In this article, you will know the answer to the query “8 Helpful Tips For Driving a Long Distance With A Puppy?“.
It’s hard enough traveling with a dog, but when you’re taking a puppy with you, it gets even more complicated.
It can be even more complicated if you are planning to drive a long distance with a puppy that you just got from a breeder!
Clearly, this trip will require a great deal of planning and preparation, as well as a little luck
In the case of long-distance driving with a puppy in the car, three factors combine to potentially create a perfect storm.
It will be the first time the puppy travels in a car since it is leaving its family and home.
If that’s not a challenge, I don’t know what is!
1. Tidy house and garden
Starting off with a bit of a strange one, isn’t it?
When the focus is on taking a journey, why start with the house and garden
You should puppy-proof your house and garden.
This is because, when you return with your puppy, you won’t have time to pick up things off your floor, since before you know it, they will be in your puppy’s mouth.
But what does tidy mean to me?
Make sure that any clothing, shoes, or valuable items like laptops are not on the floor.
Ensure that all electrical wires are hidden.
Gardening is no different.
It is important to return to the garden as soon as possible.
Make sure there are no poop (cat or dog) or objects such as gardening tools in the area
2. Don’t do it alone.
Make sure you don’t travel with your puppy on your own if possible: get a “Wingman”.
You should always travel with another person so that one person can concentrate on driving and the other on your puppy.
You should ensure that if you are going to share the drive, the owner of the puppy sits with the puppy for the first leg so that they can bond.
Having to travel alone will make the journey infinitely harder.
3. Crate or lap
It is strictly forbidden for dogs to travel in a car without being restrained in both the US and UK.
There are several ways to interpret this.
From traveling in the backseat with a lead attached (that is attached to some part of the car) to traveling in a crate to traveling in the boot behind a dog grate (in estate cars or station wagons).
According to Section 56 to 58 of the Highway Code, this requirement applies to the entire United Kingdom.
In the US, the picture is less clear.
At present, dogs must be restrained only in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
Pet carriers or crates are usually placed on the backseat for puppies so that someone can keep an eye on them while driving.
It is possible to provide comfort to a puppy while keeping it safe at the same time.
When you have a puppy that is visibly distressed and consistently whimpers and even shakes with fear, what do you do?
Some people have their puppies sleep on their laps, which works as long as the puppy falls asleep.
4. Keeping calm
Probably the most difficult tip to implement is the next one.
Keeping calm is the key.
You should always remain calm no matter how chaotic your trip gets (if you have a puppy who might urinate, defecate, vomit or whine relentlessly), which is quite likely.
Keeping your puppy in check means not raising your voice, making sudden aggressive movements or, God forbid, disciplining him with a smack.
All of this will not make your puppy less likely to stop whining, vomiting, or defecating.
The opposite effect is likely to occur.
You have lost control of your temper when you lose your temper.
Preparation and planning are the best ways to keep calm.
The equipment you’ll need is similar to that which is needed for a military operation.
If you are about to embark on a journey, you should make sure that you have bought for every eventuality.
The crate has already been mentioned; just make sure it is the right size for your puppy.
You can find plenty of advice about buying the right size crate for your puppy online.
It should be large enough, but not too large. Think about the gear that you will need to clean up any kind of mess – wipes, gloves, poop bags, and nappy bags.
Ensure that you have enough! Rather than bringing fewer wipes, it is better to bring more.
Secondly, please bring a lead- I assume your puppy will have a collar on, but this is something to double-check
It’s common to hear that you need to attach it to your dog for the whole trip, but I think it’s okay to put it on before you open any doors!
Next, you need to bring a cloth or a blanket that smells like their mom or their litter, when you pick up your puppy from the breeders.
You should be able to calm your puppy down with a familiar scent in an unfamiliar environment, making the trip easier for all.
6. Food and water
The next thing you should consider and plan for is whether to bring food for your puppy.
You will find this to be quite a complex issue to understand.
In this issue, there are many things to consider, and it is easy to get lost in the details.
You need to consider the length of your journey and the age of your puppy.
It is common for breeders to pick up their puppies a few weeks after they have been born.
A puppy of eight weeks should be eating about four times a day, which is about every four hours.
As a general rule, you should pick up your puppy a couple of hours after they have eaten their first meal, so that they have gone to the toilet and emptied their stomach before you start your trip.
Additionally, it means that their next meal is only a few hours away.
If you will be home by the time they should have their third meal of the day, you can skip the next meal and avoid feeding them during the journey.
Keeping things simple, gives you a journey time of six hours.
The more time you spend traveling (with all of the stops) the less pressure you should feel to feed them en route.
If your journey time is longer than six hours, however, you should bring some food for your puppy.
Make sure the food is the same brand and type as what they have been eating so far.
You should pack some food either way just in case you are delayed.
If your puppy is traveling long distances, he might not need to be fed, but he should always have access to water, which you should give him at every stop.
These days, many puppies who are picked up from breeders have no interest in food or water because they find the journey too exhausting.
However, how often should you stop along the way?
7. Rest stops
Eight-week-olds will need to go to the bathroom every two to three hours, so that is the biggest factor in how many rests stops you should make.
Similarly, after about three hours most drivers need to stop and “switch off” for a few minutes.
Rest stops don’t come without some risks, however.
For example, you might find it difficult to walk your puppy on a quiet and clean patch of grass at your chosen rest stop.
So that your puppy is not startled by sudden loud noises from passing traffic or groups of people, it should be quiet.
In addition, your puppy won’t have had all of his immunizations at this point, so it needs to be clean and free of other dogs.
Please make sure your puppy is wearing a collar and lead before opening any doors.
It is also advisable not to leave your puppy unattended in the car at any time.
Taking longer than expected to go to the bathroom and buy a coffee could cause them to overheat (in the car), as well as steal them.
If there are two of you in the car, it makes more sense to take turns going in and using the facilities.
Lastly, I’d like to discuss the possibility of paying someone else to do it.
8. Pet Taxis
You can take your puppy to a company that will drive it on a long journey for you if everything up until this point has left you overwhelmed and stressed out.
Depending on the distance, these services can cost hundreds or thousands of pounds, but if you have the money and don’t need the stress, then it might be worth the money.
A few months ago, my sister-in-law hired a company to take her new 8 week old Golden Retriever puppy on a six-hour journey and everything went incredibly smoothly.
If you want to read more about puppies-related updates, read here: Puppies.