Puppy’s First Vacation
My family and I recently went out of town for a few nights and we decided to take our puppy, Luna, with us. We left the pug with my father-in-law because there was going to be another dog -a male that my dogs hadn’t met yet- at the house we would be staying at and I didn’t want our vacation to be spent keeping the dogs in separate corners. Vienna (the pug) can be a little “testy” with male dogs. But, she didn’t complain; she loves staying with her grandpa, and always comes home a bit heavier from all the extra
treats love she gets spoiled with while there.
Our trip required we be in the car for about four hours between our house and our destination. Luna has ridden in the back of our wagon enough to be comfortable back there, but she prefers to be as close to us as possible. I laid a blanket across the backseat floorboard and that’s where she rode the entire trip. She did really well with the long car ride. One tip for before you leave on a long car ride with your dog: bathe them first! No one wants to be cooped up with a stinky pooch for any amount of time (trust me).
Once we were at the vacation house I immediately took her to where she would potty while we were there, and took her back to this same spot frequently that first day. I used the same command: “Go potty”, just like at home. Keeping things similar to what the dog is used to is very important when staying in a completely new place. Commands, morning/evening feeding times, etc. should be kept as close to normal as possible. Because structure is important, I also brought her kennel (like this one) and set it up right away. I also laid some of her toys around the house. Then I followed her around while she sniffed everything she possibly could. She is still a young puppy and I didn’t want to take the chance of turning my back and having her decide some cute decoration looked like a fun chew toy, so I did spend a lot of time keeping an eye on her. My family heard “where’s Luna?”, way too many times.
Her first trip away from home went great. There were no cushion casualties, and all knick-knacks were left unharmed. It was really helpful to have a kennel that can be folded up and transported so easily; keeping her in her “bedroom” while we were out of the house put my mind at ease, and surely made her feel more comfortable while being in a strange house.
The four hour car ride back home was uneventful, as she slept most of the way. I was nervous about motion sickness being an issue, but it wasn’t. If you have a dog that is easily nauseated during car rides, ask your veterinarian for information on over-the-counter products that your dog can take for motion sickness.
I won’t be as nervous about traveling with Luna during our next trip out of town, which means I can relax more! Isn’t that what vacations are supposed to be about?!