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What to do during a road trip?

1525 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Esand
Hello folks!

We're going on a road trip this weekend (well, only a four hour drive one way, but the longest that Bri ever had).

What do you give your dog in the car or do with them? Or do you just leave them alone and let them doze off?

Bri has a harness with a lead that is attached to the seatbelt of the backseat. I have bucket seats in the back, so no long bench for her to lie down on, only a seat (she can go to the cargo area though, where there is space to lie down, but she never does, since we are upfront). Her normal position during driving is sticking her head in between the front seats and resting it on the middle console.

The longest drive she ever encountered (with us that is), was 30 minutes.

How many stops should we make? Offer water or no?

As you see, I'm absolutely clueless :D

Thanks in advance!
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I drove 24 hours with Aspen when she was about 6 months old. She slept most of the time. I let her out to go to the bathroom when we stopped for gas. I filled a couple of Kongs for her. I offered her water every gas stop because it was such a long drive. When we go camping, it's usually about 4 hours away and I don't bring anything for her. She sleeps and she can go to the bathroom and drink when we get there. It's not a long drive and she goes longer than that in the house haha
I have travelled up to 9 hours (driving time) with a dog.
I don't do anything special, they travel as usual (in the back). When we (the humans) stop to pee, to eat, to stretch our legs, the dog goes out first and gets the opportunity to pee and have a drink. So yes, we have water available and a bowl. Breaks happen when we the humans need them. It's fine.
If the dog looks extra special restless/uncomfortable, then, of course, you might have to make an extra stop. But that's about it.
I wouldn't feed a meal within those hours, but small treats during rest stops, okay. If your dog has a solid stomach and zero car issues, you might feed a meal, but I wouldn't. Hungry is okay for a long hot car ride.
Speaking of heat, if no air-conditioning, wetting your dog can help, a wet towel is the easiest way to wet a dog on the go. Unless you can stop at stream or lake-- swimming is fun.
Rest stops are more tricky, if you have to leave the dog in the car for those. Then you might need take-out/drive thru on the hottest days.
...and carry baggies.
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Thanks you two!

The air conditioning is no problem and I doubt that we would stop for dinner and need to leave her in the car, but if something like that should happen, I can always leave the car running and keep checking on her (I do that if I have to quickly get something from the store when we're coming back from the park, e.g.).

My husband suggested putting her in her crate (which we take anyways, because I'm not keen on cleaning up motel floors and not sure how well house trained she is outside of the house :) ), but she hardly never misbehaves during car rides, so I don't see why that would be necessary.

Stops and stuff are alright (he would be able to hold it for 4 hours, but since I work in the morning before leaving and will have loads of coffee, I probably won't be :) ), I was more thinking about what to do while driving? Kongs sound good, maybe an antler? I never thought about if she gets car sick. She definitely never showed any signs like vomiting. But, as said, the drives up to now were only about 30 minutes long.

Thanks again!
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I do nothing at all while driving (for the dog) unless something seems off, you know, like the 'hurk, hurk, hurk' sound of a dog about to vomit, at which I start screaming 'pull over! pull over!' and the husband tries not to swerve in a panic.
(Dynamo used to get barfy now and again...)
Oooh, I will be following this thread. I will be driving from CO to VT this summer with Oscar, the furthest he has been driven in the car is about 30 minutes. I suspect he will sleep a good amount of the time and don't plan on giving him anything to entertain himself while in the moving car.
We regularly drive home with our dogs, which is 7 hours. They hang out in the cargo area of the SUV. I usually make it super comfy back there, a couple of big dog pillows and blankets. They also have a couple of non-noisy chews. Antlers, Himalayan chews, or bully sticks/pizzles. They are offered water at every rest we take (usually one every 2.5-3 hours), but they don't often take it.
At rest stops my hubby and I trade off. He runs in and pees/gets food while I play with the dogs, and then we trade.
During the summer, we keep the AC really high, and we just wear sweaters and pants in the car. :p
Honestly, they sleep 95% of the time. If they are up and getting REALLY restless, we assume they have to pee and find a place to let them out.
My dog gets sick and vomits if he's crated in the car. He does much better if he's lying down on a seat.

Honestly, I would never leave a car running to dash into any store or restaurant. You're just asking for someone to jump inside and drive off in your vehicle with your dog inside it.
Pax travels with me everywhere and several hour car trips are regular and zero issues. If we are out for more then a few hours I am sure to let him out to stretch, potty and get some water if he wants.

A good exercise session before loading up in the car is recommended. A tired pup is a good pup.

I agree do not leave your car running. If it is too hot, trade off running in with your carmate and AC on. If it is mild, be sure to leave the windows down. I always leave the windows down far enough that Pax can not get out but yet the car COULD be unlocked if someone needed to reach in to open the door. There are too many self proclaimed Heroes out there that will freak out and overreact if they see dog on a car even if it is only 60 degrees outside and the widows are up or barely cracked.
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My mom, her two RRs and I have road tripped from TX to NY and back, as well as TX to PA.
They just hung out in the back seat with blankets and a couple toys (which they didn't care for. Just sleeping and looking out the window.)
Usually just taking breaks when we do, but sometimes we'd plow through so we would take special stops for the dogs and to stretch.
We didn't feed them until we stopped somewhere to park and sleep so their food could settle. We did offer water every time, often politely refused.
We never ate out, it was either the ice chest or fast food. :)
Honestly, I would never leave a car running to dash into any store or restaurant. You're just asking for someone to jump inside and drive off in your vehicle with your dog inside it.
Just to be clear, I have a start button car and keyless entry, so the car is locked, but the engine is running. I wouldn't leave my car open with the engine running and key and Bri inside.

As to everyone else: Thank you so much for answering, I might just take the tip with making the cargo area more comfy for her and creating a little "nap" spot for her.
But I'll have some chew toys handy.
Himalayan chews or bully sticks are not a good choice for me, she chews them down in 5-15 minutes... :(

The exercise before starting will also be plenty, so she is tired enough.
I hope we'll have a smooth ride :)
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I drove 20hrs with Simba a year ago then a couple hours a day for 6 days and then 20hrs back, it was his first trip in a car that lasted more than 15min. He was unsure and anxious at first but then calmed down and just slept most of the time.
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