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Spoo coming 8/21! Buddy, a 16 yo shepherd mix, Fleur a 1 yo cat
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
We are so very excited to get our spoo puppy the first week of August!
I am flying out with my 10 year old daughter, renting a car and driving 2 days back home with the puppy. I am a bit nervous about this endeavour. I have raised a few dogs from puppies but it has been a while :) I am reading a puppy training book recommended on this site but I can't remember what it is like with a new one!
If I am driving with a puppy how often will I need to stop? What about at night? I have a 2 year old daughter so being up at night is still in my wheelhouse but I am just experiencing a mental block about puppy wakeups :)
The puppy will have been in a car before but the roadtrip is a gamble. It is 6 hours of driving for 2 days. I didn't want to ship the puppy....and I wasn't sure about bringing a puppy on a flight either. I am shipping most of our necessary items (crate etc) ahead of time.
Thanks and please tell me if this is a crazy idea! I definitely have one of those personalities where I believe "it all just works out" and it always does somehow :)
Edited for repetitive sentences!
 

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It sounds like a trip that you and your daughter will be talking about for the rest of your lives. Ten is certainly old enough to be a big help.

Where will the puppy be riding? in a crate?
 

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One of the big concerns is that the puppy is too young to have been vaccinated. You don't want to let him out at a highway rest area where lots of other (possibly unvaccinated) dogs have peed and pooped. When I brought my first two spoos home, a six hour trip, we stopped once at a deserted office park to let them out to pee. The nice thing about 8 week old puppies is that they sleep a lot, so you probably won't need to let him out more than once or twice during the drive.

My boy Galen had a short drive of only a couple hours. However, he got car sick and puked. Luckily I had brought a bunch of extra towels, so I had something to wipe him off and a change of bedding.

My boy Ritter had a longer drive, more like 9 hours. Unfortunately he was also going through a fear period when I brought him home. He plastered himself to the back of the crate and refused to emerge for the entire trip. Nine hours was too long for him to hold it, so he peed in the crate. I needed to give him a bath as soon as we arrived. Again, yay for lots of extra towels!

I find 8 week old puppies need to pee at least once in the middle of night, sometimes twice.
 

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Spoo coming 8/21! Buddy, a 16 yo shepherd mix, Fleur a 1 yo cat
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! I have read many other car trip threads and knew to avoid rest stop areas except maybe way off to the side, because of the potential contamination issues.

I am ordering a crate to be sent to Austin so the pup will ride in the crate.

I will send towels and puppy pads too...

But do you think I should get a tarp to put under the crate? It is a rental suv and I don't want anything to leak out!!

My eldest daughter and I will spend the first 3 days in Austin without the puppy- planning a few fun excursions like kayaking to see the bats! Then picking up pup on Sunday and driving home.
 

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Spoo coming 8/21! Buddy, a 16 yo shepherd mix, Fleur a 1 yo cat
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One of the big concerns is that the puppy is too young to have been vaccinated. You don't want to let him out at a highway rest area where lots of other (possibly unvaccinated) dogs have peed and pooped. When I brought my first two spoos home, a six hour trip, we stopped once at a deserted office park to let them out to pee. The nice thing about 8 week old puppies is that they sleep a lot, so you probably won't need to let him out more than once or twice during the drive.

My boy Galen had a short drive of only a couple hours. However, he got car sick and puked. Luckily I had brought a bunch of extra towels, so I had something to wipe him off and a change of bedding.

My boy Ritter had a longer drive, more like 9 hours. Unfortunately he was also going through a fear period when I brought him home. He plastered himself to the back of the crate and refused to emerge for the entire trip. Nine hours was too long for him to hold it, so he peed in the crate. I needed to give him a bath as soon as we arrived. Again, yay for lots of extra towels!

I find 8 week old puppies need to pee at least once in the middle of night, sometimes twice.
I was a little nervous to stay in a motel so we are staying at a B and B in Louisiana on the way home. I told the owner we have a puppy and they seemed fine with it. I was just wondering how often I would be disturbing the other guests in the night! I am going to ask for a room closest to the exit.
 

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Your not crazy. Everything will be okay. It's going to be 100000% easier with your daughter there.

Towels. They don't need to be nice ones, the ones in the closet you never use will be perfect, or paper towels.

Search the forums for "picking up puppy soon" or "long drive pick up puppy". Keywords like that.

The McCans lay it out pretty good in this episode:

 

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I was a little nervous to stay in a motel so we are staying at a B and B in Louisiana on the way home. I told the owner we have a puppy and they seemed fine with it. I was just wondering how often I would be disturbing the other guests in the night! I am going to ask for a room closest to the exit.
One of the concerns in a hotel is if the puppy gets unhappy and wails. After all, this will be puppy's first night alone without mom and the siblings. Luckily, you have a 10 year old. See if you can convince the 10 year old that sleeping on the floor with the puppy in a blanket nest is a rare treat. Speaking of blankets, it would probably be a good idea to have a few waterproof picnic blankets or whelping blankets to protect the inn's floor and the interior of your car. After all, you probably aren't going to leave the puppy in the crate for two days straight. Additionally, my puppy Ritter had a tendency to dribble when I brought him out of the crate. Having a waterproof pad in front of the crate door made for easier cleanup.
 

