Long Distance Travel with a 7 wk old pup [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Long Distance Travel with a 7 wk old pup

09-27-2005, 04:49 PM
:roll: I can't believe I have agreed to this!

My wife has wanted a West Highland Terrier for a long time and we finally decided to look into getting one. There are only a few reputable breeders in B.C. so we got on the waiting list with several of them. Out of the blue we get a call that we will have a dog to pick up in about a month!

The problem is we will have to travel 1800 km! The breeder offered to fly the little guy to us but it would still mean a fair amount of handling and travel time (the breeder lives 3 hours from a major airport) and I thought it would be hard on the little critter as he will only be 7 weeks old.

This means, however, a 10 hour car journey on the return trip with the little tyke. I know from previous experience that pups often get car sick so thank god for the E and its easy to clean interior!

We will be taking a small dog kennel and lots of blankets. The days are getting pretty short and the weather is also getting iffy in north central B.C. where we will pick the dog up so we will break the journey back into two days and overnight in a motel. This means we can stop more often if the dog really doesn't take well to the motion of the car.

Anyone got any suggestions for making the journey easier on the little pup and ourselves?

hiker chick
09-27-2005, 07:44 PM
Puppy love... They are magical! :) Congrats.

Gidget was 9 weeks when I flew her home from Denver, in a Sherpa Bag under the seat. According to the breeder, the pressure change in flying is something of a narcotic on puppies and sure enough she slept like a baby all the way and through a flight change. Nobody knew there was a puppy on board unless they saw her before the flights. Air pressure aside, she was great in the airport pre and post-flight.

However, on the drive from the breeder -- Gidget's first time away from her litter and mom and first time in a Sherpa bag and car -- she whimpered for awhile.

Kennel -- excellent! My 3 year old Samoyed was crate-trained and sleeps in hers everynight, by choice, with the door always open. It's her den. That will make all the difference in travelling.

Seven week old is going to have a lot of energy and will be well into the chewing stage. So, lots of toys to chew on and play with. And if she's going to be loose in the back, at all, make sure she can't sneak up front and get under your feet while driving (they are fast at that age) and you'll want to be careful of her falling into those spaces by the rear doors.

I'd be inclined to play with the pup in the back of the E. But that's me.

Most important: take lots and lots of pictures to post on this forum.

09-27-2005, 10:12 PM
Thanks, we will certainly pack lots of chewy toys!

Re: playing with the pup in the back of the E that had occurred to me to. We will probably fold up one of the back seats so that we can secure the kennel on the floor next to the other seat. This way we can get the pup in and out of the kennel easily if it gets distressed or barfy or whatever.

I'll try not to take too many barfy pictures if it comes to that! My last long trip in these circumstances was with our Golden Retreiver/Lab cross. She was a much bigger dog at that age so I don't anticipate the volume of problems (so to speak) should this new pup get motion sick!

09-27-2005, 11:03 PM
We picked up one of our dogs as a 9 week old pup in a suburb of Minneapolis - about a 6.5 hour drive away from us. Drove him home without incident at all! Even did it in a rental...so we were fortunate. We held him for the first part of the way & then finished the trip with him in the crate.

Our other dog was flown in to us from Las Vegas - she was a mess when we got her and she was scared - until the moment we opened her crate. She, however, is prone to car sickness - though it seems that now, at 3.5 yrs, it's finally going away. We used to have to give her doggie-dramamine for short trips to obedience class! Otherwise - BLECH - all over.

I think dogs are just like people - some are prone to be sick, some aren't.

Since you will have a long drive, be sure to have plenty of water with you, some food (but not much since s/he may get sick), and stop frequently for potty breaks.

VERY IMP'T - not advisable to stop at official "rest stops" where tons of other travelers let their dogs out. Your baby will be too little and won't have immunizations - exposing her to heavy dog-traffic areas is risky.

We stopped at a McDonalds & let him pee/play on grass there; stopped at a huge sporting goods store and played in the grass there... you will find plenty of other options to meet your needs AND your dog's.

Congratulations & good luck!

09-28-2005, 11:49 AM
Thanks for the reminder about keeping pups away from areas frequented by other dogs E-vilqueen. Fortunately we will be driving through some areas that at this time of year are not heavily travelled. I'm just hoping we don't get a freak early winter storm (not unheard of)

09-28-2005, 01:57 PM
Yep. I doubt you have to worry...

Country Boy in the City
10-02-2005, 11:13 PM
I'd just bring some extra towels, rags, old t-shirts just incase the puppy gets sick every pup i've had threw up once on the first ride. with it being a long ride I'd take the back seats out instead of having him couped up in a box at least thats what I did when my hound was with me want anther puppy so bad it's not funny

10-02-2005, 11:16 PM
I'd just bring some extra towels, rags, old t-shirts just incase the puppy gets sick every pup i've had threw up once on the first ride. with it being a long ride I'd take the back seats out instead of having him couped up in a box at least thats what I did when my hound was with me want anther puppy so bad it's not funny

Good advice. Blue (my German Shepherd) had many episodes of projectile vomit on her first car ride. I went through 2 rolls of paper towels just cleaning up before we got home.

