How Get Dogs Comfortable In The Car

  • 05/07/2019

Pop-culture is full of dogs riding in cars with their heads lolling happily out of the windows, but many dog owners know the unfortunate other side of the coin, a dog that just can’t stand being cramped up in a car.

Some dogs handle car rides nicely and are thrilled to jump in, but others face terrible anxiety about automobiles. Their nervousness can manifest in constant jumping around, which is a hazard, barking and whining, which is irritating, or vomiting and going to the bathroom, which is extremely unpleasant.

Of course, the best thing is to keep a dog that hates the car out of your vehicle, but that isn’t always possible. Dogs have to go to the vet and sometimes you have to take them places. After prepping your car for everything your dog can deliver, there are several methods to arrange for a way to have your dog feel better about the experience.

●      Crate in the back: Dogs love having their own space. If you put a crate for them in the car they might feel calmer about travel. Try to make this space level if possible and keep it from shifting so that it feels solid. Having them in a crate is also one of the best ways to protect them in case of accident.

●      Get your dog used to the car: Make some practice runs that involve treats in the car, without any motion. Tempt your dog in with a favorite treat and then let them out relatively immediately. This might get them to associate the car with a good experience. Then you can get them acclimatized slowly. After a couple runs without doing anything, try turning on the engine with the dog in the car. Then start in on some very short rides. Eventually, your dog might get the hang of the car being a fun place.

●      Take your dog somewhere exciting for them: When a Dog only associates the car with the vet it’s no wonder they might dislike it. Take your dog to a fun place to run for them and maybe they’ll have better associations.

Other potential strategies include:

●      Calming smells: there are diffusers that create a calming scent for dogs that help them with anxiety.

●      Music that helps alleviate anxiety: There are sites that recommend dog calming music.

●      Walk first: Getting your dog some exercise before a car ride will help them feel less stressed and more tired out.

If your dog has serious anxiety or motion sickness however, you’ll need to consult a vet. Consider getting pet insurance to cover some of the medications or therapies involved and don’t lose heart. Even the most skittish dog can learn to love the car.

Sarah Archer

Sarah is a Content and PR manager at Your Best Digs. She’s passionate about evaluating everyday home products to help customers save time and money. When she’s not putting a product’s promise to the test, you’ll find her hiking a local trail or collecting stamps in her passport.

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