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  1. Default From San Diego to NJ with puppy (help!)

    Hi there,

    (Sadly) I am leaving San Diego in August to return to the East Coast. I came out West through the North and would like to return through the South. Does anyone have any recommended/favorite routes? I am also particulary interested in knowing anyone's experiences road tripping with a puppy (I have a 5-month old miniature schnauzer).

    Thanks so much in advance!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Seacoast, New Hampshire

    Default A little planning goes a long way...

    First of all, get your pup acclimated to riding in the car, not just to the vet but to fun places, too; if he associates all rides with the vet or the kennel, eventually he won't want to ride anymore.

    I started taking my puppy (now 4 years old and loves to road trip) on short errands with me, and gave him treats in the car. It was helpful to bring his little bed, so he knew he had a place in the car, and he would just lay there and watch the trees go by, until we were at our destination and he would get a treat. In no time he was looking forward to rides.

    Long trips are no problem, either. As a rule of thumb we try to stop every two hours or so for a break; stretch legs and potty (dog) or just stretch legs (person). Offer water at each stop. It is helpful to bring water from home, as some dogs won't drink strange water, and you really want to be sure that your dog (and you) are well hydrated. I just fill a clean water jug with the water he is used to, and bring along two of those collapsible dog bowls.

    Try not to give a big meal if you aren't planning on stopping for some time. The one time our dog was sick in the car was right after he ate.

    Ultimately, it is safer to restrain your dog in the car, either with a crate, or a seatbelt attached to a harness. An unrestrained dog can become a flying object in the event of an accident, and can be a distraction to the driver, so start early and acclimate him to a crate or seatbelt. Don't be one of those owners who rides around with the dog on their lap, and please don't put your dog in the bed of your truck.

    Plan on eating takeout as much as possible, or out of a cooler. It is dangerous (and illegal in some areas) to leave your dog in the car if the weather is too hot or cold, and it is best not to leave them unattended in a hotel room. Restaurants that have outdoor seating are usually fine, we usually grab our food to go and find a distant picnic table and make sure our dog doesn't bother the other patrons.

    Have your route planned in advance, and it is helpful to know where you are going to stay, and the pet policy of each place. There are many guides to pet friendly hotels, AAA has one, and there are others.

    Make sure your puppy is housebroken, and bring along a bunch of bags to pick up poop with. I just buy a box of sandwich bags and keep them in the car.

    Lastly, make sure your car is in top shape. To be stranded on the side of a busy highway with your dog would be no fun, and if you need to be towed they may have problems with you taking your dog in the towing vehicle.

    That's all I can think of for now; I'm sure others will chime in.

    Enjoy the trip!


  3. Default Thanks!

    My little girl (Cali, the puppy) already does so well in the car (and a carseat is on its way for added protection!).

    Any ideas for good places to stop en route from San Diego to NJ that is particularly dog friendly?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Just about every place is

    Quote Originally Posted by michellesandiego View Post
    My little girl (Cali, the puppy) already does so well in the car
    Here are a few more tips
    Any ideas for good places to stop en route from San Diego to NJ that is particularly dog friendly?
    It would almost be easier to make a list of places that are NOT dog-friendly -- just about all chains welcome well-behaved pets these days.


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