What it’s really like taking a new puppy on holiday

Puppy’s first road trip

We decided to have a wee holiday in Devon for Easter. The journey would take approximately five hours. Ed and I packed a small suitcase each. Elvis had considerably more luggage that us! We brought his crate for sleeping in, his travel carrier, and a rucksack with spare blankets, puppy pads, toys, food, chews and tiny jumpers.

The car journey

We left at 9.30am. The journey started off well. Elvis is used to journeys of about an hour. We usually put him in his travel carrier with a blanket and a chew and he’s perfectly content. He lasted about two hours before he started to whine. We spoke to him to reassure him, but the whining got increasingly frequent. We decided to stop for a comfort break, and let Elvis out for a run around and a pee. He was overjoyed to get out and get some cuddles. He wasn’t too pleased and getting put back into the travel carrier. When he started to whine again, we spoke to him, but didn’t stop, because we can’t let him think that we’ll stop every time he whined, otherwise we’d never get to Devon!

Staying in a holiday home with a new pup

We eventually arrived at the holiday home at around 4.30pm. Elvis had spent most of the day in his travel carrier. We got in, and snuggled on the sofa. Elvis was really clingy, and gave us lots of licks and cuddles. We all had some dinner, then went to bed at 10pm. That’s when the real challenge began. Elvis is good at going to sleep as soon as he’s put into his crate at home. He knows what happens at sleepy time, and knows that there’s no point in fighting it. Now that we’ve had him for 7 weeks, we’ve got him into a bedtime routine. I naively thought that he’d be willing to follow the same procedure on holiday. Not so! He whined as soon as the lights went off. We tried to ignore it, because he can’t learn that whining = cuddles. But after an hour, I worried that maybe he needed the bathroom, so I took him into the bathroom, put down a puppy pad, and tried to convince him to wee. He wouldn’t. So I took him to the kitchen in case he wanted water or food. He didn’t. I was getting pissed off by that stage, and put him back in his crate. The whining didn’t end there. I ignored it until 12.30am. He was really howling by that point. I took him outside and he weed on a plant. We then went straight back to the crate. I fell asleep at that point, but Ed had to get up with him at 3.30am because he was whining again. We think he was unsettled about his new surroundings. The second night was much better.

Territory Marking

The T&Cs of the booking stated that dogs were welcome as long as they were well trained. Nervously, I had clicked on ‘Agree’. Now, we had to live up to that. I was so paranoid about him doing his business indoors that I took him outside to wee every couple of hours. He’s going through a phase of wanting to mark his own territory. He particularly likes weeing on clothes that are lying on the floor. I picked up all cushions etc that he would think were fair game.

He’s been pretty good so far, with one or two mishaps we’ll see how the rest of the holiday goes!

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Julie x




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