car is warmer than outside temperature.

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Does your dog like car rides? If not, your dog should be fine. Many people take their dogs along during vacations. Just make sure you keep your dog hydrated, fed, and allow them potty breaks. If your dog doesn't do so well in the car, there are sedatives you can get from your vet that will allow the dog to sleep through much of the trip.

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User in Pueblo, CO
Jan. 22, 2015

Every time you stop take him to where he can go, which you probably already knew that. Then try having the person that is riding with you to calm the dog down. Occasionally roll down your window so the dog can get air. At the first gas station you go to or you can bring it with you a cup and a water bottle so if the dog is thirsty and your in the middle of nowhere. Estimated time to stop is every 2 hours. No it is not too long to be in the car just as long as every time you stop you take your dog to go and get fresh air, you can also do this when you plan to stop for food.

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User in San Antonio, TX
April 10, 2015

I am a certified dog trainer and vet tech . You must remeber Dogs are just like us .So be sure to walk them let them run and play. They can get blood clots and sick like us. They also have an instinct they either fight or flight when scared or pushed. They cant talk like us. Be very aware of your dogs body language. They will be just fine. Now if they drink 30 mins you better walk them.

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User in Butler, MO
May 13, 2015

Every 3 hours (depending on how energetic your dog is) you should probably stop at a local station and give your dog a walk and make sure to bring the following items: 2 small bowls to put in water and food, a garbage bag for waste, and dog snacks. If your pet has a favorite toy bring that along as well.

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