There are times when your dog must travel in a car. Not having to worry about your dog’s anxiety during car rides is really a plus for those of us blessed with good traveling companions.
It is important not to let your pet’s only car rides be to the veterinarian’s office (where he remembers having that painful shot) or to the groomers (where it felt like his hair was being pulled out).
3 Ways to Ease Dog Anxiety
There are some steps you can follow to help calm your dog’s anxiety. It is best to start teaching your dog how to enjoy riding in cars at an early age, but older dogs can also learn that going for a Sunday drive can be awesome.
- For starters, try getting your pet to sit in the seat with you a few minutes each day. Do this until he seems comfortable inside the vehicle.
- Next, it’s time for some short trips. When you need to go to the post office or to get some gas, take your pooch with you. Even a few spins up and down the driveway will work. Always have treats on hand to commend your pet on his good behavior. A little praise (positive reinforcement) goes a long way during training (for anything).
- Once your dog seems at ease with riding, take him on slightly longer trips. Try to go to places that represent fun times for him — maybe the beach or a park.
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Car Motion Sickness
Motion sickness is an issue with some dogs. Drive cautiously, avoiding bumps in the road, sudden stops or anything that could cause your pup to become nauseated.
Keep the car cool, and have cleaning supplies handy in case your dog vomits. And don’t scold him if he throws up. Scolding only worsen the anxiety.
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Just to be on the safe side, discuss your pet’s riding problems with your vet. She may recommend Cerenia to prevent vomiting, along with an anti-anxiety drug.
For more tips on making your dog’s car rides a more pleasant experience, watch this video:
Use a Pet Carrier
According to The Completely Healthy Dog Handbook, like humans, most canines feel better sitting in the front seat. Since it is not safe to have your pet where he can snuggle up to your feet while you’re driving, you may want to put him in a pet carrier for cars, strapping it to the front seat so he’ll feel more comfortable.