Transporting your Puppy
Caring for your new pup starts the moment you collect him or her and get into your car to go home. Depending on how far the journey will be, you will need to be prepared with towels and kitchen roll, plus a bin-liner or carrier bags to put soiled towelling etc., in case of motion sickness.
On a short journey of an hour or so, the above is usually enough. If the journey is much longer, you may want to think about putting the puppy in a puppy crate in the rear of the car to help it to lay down and settle. Covering the crate with a blanket reduces the stress for the pup, but it is important not to let it overheat. There must be plenty of air circulating through the crate, especially in hot sunny weather.
If you wrap a hot water bottle in a towel, this may help calm the pup. However, every pup is an individual. One may cope with travel better in a cage, whilst another will be perfectly happy for hours sleeping on an adult’s lap in the back seat of the car.
Please be aware that if a pup is in a cage or crate in the rear, it must be properly anchored to stop it from moving around during the journey. Someone should be in a position to keep an eye on the pup at all times. If a pup is settled, you are better to just keep on travelling, but should the pup become distressed and start howling, it may be better to revert to the short distance tips above, to provide the pup with human interaction and contact and help it to settle and sleep.
If the pup has been asleep for a while, once it awakes it will need a toilet stop. It is not advised that you allow your pup onto a layby or roadside area. There is a heightened risk of coming into contact with urine from rats or other dogs. This will very likely contain a variety of serious or even fatal diseases, as your puppy will not yet have completed its full course of vaccinations. Because of this, it is advised to keep the puppy on towels in the vehicle to do what it has to do naturally.
You can offer your pup a drink of clean, fresh water and on a very long journey, a small amount of food. If you are very lucky, your pup may lay down and sleep for most of the journey!
If your vehicle has a closed boot rather than a hatchback, this should not be where you put your pup’s crate or cage. There will be no air circulation and it will be very noisy, resulting in a Vizsla, or any other type of sensitive HPR breed having a life-long fear of travelling in a vehicle.