Tips for traveling w/ dogs for long car rides?

kittenslingerie

Go Saints!
O.G.
Aug 25, 2006
6,075
159
We just got back from evacuating from hurricane Gustave yesterday. It was a 20 hour ride to our hotel in Atlanta and about 12 hrs home. One of my pugs almost died from dyhyration according to the emergency vet that treated her in Atlanta. The day we arrived she collapsed, could not move, and her tongue turned almost solid white. We rushed her to the vet and she was given fluid injections and made it back to New Orleans safely yesterday. The problem is that all 3 dogs are still very stressed and not eating or drinking as much as normal, their skin is also somewhat saggy which is an early sign of dyhydration. We may have to evacuate again depending on hurricane Ike at the end of the week, so I am freaking out about them making the ride safely. We keep them as cool as possible in the car with us and try to walk and water them every few hours. Any advice?
 

Lakritze

♥
O.G.
Jun 4, 2006
1,054
1
Germany
I'm so sorry you have to go through this additional stress. Give your poor puppies a gentle hug from me.

Do you think it would be possible to let them drink every hour? I know this will be very stressful, but I think your dogs might be dehydration even faster because they know it is an unusual situation. It seems like they need to drink more often.

Maybe could try to play with your dogs a little on every stop. Let them run around so they can relax when they are back in the car.

I hope you will be safe and don't have to evacuate again.
 

smallfry

My Sweet Angel
O.G.
Dec 18, 2005
7,422
2,863
USA
In addition to the extra water, how about ice cubes? And watermelon...if you cut it into little chunks and feed them some throughout the trip, I bet they would love it!
 

Odette

<3 life
O.G.
Aug 20, 2007
11,449
2
www.twitter.com
I would suggest more water - every hour if possible. They make foldable bowls for traveling purposes that would be fine while you're driving. Also, use the a/c and make sure that if they have darker fur that the sun coming in through the windows isn't making them overheat.
 

e.Kat

Member
May 22, 2008
659
0
From your siggy pic...I gather that you have all brachycephalic dogs? (smooshy faces?!?!) Dogs loose moisture through panting, and most dogs will pant like crazy when they're nervous or overheated. As everyone said, keep them as cool as possible and stop as often as possible for water breaks. You could talk to you regular vet about learning how to give her fluids under the skin at home. If you explained the situation, they might be willing to do that in the case of an emergency. It won't help if she's severely dehydrated, but it may help prevent her from getting to that point.

Also - you could purchase a few shammies (sp?) to use as "capes" for them. You can get them at most auto supply stores or even wal-mart. Just get them wet and they will help them stay cool!
 

JSH812

horses&hounds
Jan 23, 2008
2,990
1
wild&wonderful
I've given mine Gatorade on days where I think they are dehydrated, and I know it has a lot of sodium, but sometimes.... you let them get liquids any way you can. Maybe you could buy a bottle of Rescue Remedy to keep on hand. It's easy to squirt into their mouths or on treats. Good luck!
 

chessmont

O.G.
Aug 22, 2006
12,111
1,844
CA
If the vet will show you how, and send with you the supplies to do it there are fluids in a bag that you give subcutaneously (under the skin, like an IV drip but just under the skin - it sounds terrifying to try, but if the vet will let you, you hydrate the pets that way during the ride. Stressed or not, they will stay hydrated without having to drink. I did it for several of my dogs when they were sick and wouldn't drink on their own.

It may not be something you feel up to trying, and maybe the vet won't do it, but thought I would throw in this suggestion.

Perhaps a large plastic syringe from the vet, and dribble the water into their mouths?

---Oops, I need to read all the posts I see a PP has already suggested that:shame:
 
Last edited:

kittenslingerie

Go Saints!
O.G.
Aug 25, 2006
6,075
159
Great suggestions, especially the watermelon could work. The problem with more water breaks is that they won't really drink I think they are too stressed and excited). The more stops, the more they seem to get overheated and pant, unfortunately. I purchased a water feeder that hangs on the side of their crate similar to a rabbit water bottle feeder. I also plan on seeing my regular vet early this week and see what he thinks about their situation. I googled dyhydration and moist dog food was suggested to keep them hydrated. I plan on giving them the moist food right before we leave (if we have to leave this time).
 

Lakritze

♥
O.G.
Jun 4, 2006
1,054
1
Germany
The moist dogfood won't help keeping them hydrated during the trip. Maybe you vet can recommend something like Bach Rescue Remedy to help calm them down.
 

aklein

Member
Dec 30, 2007
10,683
2
If they get stressed and don't eat or drink, you may want to consider sedating them for the possible trip. It could make the transition a little less painful for all of you. Just talk to your vet and see what she thinks. As for possibly doing the subcutaneous fluids yourself, it is really easy and all the vets that I've worked for were willing to allow clients to do it at home.
I evacuated with my kitties to northern Mississippi. I actually had some left over Valium and gave it to Piper because she was getting too stressed on the trip. It did help.
 

nprotundo

Member
Oct 23, 2007
1,241
0
39
We just got back from evacuating from hurricane Gustave yesterday. It was a 20 hour ride to our hotel in Atlanta and about 12 hrs home. One of my pugs almost died from dyhyration according to the emergency vet that treated her in Atlanta. The day we arrived she collapsed, could not move, and her tongue turned almost solid white. We rushed her to the vet and she was given fluid injections and made it back to New Orleans safely yesterday. The problem is that all 3 dogs are still very stressed and not eating or drinking as much as normal, their skin is also somewhat saggy which is an early sign of dyhydration. We may have to evacuate again depending on hurricane Ike at the end of the week, so I am freaking out about them making the ride safely. We keep them as cool as possible in the car with us and try to walk and water them every few hours. Any advice?
I find that when my dogs are sick and we are afraid of dehydration--our doctors always recommend pedialite. However, they never drink it! So one day by accident, I was sick and left a bowl of chicken broth on the table and my dogs drank it all!! Since then, when they get sick and throw up, etc we give them chicken broth and they just drink it up. Of course, we get the lower sodium kind and it still contains some sodium but its better than them not drinking any thing at all and they will drink all the chicken broth that we give them. You dont have to heat it up either so you can take it on car rides.
 

lionlaw

Member
Jul 13, 2007
5,904
2
They make a dog bed that is flat called the canine cooler that you fill with water and it keeps the dog cool. I purchased it for my diabetic dog and lay it down in the back for him to lay on when we travel. I also freeze milk into milk pops and give them to him as we drive.
 

rothjess

...
Jun 29, 2007
628
1
45
DC Metro Area
I'm so sorry you have to go through all the evacuations, but I am glad you and your doggies are safe. My girl used to stress out terribly during long car rides and thunderstorms. The doc gave her a prescription for valium which would help her cope. If your guys aren't eating / drinking due to stress, you may want to discuss these options with your vet. I'm sure evacuating is stressful all around, and they'll pick up on it, so they may need a little medicinal help if they're not accepting water.
 
Oct 2, 2007
849
10
Atlanta, GA
I agree with the sedation idea. It will really help with their stress. My greyhound has to be sedated during thunderstorms and car rides--it sounds like the "easy way out" for you, but it really helps them!