Hello,

We are welcoming our new double doodle home in a few weeks and I'm trying to prepare for multiple outings with him.  He'll be 8 weeks old when we get him and I know he won't get some important vaccines until he is 4 months old.  But what do I do when I do need to take him out?  I'm guessing it won't be okay to leave him at home in his crate for a while, but I need to drop my daughter's off at school each day, pick them up, drop them off at tennis, and then pick them up again.  I'm assuming I'll have to take him in the car with my for these trips?  My daughters' also have tennis matches each week and I'm guessing I'll need to take him with me since I'll be away from home for 3-8 hours at a time.  So I'm wondering how this works?  Is there a great crate that I should use for riding in the car that's easy to carry to the tennis courts?  Do you have any recommendations?  What if he has to go potty while we're out?  Do I let him go on the concrete or grass or do I bring puppy pads with me?  I want to make sure he's safe and I would rather not leave him home until he's much more comfortable in his crate.  Thanks for your help!

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  • I think it's an important skill for puppies to learn to stay by themselves from the very beginning. I'm not talking about the 3-8 hour events, but the picking up and dropping off. One of the things that worries me about the Covid puppies with all the work from home people is that some of these puppies don't know how to be alone. And people might eventually have to go back to work. The puppies are going to find it earth shattering. 

    But that's not what you asked. 

    The question of how to safely take an unvaccinated puppy out and about is one of the great debates. I think the importance of socialization outweighs the risk of the puppy getting sick. But at the same time I'm very afraid of the puppy getting sick. For me, that means if I have to put the puppy on the ground she will be in a place where I feel the least amount of dogs have been. That means the corner park near the kennel club where all the other dogs have been? Not there. I wouldn't let her anywhere near a dog park or on the floor at the pet store. But generally out of the way places where a lot of people don't walk their dogs. I have been on some dog transports with puppies and they do NPOG - no paws on the ground. They use tarps and puppy pads for the dogs to potty on. I don't really want to teach my puppy to potty on pads. It's a challenge, but I think if you're careful you'll be fine.

    • Thank you, Stacy.  That is so helpful and makes me feel better about leaving him while I take the girls to school/tennis.  During the matches, I'll just take extra precautions to keep him safe.  

  • In an effort to get my puppy out into the world, I did a lot of driving all over the place.  We had an exercise pen (about 5x5 when set up in a square).  Underneath it, in the house, I put a vinyl tablecloth with a felty underside.  It was waterproof so would protect the rug beneath it.  Once we quit using that in the house, I would take it with me.  Set it on the ground and put the exercise pen on top.  I would sit in there with puppy and reward with treats for quiet behavior.  You can also buy a pack of puppy pads and tape them (or buy the stickky backed ones) onto a cheap plastic table cloth and lay that out for puppy to potty on.  There are ways to minimize risk.  Puppies also sleep for many hours during the day so a 3 hour trip should be fine.  But beyond that might be too long early on.  

    • Thanks Adina!  I love the idea of the exercise pen and vinyl tablecloth.  That would allow him to be protected and still be out of his crate (or my arms) while we're out for extended periods of time.  How do you transport the puppy in the car?  Do you use a crate or harness or does he just ride free in the car?  

      • I use a harness and seatbelt attachment.  

      • I crate. I watched those harness crash test videos on youtube and I don't want them to be a projectile. But full disclosure, if we're just going a couple miles and not getting on the highway I let them ride loose in the back and it's their favorite thing ever.

        • And I never drive on highways, as you know. I only ever go a couple of miles. I drive less than 4000 miles a year. I also have an SUV that has a very high safety rating in crash tests. So I feel okay with the harness/seat belt combo. 

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