Longer car journeys

(13 Posts)
lorisparkle Sat 30-Mar-19 16:28:19

We have a 7 month old Labrador and he is great in the car, however we have only travelled at most for about 45 minutes. So we are off on holiday and the car journey will be up to 3 hours. So we are looking for advice to make the journey as positive and comfortable as possible. For example how often would you stop, best time to travel, etc etc. We are also going on a ferry so any helpful tips there as well. Thanks

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BiteyShark Sat 30-Mar-19 16:41:51

We did a 4 hour journey with our dog last year when the most we had done before was an hour. We just stopped every 60-90 minutes in a service station and walked him about so he had the chance to stretch his legs and pee. On the way back we stopped only once as he had been so good on the way there and actually didn't need that many stops.

I did feed him a few dried biscuits on the stops just to keep his stomach settled as we didn't feed him much the morning of the journey in case it made him feel queasy.

MissShapesMissStakes Sat 30-Mar-19 16:46:26

Following. We have a 5 hour journey to do in summer with our now 9 month old pup. I’m already worrying about it. But then I hate travelling!

BrownOwlknowsbest Sat 30-Mar-19 17:40:05

Something we often did, although you need a 'spare 'adult to do this, is for someone to set out with the dog about half an hour before the car journey is scheduled to begin and walk along the route the car will take. By the time the car catches up with the walker and dog, they have had a couple of miles of walking and are then happy to settle in the car for an extended ride.

OverFedStanley Sat 30-Mar-19 18:01:58

BrownOwlknowsbest that is organised smile

We do a lot of travelling with our dogs. They have a good walk before we begin and then are happy to settle in their crates for up to two hours (actually usually 3) . I have road refresher bowls for the dogs in the car so they can drink if they need to - good air conditioning.

It is usually me that needs to stop for a wee before the dogs tbh! We plan the routes so we can get nice wee stops. Feed when we arrive usually they are quite tired so do not need a mega walk at the other end.

Re ferries which ferry are you travelling on?

Some make you leave the dog in the car on the car deck and although they say you can visit them that is not always possible No help to you but we avoid cross Chanel ferries and always go Eurostar - very very easy with the dogs good facilities at either end for wees etc and the dogs stay with you.

A three hour journey will be easy.

Enjoy your holiday

Girlintheframe Sat 30-Mar-19 18:08:40

We have just done a 4 hour trip with our pup.

We gave him a good walk before we left. Stopped half way to stretch his legs and we have given him another good walk now we have arrived.

missbattenburg Sat 30-Mar-19 18:23:45

I will be doing 7-8 hours up to Scotland late in the year. My own plan is to do a couple of hours the evening before, then stop for the night. The following day I'll plan places to stop for good walks (an hour run about) every two hours. That mean a 5.5 hr journey will take up to 7.5 but it'll be worth it, I think.

We did similar a few months ago when battendog was about a year old and it went very well.

The dog is brilliant in the car and I didn't want to take too much advantage of that and push my luck. I'd rather we did a looong journey that had some really good bits for him than a shorter one that was a bit of a drag. Especially at a young age.

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lorisparkle Sat 30-Mar-19 19:00:56

Thank you so much everyone. We are travelling Wightlink so a very short crossing, sounds like a good walk and one stop should be fine. How he will cope at the place we are staying is another story!

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adaline Sat 30-Mar-19 20:42:01

We took ours for five hours in the car when he was five months old. He was fine - we walked him beforehand (only 25 minutes due to his age), stopped as often as possible for toilet breaks/fresh air and made sure he had plenty of blankets and toys in the back!

He coped amazingly and was fab at the holiday destination too. He was very well-behaved, slept a lot (lots of new experiences, bless him) and was generally a fab companion. We're taking him away again in May and he'll be 14 months - hopefully it'll be just as much fun!

doingwhatican Sat 30-Mar-19 20:45:38

We went from her only ever doing 15 mins drives to a 6 hour drive and she had no problem with it. We stopped every 90 mins / two hours. What worked really well was having her dog bed in the car - she happily slept all the way. And a long walk before we set off helped tire her out.

heidiwine Sun 31-Mar-19 10:35:31

If he habitually eats at the same time then avoid travelling then. Otherwise make sure that he’s been well exercised and is tired. 3 hours should be easy.
The ferry bit is more complicated - if he’s going to be alone in the car in a ferry I’d get him used to it as that could be frightening for him. I’d probably replicate the ferry conditions as much as I could drive to a multi story car park and leave him in the car (window open obvs) for 10-20 mins and see how he is. If he’s not good then keep doing it till it becomes quite normal and up the time you leave him. Maybe that’s nuts but I’d hate my dog to develop a fear of the car and would want to make him being left alone in it completely normal for him.

heidiwine Sun 31-Mar-19 10:37:16

Missed the wight link post. He’ll be fine. I wouldn’t even stop with ours on a three hour drive (even when he was younger).

lorisparkle Sat 20-Apr-19 20:53:04

Just a quick thank you... we have returned from our trip. We planned lots of stops on the way there but realised that we did not need any for the way back. The worse bit was the stairs on the ferry. We went on the newest ferry and he slipped so badly on the way up that we went in the lift on the way down.

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