Have a long ride like me? I picked our wheaten terrier up 200 miles from home. For a first time puppy traveler this was a daunting task. So what can I teach you from my research and time spent traveling with my pup? Hopefully a lot. The first thing I learned while scouring the internet and talking to local vets was that under no circumstances was I to stop at a public rest stop or motel type area to walk the puppy. These places are breeding grounds for grown up dog diseases, which, if transmitted to a puppy could be fatal. Dogs are sniffers, and love each other’s excrement. Turns out this is a good way to get sick. Stick to places you wouldn’t expect a lot of dog traffic for relieve your puppy. I was lucky, Andy didn’t have to go once. And trust me, we tried. Nothing. There was a moment there when I really thought we were doing it wrong. Turns out he was just really good at holding it.
Crate. Crate. Crate. That crate was a lifesaver. We went with a nylon crate rather than one with the metal bars. Seemed more inviting. It fit perfectly in the back seat of the car and it served as Andy’s car seat the entire ride home. The crate had a zippered see through flap that faced the front of the car so we were able to keep an eye on him. He would whine for a little bit but it quickly subsided and he slept like a baby for 90% of the ride. Really a great thing since we had to go through New York City at rush hour. There would be no pit stops there my friend.
Remember to bring little tupperware containers for food and water. I brought one. Not sure why I didn’t think to bring a partner for it, but hey, I had a lot on my mind. The breeder was able to lend me one for the ride home and presumably the rest of my life. The breeder also provided us with a two liter bottle filled with the tap water our little Andy was raised on. She said it would help with potential diarrhea if we blended our water with theirs and our food with theirs. He has had nothing but solid doots since his arrival. Too much info? Better than the alternative.
Bring a few t-shirts with you. I asked the breeder if we could rub a them on the mom and the rest of his litter mates. Turns out dogs have great noses and can sniff their parents from miles away. The balled up t-shirts seemed to help comfort him. We’ve since washed the shirts but we still leave them in his crate with him when he’s alone. Not sure why at this point but you never know. Worth a shot.
Plan to stop for food before you pick the little fella up. You don’t want to have to stop on the ride in for anything un-puppy related.
Last but not least, bring a travel partner. I brought a buddy of mine with me since this was a surprise for my wife. He was a huge help. I wouldn’t have been comfortable handling the road and the pup at the same time.