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Old 02-23-2012, 02:04 PM   #1
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Exclamation Tips for traveling with a large dog?

We're taking our first "long" trip out west and will be taking our 125 lb. yellow lab, Louis with us. We're a little concerned about leaving him all day in the Airstream, what if the air conditioner fails, etc. We'll take him with us when possible but there will be many times that we can't. Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:30 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. I used to spend a fair amount of time in the Cohutta Wilderness near where you live, and also the nearby Big Frog Wilderness.

Hmm, 125 pounds of lab. That's a sticky wicket ya got there. Many campgrounds discourage or disallow unattended pets. Perhaps the best alternative might be to board the dog for all or part of the trip.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:40 PM   #3
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I don't know how hot it will be in the places where you might be leaving him in the trailer, but I would suggest opening all the windows and vents rather than leaving him shut in with the AC on.

Last summer we left our Dobie in the trailer with all windows and vents shut and AC on, generator running. After an hour or so, I decided to go back and check on him, more for fear of him barking and being a nuisance than his safety, but when I got there, the generator had shut down (don't know why, it had fuel), the AC was off and he was panting in an oven.

Even a slight breeze through open windows will, I think, be better and safer for him than shut up in an ever hotter dead still place.

We always take Caliban with us as long as we're travelling by car; he's a very good traveller and such good company, he seems very happy to be in the confined space of the trailer or truck as long as he's with us. When Caliban's mother was alive, we took her too so we had two Dobies in the trailer and they adapted very well.

We also take two sets of portable, folding fences and set them up zigzag so they stand on their own (no rods in the ground needed) around the area covered by the big awning. That gives him a sense of freedom and a "yard", but we do keep him on a leash even there because he could easily knock the fence down if he saw something provocative enough. We've done this for several years and it seems to work just fine.

Take your dog kid and enjoy!

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Old 02-23-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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I like to do a little research before I travel. Find a couple Kennels in the area where you are going. Make sure to have all shots updated, copy records especially rabies. Bring along the phone number of your vet just in case. I also like to get my doggies washed before I come home don't want stinky dogs in the car. You may also want to sign up for care credit Vets sometimes take this credit card. I came in handy when my Rottwiler got hurt and it cost us $3500 for the vet. Luckily this card let us pay it off in 18mo no interest.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:53 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forums. I used to spend a fair amount of time in the Cohutta Wilderness near where you live, and also the nearby Big Frog Wilderness.

Hmm, 125 pounds of lab. That's a sticky wicket ya got there. Many campgrounds discourage or disallow unattended pets. Perhaps the best alternative might be to board the dog for all or part of the trip.
Well, Jammer, you bring up a good point. I hadn't thought of the prohibition of most campgrounds for leaving an unattended pet. We just always take Caliban with us. Sometimes one of us has to sit outside some venue while the other goes in, then we switch. We look for restaurants with outdoor/patio seating because dogs are usually allowed there (be sure to ask politely!). We do a lot of takeout and eat at parks picnic-style.

We have left him at a vet clinic boarding for a couple of days or even for doggy daycare, but that is a real last resort and we check the place out very carefully. Many will not take an unneutered dog, so beware of that issue. Many will also ask for a health certificate, which you should have legally anyway when crossing a state line with your dog.

So yeah, it's a nuisance, but we have always thought his company was well worth it, including the safety of having a personal security service!

Vivian
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:38 PM   #6
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We have a 150lb great dane that travels with us, and we leave him all the time, and have yet to find a campground that doesn't allow you to leave your pets behind....as long as they are IN your trailer. Having said that, we've seen all kinds of crazy rules, so it wouldn't surprise me to learn that there are some like that.

We usually leave the fan on and the A/C on (if needed) when we leave, and usually only stay out for no more than 4 hours at the absolute most, so even if the power did go out, it wouldn't likely get too hot (you know, the same thing can happen at your house, and no one seems to give it a second thought).
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:40 PM   #7
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Thanks! We have some beautiful mountains and forests in N. Georgia. I love this area. Dahlonega is in the "foothills" but close enough that we can get to mountains in an hour. Thanks for your reply. I'm for leaving the dog with Bob's son but Bob wants to take him. I'm not crazy about having to see venues alone while one of us sits with the dog. Also, we want to go to Chaco Canyon and it takes 2 hours just to get there from the closest campground that I can find (we don't want to take the trailer on that rough, dirt road!) so I know Bob's going to want to "check on Louis" all day long and it ads another layer of stress to the trip. Oh, well. We'll work it out. Thanks again!
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:38 PM   #8
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I'm not crazy about having to see venues alone while one of us sits with the dog. Also, we want to go to Chaco Canyon and it takes 2 hours just to get there from the closest campground that I can find (we don't want to take the trailer on that rough, dirt road!) so I know Bob's going to want to "check on Louis" all day long and it ads another layer of stress to the trip.
When Lily came into our life 14 months ago, she changed our travel ways. Having the dog along will make a difference and cramp your style a bit. What we do for love.

