How Can I Solve Dog Anxiety In The Car? Travelling by a dog or dogs in the car is an excellent way of sharing your travel experience with your family, including those furry friends. However, some dogs can suffer from severe anxiety when travelling. The results of this can be disturbing for the driver and uncomfortable for everyone in the car, none more so than the dog that is suffering.
Many problems that can occur with dog anxiety are Barking, Crying and Shaking. Sometimes your dog may even take a wee or a poop to try and free some stress. They may also drool and find it very difficult to sit quietly.
When we first got Ralph, we struggled in the car as he would bark on every journey, but only on the way to the destination. On the way back, he would be too tired and fall asleep. However, we didn’t find that he would more than likely be sick if he had been fed before the journey.
The barking became a significant problem as the drive would be stressful and often cause me issues behind the wheel. Even though my partner would have hold of him, it was still too distracting. There are many problems to help combat this, such as car seats, supplements and vests.
So what Causes Anxiety in Dogs?
Simply just a moving vehicle. This can cause such a sudden behaviour change, especially in small dogs. They can quickly feel unstable or overwhelmed and struggle to deal with this strange sensation. If you have a loud car or an older car, this can also trigger anxiety.
Dogs can be riding along in cars many times a week and not have any issues, then suddenly, they become anxious. As with humans, one of the most common reasons could be a bad experience. Braking hard, accidents or even a bit of road rage. This could cause your little puppy to hate being in the car suddenly.
Also, if every trip you take in the car with your dog is to the vet or a place of discomfort for your dog, they will hate it. Dogs quickly associate the car trip with a negative experience. Try taking them to the park or somewhere lovely for a walk regular. This will ensure that they don’t always feel something terrible will happen.
Always remember, Treats are the best way to your dog’s heart. No matter what the trip, your dog should be rewarded, ensuring they understand that not all is bad.
5 tips for Solving Dog Anxiety In The Car
Practice, Practice, Practice…
Putting your doggie in a car for the first time can be daunting. They will react, act differently, and most of all, want to get back out. However, if you give up, they will never learn.
With Ralph, he hated the car. He tried getting out. He barked, cried, and made himself sick with stress. He simply did not want to be in the car. We decided that we could only get him to like the vehicle by taking regular trips.
We started by every morning before work, and evening after work, we would take him for a quick drive around the estate. This meant that he was in the car. He believed we would be going out and would be travelling. After several days, maybe even a week, he started to calm down. This did require a lot of treats and, on occasion, halfway round, getting him out of the car and making him think we had gone somewhere lovely and unique.
The more you do this, the easier it becomes. If like us, you like to travel and want to take your pets with you, then you must PRACTICE. We recently took Ralph on a 3 hour trip to Mablethorpe, and he made it with no fuss.
Take Regular Breaks where Required
If you know your dog suffers, don’t punish them. Long drives are tiring but feel even longer if you suffer from anxiety in a car. If required, set off earlier and take regular breaks along the way. There is nothing worse for a dog or a family member than being stuck in a car when they are suffering. The difference is that dogs cannot tell you. They will just bark.
Another great idea is a little walk and playtime before you go. This could tire your dog out enough to be able to, hopefully, sleep whilst on the journey.
And finally, let your dog strengthen its legs as often as possible if going on a long journey.
In September 2020, roughly, a new law came into the UK which advises all motorists that travel with dogs to buckle them up. ( see an article from BlueCross ). Dog Seat Belts are cheap, and there is only one reason why all dog owners shouldn’t have one, and that’s if you don’t own a car. Plug the seat belt into the clip in your car, and then attach the clip to your dog’s harness. They cannot roam around your car or get free. This acts as a form of security and will pass UK laws. However, for additional comfort, a Dog Car Seat is an excellent way of keeping your dog secure and comfortable.
Dog Travel Crates are another great way of getting your dog around comfortably and safely. The great thing with a travel crate is they are used as a carrier. So you can not only travel around with your dog, but you can also carry them. This helps for trips to the vets or groomers where your dog might not want to walk anywhere.
Slow Down. Is there a rush?
Travel sickness can be caused by excessive speed. Although the speed limit on a motorway is 70mph, do you need to go faster? Think about who is in the car with you, their body language, actions, and size.
Furthermore, winding roads and hard braking are also another major cause of nausea in children and dogs. Slow down, check your surroundings and finally, pay attention. Keeping anxiety and stress levels to a minimum will help a relaxed and safe journey for all to enjoy.
If you feel you have exhausted all options and still cannot stop your dog’s anxiety and sickness, speak with your vet. There are travel sickness pills available for dogs, but your vet needs to prescribe
Calming the dog with supplements before a trip might be the only way to prevent your dog’s anxiety. CBD Treats are a great way of ensuring your doggie can take the treat and have a pleasant, safe journey.
Choosing the Best Products for Dog Anxiety
Quickest and easiest way to help prevent anxiety in your dogs is by using treats. All-natural and calming treats
An easy way to fix dog car anxiety without making your dog consume medicine is through all-natural treats that have a calming effect. Treat him with some before, during and after a car ride, both as a praise/reward and to decrease your pup’s level of anxiety.