How To Keep Your Dog Calm During Car Rides

May 9th 2016

Does your dog shake or get anxious when you try to take them on car rides? Most dogs simply love going for car rides, even if it’s just around the neighborhood. However, a small percentage of dogs suffer from anxiety during this activity, making ordinary trips with your canine companion difficult and downright uncomfortable.

Is It Really Anxiety?

Anxiety is usually pretty easy to identify in dogs. In minor cases, they make shake, breathe heavily, hesitate from entering the car and appear nervous. In some of the more severe cases, a dog may whimper or use the restroom in the car, which is something no owner wants to happen.

Whether your dog is suffering from minor or extreme anxiety, it needs to be addressed and fixed. Thankfully, there are certain things you can do to fix car anxiety in just about any situation; here’s how it’s done:

Treats and Practice

The fact of the matter is that your dog isn’t going to get over their anxiety without facing their fear head-on. If they are using the bathroom in your car, take them for a walk before placing them in the car to ensure all their business is done outside. After you’ve walked them, coerce them inside the car by offering them a couple of treats. You can give them one immediately after they enter, while they’re riding, and another one after the car ride is over.

Start off by going for short car rides around the neighborhood. These shorter trips will likely produce less anxiety for your dog, allowing them to slowly get used to it. It may seem silly spending 5 minutes driving around neighborhood, but this is essentially what will cure your dog from their car anxiety.

As your dog grows more accustomed to car rides, try going for longer trips into town. If you need to run to the bank or drive-through at your favorite fast food joint, take your dog with you. A lot of banks even carry dog treats for canine companions who ride in the car.

Roll The Window Down

You can make the trips more enjoyable for your dog by rolling the window down, so they can experience the fresh air. Just be careful not to roll it down too far if your dog is small and could possibly escape. Jumping out of the window of a moving car is dangerous for any dog, no matter what their size.