Many campgrounds don't want pets left "unattended", which is probably like the "alcohol prohibited" rule. As long as it doesn't present itself as an observable problem, no one will make an issue of it. If your dog doesn't bark when you are gone, who's going to know the dog is in the trailer?

Depending on where you're going and how hot it is, you'll want to be very careful about leaving the dog in your trailer for long periods and trusting the AC to run and keep the dog comfortable. Power can go out, AC's can malfunction and trailers heat up very quickly, more so than a residence. If you are in shade, plenty of water and open windows and vents may be a better plan. If you are in full sun.......

There is a forum member who left his beloved dog in his trailer one day while he was hunting. When he returned, the trailer had burned to the ground with the dog inside. I cannot imagine the pain.

Can you take the dog with you in your vehicle as you toodle around? That may be greatly preferable and safer than leaving him in the trailer for long periods.

It's a dilemma, that's for sure. If I find myself in a campground with you, I'll offer to dog sit.

Good luck,


Maggie
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:22 PM   #9
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Traveling dogs

I travel everywhere with my black lab. I find that he is quite comfortable in his kennel in the back of my truck. I try to let him out for a drink and to relieve himself every 2 or 3 hours but I have left him back there for up to 6 hours or more while I have been fishing or doing a river float. There is plenty of venelation for him and he makes sure nobody messes with the truck while I'm gone. At first he used to bark when I left him by himself but It didn't take long for him to realize that it was not getting him anywhere. This is my 6th lab and all have traveled with me wherever I go and all have spent time in their kennel alone.

I feel safer with my dogs around and the dogs I'm sure prefer to ride in their kennel than spend the time I am away from them in jail.

I once took two of my black labs with me to Canada for 3 weeks, but that is another story.

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Old 03-09-2012, 08:09 AM   #10
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When returning from a trip to Colorado a couple of years ago , we stopped to visit with a couple we know in Kerville TX. . The outside temp. was 108. Not wanting to take "Lilly" (our 65# yellow lab) in thier house , we left her in the trailer with the A/C on. For some unknown reason I went to check on her after about an hour. I found that the circut breaker had poped and the A/C was off. Lilly was so weak from the heat , that she could hardly stand. We almost lost her. The circut breakers are located in the overhead cabinet over the bed and the cabinet door was closed. They overheated and poped. I learned a very important lesson. I NEVER trust the A/C to run when I'm not around. I'll leave the windows and roof vents open with the fantastic fans on , but never close it up depending on the A/C , when we are gone.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:11 PM   #11
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We're thinking the same as you. We're going to try to avoid "hot weather" as much as is possible. Having grown up in Charleston, SC, I absolutely hate hot, humid weather. We'll just take Louis with us in the truck when we need to and leave windows open and fans on in the AS where the weather is not going to get too hot. Thanks so very much for caring enough to share your experience!!
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:15 PM   #12
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Thumbs up We could never not bring them...

We have been Streaming with our dog's since 1987. Never had a concern.
Never loose at the site, clean-up after, introduce to your neighbors, always walk on leash in other words....be responsible.

When traveling....always in kennel, never loose in truck, rest stops every 3hrs, light food & water, never leave in closed vehicle, AS or TV. Fans & vents open if left in the AS. (hardly ever)

Try to start early with them, they will be much more content if they know they are part of the fun.

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Old 03-10-2012, 04:07 PM   #13
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I love to see happy dogs camping! I think all these tips apply the same to big or small dogs!
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:44 PM   #14
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Have poodles will travel

I mentioned this another thread, but it is relevant here too. We took out the center console of our F250 crew cab (very easy to remove) and used shallow foam to plug the divet left by its removal. We keep a tri-folded dog comforter where the console was and our large standard poodle rides between us. He stands at attention a lot, watching the road ahead, and can sleep between us too. Our toy poodle rides in the lap of whoever rides shotgun. They both go with us whenever possible, but we have left them at the campground with AC going AND windows cracked, vents open. We always try to find shade for parking the camper and/or the truck. I don't miss the console. I love the open and spacious feeling in the cab, and so does Rex the Standard... We simply won't travel without them. We sold the nicest camper we ever owned-- a 2002 Lance pickup camper with every amenity because Rex just did not fit in it well. We sometimes leave a sign on the door of our trailer with our cell phone numbers in case there is an emergency, if we know we will be gone more than a couple hours.