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Don't forget the baby wipes! Never leave home without them when you have a dog in the car.

I did 500 miles in one very long day with my 9-week-old pup. He was amazing. He slept most of the way, peed once when I stopped for fuel, and was in better shape than I was when I got home.
 

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Do you have a crate cover? My spoo would not calm down the first night until we put the crate cover on. He does not like being able to see the shadows in the dark. He cried quite a bit the first night. I ended up singing to him like he was a baby. Kongs or other chew toys. Our puppy didn't want to eat so we had to hand feed all meals for the first few days which is time consuming.
 

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I drove over 500 miles to pick up our older minipoo in a rental car. We flew to our destination, rented a car, picked up our poodle and drove home. To pick up our current minipoo puppy, we along with our older minipoo drove 4 hours, picked up our baby and drove back 4 hours for a total of 8 hours for our older dog, 4 for the puppy. If I had to, I would stay overnight.

I packed towels and material to cover the car seat in my suitcase. We bought a crate and cleaning products at a Petco at our destination. Ask the breeder to measure the puppy's neck so you can buy a collar and leash unless the breeder supplies this. Pack small towels to rub on mom and any puppies so you have a comforting scent to bring home. Ask the breeder if they will provide you with a supply of the puppy food. Kibble is easy to travel with. If puppy is eating fresh food, plan to carry an insulated bag with ice.

Do plan for the puppy to throw up - mine did. We laid towels to completely cover the seat and floor. We were well prepared to clean up and left a completely clean car when we dropped it off at the airport.

You shouldn't have to ship anything - purchase at your destination. Shipping is expensive and something could be damaged or lost.

Think about what kind of crate you will buy for this trip. There's plenty of news stories about the difficulty of securing a rental car - you may not have a choice in size. Even without Covid, I've been in the situation where the car I reserved wasn't available and I had to take another size. Best to be well prepared since you have a child and new puppy. The crate for a fully grown spoo won't fit in most cars, although it should fit a minivan. Plus the crate for a spoo is heavy and will be difficult for you to bring into the hotel room for your overnight stay. A smaller crate would be easier to deal with.

I would buy a crate for your house, one that will fit a full grown spoo that comes with piece of crating that you slip inside to make the crate smaller for a puppy. As your puppy grows, you move that section to slowly enlarge the crate to full size. I would leave that at home and have it set up so when you get home you are ready to put your spoo puppy in it.

Look for something that you can easily buy in a pet store that will fit in a rental car in case you don't get that minivan that can hold a puppy spoo safely knowing that your puppy will outgrow it. Perhaps you will already be renting the minivan so you will have more options based on size of the vehicle. If you only want to buy one large crate - buy the one for the home - and keep the receipt and packaging in case you want to return it if you can get the crate you want to fit the minivan.

I did plan to stop approximately every 2 hours to let my puppy out to potty and stretch his legs. He slept most of the trip.

Consider making a separate post asking people what kind of crate they used to bring their spoo puppy home.
 

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No particular order here

From the breeder - blanket, towel, something with scent of mom and littermates. This helps thru the nights.

Will your daughter sit in the back with the pup?
Depending on the size of the crate you have, you might find a smaller crate/carrier handy so your daughter can keep the puppy on her lap, but still somewhat contained if there are mishaps. This could also allow you to bring the puppy in with you to more places for your own necessary stops.
478812


Later, it can be used to carry puppy essentials when traveling rather than the puppy.

For over the seat, under the crate, and over, a vinyl tablecloth with fabric backing could do nicely. I see them from $3 to $5 online, also available in stores.
The carrier and tablecloths are easily packable if not purchased after your arrival. Carrier and tablecloth together might also give the option of keeping puppy on the bed for that first night.

A back up for the night at the B&B is a Heartbeat Snuggle Puppy. These can be very soothing.

As mentioned, rolls of paper towels , throwaway level towels or other old items for cleanup.
Enzyme cleaner for accidents

Plenty of water, even pedialyte jic, but possibly feed lightly several times thru the trip. Pup may be off their feed anyhow, so don't worry too much on the road.

Some folks have used a small pop up expen when traveling.
478809


ID tag with contact info to attach to the collar

Ask the breeder to get pup used to wearing a collar and, maybe getting walked around a bit on it, if they aren't already.
 

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Elroy came home (@ 8 ½ weeks) in the car. My father held him in his lap (front seat) for the 1 hour ride. He was perfectly fine for an hours drive. We stopped to see if he needed to pee/poop, but he didn't. I know this is a much shorter trip than yours will be, but this will give you a data point for the 1st hour anyway.
 

