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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've been considering taking our Charlie on vacation with us next summer. We've never taken a dog on vacation so this is a new concept for me. We live in the Chicago area and vacation at Hilton Head, SC. Here are the pros and cons as I see them.

PROS
Charlie would be with us, not lonely and not with a petsitter. We could save alot of money.
I think he would enjoy the beach but he's never been to the ocean.
My granddaughter would enjoy having him as a playmate.

CONS
A LONG car ride - probably two days with rest stops.
Overnight in a hotel with him.
SC is very hot and humid in the summer. He'd have to spend a good part of the day indoors.
He may not adapt well to a strange environment.

Do you have experience with travel with your doodles? Anyone have trouble with carsickness? Would Charlie be happier staying at home with a petsitter?

Please share your experiences and advice.

Thanks!
Deb
 

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I honestly do not see a problem as these
Doodles adapt to car rides etc. They want to be with their family.
Even with a long car ride, you will be stopping for potty breaks
and if you find a pet friendly hotel/motel as long as he is with you he will be happy. Denver does not get car sick so I can not speak to that
subject, but I know he would rather spend two days in the car with us
then at home wondering where we are. :wink: :wink: :wink:
 

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We took Dexter on vacation with us this past summer. We drove from NJ to Outer Banks NC...so it was about an 8 hr drive. He did great...he slept most of the drive. We shared the house with 3 other adults...we kept him well supervised (he was only 10 months old) and seemed to love the new place and the extra people giving him attention. I would try to take Charlie on some longer car rides this winter to see how he does...maybe something over an hour?

We also drove from Rochester to NJ w/2 doodles (about 6 hrs) and that went fine too.

Oh yeah - concerning the heat - we had Dex inside a lot...most of his outdoor time was early morning or later in the afternoon. Plus there were less people on the beach then and we could give him a little off leash play time in the waves :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
lmtoth2 said:
Oh yeah - concerning the heat - we had Dex inside a lot...most of his outdoor time was early morning or later in the afternoon. Plus there were less people on the beach then and we could give him a little off leash play time in the waves :)
Our vacation would be similar. At HH in the summer, dogs are not allowed on the beach between 10am and 5pm. I think that is just as well because Charlie would not like the heat of the day anyway. I imagine us taking him out around 8am for a good long beach romp and then keeping him at the house in the afternoon. HH has lots of bike/walking paths in the forest so we would walk these in the late afternoon and evening.

Dexter's mom... I want to think that Charlie would prefer to be with us despite the long car ride. If we had a van or SUV it would be better because he could be in a travel crate. Unfortunately, he will be in the backseat with my granddaughter. Maybe by next summer, he will be mature enough to sit quietly with her. :roll:

For those who've been to the ocean with a doodle, has your dog been bothered by the salt water or sand fleas?

Deb
 
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I live in Wilmington NC and take Maya to the beach all the time. She loves it. She doesn't like the waves crashing but once we get past the waves she has a great time in the water. As far as sand fleas they bother me more than her!!!
 

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As long as pets are allowed and you dont think he will bark all day if you are gone, I see no problem taking him as long as he does ok riding.
you can get travel harnesses that hook into seat belt if you want him to not bounce around the backseat - and they are great to hook the leash on when you stop for potty breaks , no backing out of a collar !

the only other concern I could see is where will you be stopping to eat, you wouldnt wanna leave him in the car while you went in restaurant.

We alway carried sandwiches and drinks when we travel with our dogs - easier all around

Check out and book a hotel ahead of time, some hotels only take dogs up to a certain size/weight so you want to make sure you have a place to stay.

here is a link for pet f riendly hotels

also check major chain hotel webpages and if you belong to AAA, get books for state you will be staying in and look in there

I've never had a problem staying as long as I booked ahead and for 7 years we traveled with 2 labs 70 and 90 pounds

http://www.1clickpethotels.com/
 

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the only other concern I could see is where will you be stopping to eat, you wouldnt wanna leave him in the car while you went in restaurant.
on our long drives w/the doodles, we have looked to stop at places that have outside tables...unfortunately that is most often mcdonalds, but for a meal or 2 it works. We will tether the dog(s) to either our leg or to the table.
 

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Denver swims in the ocean a lot and is not
bothered by the salt and never had a flea problem.
I rinse out the salt water after swimming though.........
 

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As far as traveling without a crate goes, you can use a seat belt harness. I use it with Cali in my sedan. Cali takes up 2/3's of the back seat or more if she really sprawls. Would there be enough room for your granddaughter? You could start using the harness now to get him used to it. It took Cali awhile to get on the seat because she's not allowed on the furniture in the house. But she had gotten too big to curl up on the floor behind my seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've thought about the eating issue. I think we would pick up sandwiches at Subway or something similar and stop at a rest stop to eat and let Charlie play. It would be way to hot in the summer for him to spend any time in the car alone.