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Old 03-10-2012, 10:32 PM   #15
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I mentioned this another thread, but it is relevant here too. We took out the center console of our F250 crew cab (very easy to remove) and used shallow foam to plug the divet left by its removal. We keep a tri-folded dog comforter where the console was and our large standard poodle rides between us. He stands at attention a lot, watching the road ahead, and can sleep between us too. Our toy poodle rides in the lap of whoever rides shotgun. They both go with us whenever possible, but we have left them at the campground with AC going AND windows cracked, vents open. We always try to find shade for parking the camper and/or the truck. I don't miss the console. I love the open and spacious feeling in the cab, and so does Rex the Standard... We simply won't travel without them. We sold the nicest camper we ever owned-- a 2002 Lance pickup camper with every amenity because Rex just did not fit in it well. We sometimes leave a sign on the door of our trailer with our cell phone numbers in case there is an emergency, if we know we will be gone more than a couple hours.

Kathy

I discourage people from driving with any animals insecure in the front seat... passenger or driver. If anything goes wrong, they are going to get launched into your face if the airbag goes off, or go flying onto or under the dash if you have to stop suddenly... causing a further loss of control.

Train your dog to either ride in a kennel, or sit in the back... preferably with a harness and seatbelt on.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:49 AM   #16
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I discourage people from driving with any animals insecure in the front seat... passenger or driver. If anything goes wrong, they are going to get launched into your face if the airbag goes off, or go flying onto or under the dash if you have to stop suddenly... causing a further loss of control.

Train your dog to either ride in a kennel, or sit in the back... preferably with a harness and seatbelt on.
X2

Years ago...had a minor fender bender with our Old English Sheepdog loose in the back of our Blazer, ruined his confidence in traveling with us. Never again would get in the truck on his own and on long trips often got very sick, wouldn't eat and needed to be sedated....not a fun experience at all.

Bob
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:27 AM   #17
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X2

Years ago...had a minor fender bender with our Old English Sheepdog loose in the back of our Blazer, ruined his confidence in traveling with us. Never again would get in the truck on his own and on long trips often got very sick, wouldn't eat and needed to be sedated....not a fun experience at all.

Bob
Wow.

Lily is determined, at 45lb, that she is a lap dog.

Her very favorite spot in the Interstate is laying across my lap. This started on our first trip home, after finding her in Louisiana in 2010, when she sprang over the storage ottoman between the driver and passenger seat, licked my face vigorously (look what I can do!) and settled into my lap.

She likes to be close, my arms are always laying across and/or around her. Happy doggie. Don't know that I could harness her in the back. She'd be safer, just miserable.

There are items in the floor space between our seats, that have nowhere else to go---toolbag, small DO, etc. We have thought about having someone make us an elevated platform that had the storage space below and a daybed for Lily above, for my comfort. Having her in my lap in hot weather is like having a bear rug draped across me


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Old 03-11-2012, 09:25 AM   #18
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I travel quite a bit with my 95# lab "puppy". Always in the bed of the truck or now behind the drivers seat in my extended cab. If we are staying in a motel while goose hunting he usually gets an invite to stay at the front desk all night to keep the clerk company, and I have to say no, so he doesnt find a new home. From spring until fall we spend the weekends on the lake fishing and whatever needs to get done. I am lucky enough that he goes to work with me daily and keeps the girls in the office company. Pretty bad when I admit he is my best friend. I am not sure how a person can become so attached, but let me assure you, you do. I did not cry when I lost my dad, but bawled like a baby when I had to put my last buddy down. Took me 2 years to put his picture on the wall that I had taken.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:43 AM   #19
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I travel quite a bit with my 95# lab "puppy". Always in the bed of the truck or now behind the drivers seat in my extended cab. If we are staying in a motel while goose hunting he usually gets an invite to stay at the front desk all night to keep the clerk company, and I have to say no, so he doesnt find a new home. From spring until fall we spend the weekends on the lake fishing and whatever needs to get done. I am lucky enough that he goes to work with me daily and keeps the girls in the office company. Pretty bad when I admit he is my best friend. I am not sure how a person can become so attached, but let me assure you, you do. I did not cry when I lost my dad, but bawled like a baby when I had to put my last buddy down. Took me 2 years to put his picture on the wall that I had taken.
Yep, there's something about the dogs!

Being a mother, grandmother, cuddler and caregiver-at-heart, I have personally decided that it is the perpetual toddler state of dogs.

Unlike human children , dogs never grow beyond that 2-3 year old toddler stage where they love, adore and worship you unconditionally. They want to please you and to be loved, cared for, fed, watered, etc., in return. That's all they want and it never changes. They don't grow older and out of it.

Human children, on the other hand, going through their various and of course necessary developmental stages, become defiant, independent, rebellious, talk back, etc., and don't give a damn what you think. They grow up and establish their own lives.

Parents and grandparents adjust what they give, how they love and their expectations of what they are going to receive, accordingly. Children's needs change as they grow up and those around them make the adjustments to help them.

Love, love, love those children and grandbabies, but there is just something about a dog you can't get anywhere else.

Don't ya' think??


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Old 03-12-2012, 09:03 AM   #20
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I feel very "reassured" by all of your comments. Thanks so much!
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