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We traveled by car over 500 miles home in a single 10+ hour day with Hugo. He was 9 weeks old. I actually had him in a medium-size hard-sided cat carrier that had doors at the top and side plus side air vents. It was kind of "cavelike." Hugo cried for the first 15 minutes and then slept. We stopped at the 3 hour mark but he was terrified to come out of the crate and to be outside and only drank a little water and didn't want much food throughout the drive. You might encounter that too. In all, I think we stopped 3 times but mostly for us! After the last stop, he had trouble settling and so the last hour of the trip, I held him on my lap in the back seat and he slept. We had a pretty easy time of it. The first few nights he slept through, probably because he was so exhausted from all the new stimulation. Then the real work of house training began! Good luck to you!
 

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Spoo coming 8/21! Buddy, a 16 yo shepherd mix, Fleur a 1 yo cat
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you all SO much! These are all excellent ideas. This is such a helpful community.
No particular order here

From the breeder - blanket, towel, something with scent of mom and littermates. This helps thru the nights.

Will your daughter sit in the back with the pup?
Depending on the size of the crate you have, you might find a smaller crate/carrier handy so your daughter can keep the puppy on her lap, but still somewhat contained if there are mishaps. This could also allow you to bring the puppy in with you to more places for your own necessary stops.
View attachment 478812

Later, it can be used to carry puppy essentials when traveling rather than the puppy.

For over the seat, under the crate, and over, a vinyl tablecloth with fabric backing could do nicely. I see them from $3 to $5 online, also available in stores.
The carrier and tablecloths are easily packable if not purchased after your arrival. Carrier and tablecloth together might also give the option of keeping puppy on the bed for that first night.

A back up for the night at the B&B is a Heartbeat Snuggle Puppy. These can be very soothing.

As mentioned, rolls of paper towels , throwaway level towels or other old items for cleanup.
Enzyme cleaner for accidents

Plenty of water, even pedialyte jic, but possibly feed lightly several times thru the trip. Pup may be off their feed anyhow, so don't worry too much on the road.

Some folks have used a small pop up expen when traveling.
View attachment 478809

ID tag with contact info to attach to the collar

Ask the breeder to get pup used to wearing a collar and, maybe getting walked around a bit on it, if they aren't already.

I think the soft tote bag might be great for the car ride. I wonder though if the puppy throws up or has an accident whether it will get too gross for the following day. But i like the idea of my daughter being able to hold it in her lap!
 

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Thank you all SO much! These are all excellent ideas. This is such a helpful community.



I think the soft tote bag might be great for the car ride. I wonder though if the puppy throws up or has an accident whether it will get too gross for the following day. But i like the idea of my daughter being able to hold it in her lap!
You could line the tote with a towel and trash bag. I have half a dozen washable square pads intended for bed wetting protection. (Originally purchased when a human was messily recovering from surgery at home.) I found these pads were very helpful when I needed something waterproof and washable to put under my leaking puppies.
 

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Potty pads might work too. I just checked the label. This particular bag is noted as hand washable, so there's that.

Just tried to stuff my smaller guy, about 13" at the shoulder and neck to tail, and 13lbs +/-.
You're gonna need a bigger boat if the pup is close to that on Gotcha Day.

For comparison, this is the tote I showed the tiny photo of
Top Paw® Soft-Sided Nylon Dog & Cat Zipper Tote, 16-in | dog Carriers & Crates | PetSmart

Remo did fit comfortably in his other old carrier at 19"L x 9"W x 11.5"H. Inchcrementally bigger boy didn't.

There's a lot of carry bags to choose from so the idea should still work.

And repeating a suggestion from above, puppy shampoo wipes :)
 

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Thank you all SO much! These are all excellent ideas. This is such a helpful community.



I think the soft tote bag might be great for the car ride. I wonder though if the puppy throws up or has an accident whether it will get too gross for the following day. But i like the idea of my daughter being able to hold it in her lap!
You could pick up any "emergency" items at a gas station on the way home, so I wouldn't worry about it. Paper towels, water, basic cleaner, and snacks for tiny humans.

Some of the bigger truck stops have bigger inventory of everyday commodities.

I think you'll be a-okay.

(Dont let the puppy touch unclean or popular grass patches, germs.)
 

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Your answers are brilliant, and you helped me too. I also have to travel 500 miles to get an 8-month-old Beagles puppy. If you managed with your daughter and the puppy, I think I will cope with this journey. I can't wait for this puppy to appear in my life. Her name will be Rosie, and it will be a surprise to my husband. He has no idea of my plan, but he is eager to take care of an animal. And most of all, he wants to teach Rosie the commands as a "sit down" and many other things he reads from Alfred's blog https://cleverpuppies.com/ So I will be the one who will buy everything necessary for the dog, and he will take care of her education. I think we will make a good team together.
 
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