Congrats on the new puppy and post pictures when you can. :)

10-02-2005, 11:27 PM
When we moved to Alaska from California, we drove through BC on the way - beautiful place. We were given a liquid sedative in the event the dogs (3) needed it. You may want to check with the breeder or Vet to see if this is an option. (We were in the car quite a bit do to a UHaul and its multiple mechanical problems, so our trip was a lot longer)

10-03-2005, 05:00 PM
Buy a small plastic kennel. Line the bottom with newspapers or paper towels. Keep a stash of paper towels or newspapers handy. Replace as needed. Small kennels can be had for less than $25. A worthy investment.

I just finished traveling over 2500 miles with an 11-wk old pup. Very, very few urine soaks, and no poops. They tend to fall asleep. My vet suggested walking dogs at least 1-1/2 miles away from any major interstate. Never at rest stops or parks.

10-24-2005, 11:30 PM
Well, we leave Friday to pick up the new pup. We have all the pup supplies (thanks to all for your suggestions) but now I'm keeping an eye on the weather!

Things have gotten pretty warm in the Okanagan for this time of year (it's going to be 19C here tomorrow) but where we are going to pick up the dog is getting a lot colder - flurries are predicted for Thursday. :-x

I'm going to wait it out but I just hope I don't end up having to put the snow tires on before we leave! I was really hoping to wait until ski season starts in the 3rd week of November.

hiker chick
10-25-2005, 06:24 AM
Does your pup have a name? Puppies are so much fun! Enjoy and best of luck and your journey. :)

10-25-2005, 09:59 AM
We haven't settled on a name yet - one may just occur to us when we meet him.

So far the favourites are Dexter and Moxie. Can you tell my wife is from New England? :)

Do you have any suggestions for a name for a male West Highland White Terrier?

10-25-2005, 10:24 AM
you can name him Chance - my dog has that name and I think there is at least one dog on the list by that name :)

or Atom - he rode in an Element

hiker chick
10-25-2005, 05:17 PM
Love the name "Moxie," but it seems feminine to me.

What's recomended for dogs for their own ease of recognition is two syllables, ending on a soft. Such as Moxie, Dexter.

I partially conformed with Gidget. Names seem to suggest themselves as you get to know the pup. I'll bet several great ones will come to mind while he is driving with you.

I'll give this some thought. Adorable little Westie... hmmmm.... :cool:

10-26-2005, 12:07 AM

(That's all I have to say, but it wouldn't let me post with just one word, so I typed this dumb sentence.)

10-27-2005, 12:22 PM
Ready to go!

The weather reports have improved (temps ranging between -4 and +5 C for most of North Central B.C. and fairly low chance of precipitation) so there will be no need for snow tires. We'll probably overnight at 100 Mile House on the way back so the pup has a good chance to stretch his legs.

See you in a few days!

10-30-2005, 01:47 PM
Well, the trip was a great success.

We met Dexter (and his parents and littermates) early on Saturday morning and by 10 am we were on our way back south. The pup rarely fussed and we kept a pretty regular schedule of stopping every two hours for breaks. We drove all day yesterday, he slept well last night (up once at about 3) and we were on the road at 6 this morning to get home by 10 am.

He fretted a bit when we left him in his carrier but LOVED the cardboard box on the back seat. One of us sat back there with him and after a few minutes in the car he fell asleep every time! No car sickness at all

The weather held up fine snow was expected but never materialized. Dexter got cold a few times when we stopped but we ran him around to warm up.

Ill start a new thread with more puppy pictures.

10-30-2005, 04:40 PM
Wow. Nice photo! Glad you got the little guy home okay.

I noticed that the AKC describes the West Highland Terrier as "possessed with no small amount of self-esteem". Do you mind if I ask, what was it about his breed that attracted you?

The only experience that I've had with a terrier was with a "Jack Russell Terrier" that I looked after for a summer while I was in College. He was quite the dog. Though I never travelled any distance with him in a car. (He preferred my motorcycle.)

10-30-2005, 05:48 PM
Yes it was certainly temperament that attacted us to Westies - like most terriers they have the "big dog in a small dog's body" attitude but, reputedly, they are less stubborn than Cairns (from whom they are descended) and Scotties (to whom they are closely related). They are not delicate little dogs and love to walk for miles in all kinds of weather so I'm sure Dexter will be a good companion.

My wife has wanted a Westie for many years and it seemed like a good time since we recently lost our Lab/Golden Retriever cross.

10-31-2005, 12:03 PM
Thanks very much to you all for the helpful suggestions in transporting the pup.

I will keep you posted on his progress!


hiker chick
10-31-2005, 03:27 PM
I would like to see puppy pictures every day. A puppy-cam would be nice.