I did pick up a car harnass but haven't actually used it yet. I fitted it on Charlie and he was NOT happy about it. If anyone has a comfortable one that they recommend, I'd like to hear. I am a bit worried about him hogging the seat. My granddaughter would not mind at all if he snuggled up but it could get old on a long trip.

I'd definitely research and make a reservation where the dog would be welcome for our overnight stay. What else? I can only think he'll be restless with long hours in the car. He's a very active dog. <sigh>

Thanks for all the ideas and the support. Most of the time I think its a good idea and then I have a moment when I think I must be crazy for considering it. :p

Deb
 

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we use the EZ rider harness for Dex and Kirby. Dex is a seat hog too (he lays out across the seat in our SUV and takes up about 3/4 of it), but when we put Kirby back there, he made room.

I would definitely take Charlie on lots of rides this winter. Dex absolutely loves the car and falls asleep immediately. He is extremely active outside the car, but for some reason he becomes immediately calm in the car. You definitely want to make sure it's feasible by trying some rides this winter.
 

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Cody went from Chicago to Albany, NY this summer with my husband and kids in a sedan and did fine. The trip took a little longer then normal, but overall Cody wasn't a problem. DH had scoped out a couple of dog-friendly hotels on their route depending on how far they got Day 1 and stopped at one of them. They then traveled to Phili where I met up with them. Again no problems.

Fitting the 4 of us plus Cody in the car with all our stuff was a trick, but we managed. We drove from Phili to Hershey where Cody spent the day at Hershey Park's kennel while we spent our day in the park. That night we drove from Hershey to State College, PA and once again no problems. The following day we packed up again and headed back to Chicago, stopping in Ohio at a hotel that DH had scoped out as a possibility.

We never made reservations ahead of time, just made sure we had options. That way if travel was slower then expected it was ok and we didn't have to push because we had a reservation down the road.

In a couple weeks I am schlepping Cody and kids to Atlanta for a quick weekend trip. Normally the trip to Atlanta from Chicago is 10-12 hours with no dog depending on construction, traffic, and cops. I'm expecting it to be closer to 12 with Cody in tow. My DH will begin scouting dog-friendly hotels for my trip down. I plan to drive through the night for our return trip. Should be interesting - I've never traveled more then an hour and a half with just dog and kids (and you know that's local travel around here LOL).

Meals will be eaten outside as they were on the summer trip.

Anyhow, I'm sure your trip to HH will be fine (and fun).
 

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All good advice. This past summer we traveled to Buffalo, NY from Madison, Wisconsin. Marley was great. He slept most of the time in the car. Travel with your dog does slow the travel time. A 11.5 hour trip turns into about 14 hours. We cut it in half and stopped at a hotel there and coming back. I was surprised how many hotels allow dogs. Most charge a fee. Of the ones we have used Comfort Inn and Red Roof Inn, The Red Roof was a much nicer room. Stop every 2 or 3 hours. I usually walked/exercised Marley for a good 10/20 minutes, did his business and we were off. We took turns going inside to do our business, and ate outside or in the car if necessary. His eating depended on where we were at, but it worked out well, if you plan your mileage. It worked out so well that we are considering to travel to North Carolina next summer to see my wife's parents. Go and have a great time! I think including your dog in the trip is a great idea, and Marley's presence has definitely changed our idea of what our trip destinations might be in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that you all are a bunch of enablers! :lol:

I appreciate all the stories and advice. I'll be driving alone with the dog and my granddaughter so it will probably be wise to take it slower and stop more often regardless of Charlie's needs. I can only hope that he'll sleep in the car but I won't count on it. Do you think he'll like audiobooks? :D

Someone asked if we were taking his crate. Yes! I will unpack it for the hotel stay so that he is comfortable. I'll do some more searching for a better harnass as well.

I agree that its a good idea to take him on shorter trips but I hate the idea of driving around just as a test run. We'll have to find some place good to visit for a day.

Deb
 

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Deb,
Hope you all have a great vacation, but a small word of warning - I live in the S.C. lowcountry, not too far from Hilton Head. I'm sure you don't anyway, but PLEASE don't let Charlie run loose - especially near water! Most people associate alligators with Florida, but believe me, we have plenty around here, and they do love dogs! Not trying to scare you, but if your doodle loves water as much as mine does, don't let him swim in the lakes and ponds around there - 'gators can be very sneaky, and they are amazingly quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Kim, Yes! There are a ton of alligators in Sea Pines at Hilton Head. For the most part, they stay in the water where it is cool during the summer. I have, however, heard stories about them eating small dogs who strayed too close.

This is something to consider. We only intend to let him play on the beach but I will have to be vigilant while walking him.

Deb
 

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Good - sounds like you've been to HH before! Doodles are way to cute to be gator lunch!! Have fun!
 
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