Dog anxiety is common and every pet guardian has to experience a situation when their goofy partner feels uneasy approaching the car. It’s hard for anyone to leave their most friendly travel partner at home and even more difficult to take them along as they might drool, whine or feel Nausea in the car. Though after a time, they get acquainted and don’t need your assistance while traveling in a car. But in the initial days, you need to look after their health and feel comfortable visiting in the car. Only then will you be able to take your goofy partner on long trips with you.
Some dogs are super comfortable traveling long distances in a car and on the other hand, some dogs start feeling Nausea just by seeing a moving car. If your dog is feeling Nausea while sitting in a moving car then it might be due to motion sickness.
The other major reason for which your dog could feel sick is due to a bad event that happened to them in the past. It might be a car accident or getting trapped in a car or any other large moving machinery. It’s normal for all of us. Being human we also feel motion sickness and Nausea while traveling. All you need to consider meanwhile is to make your dog comfortable sitting in the car and teach them how they can join you in your trip comfortably sitting on the front seat.
Introducing your dog to the car:
The first and foremost step to helping your dog overcome car anxiety is to make him familiar with the car. A dog needs to see a car like other instruments he plays with. Only after this, he will be able to get over car anxiety. You can introduce your dog to the car using the following steps.
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Step 1: Start by walking toward the car. If your dog follows you without any tantrums then award them with a good meal or their favorite toys.
Step 2: Keep repeating the same for a couple of days until you feel that your dog is comfortable seeing a moving car.
Congratulations! Your dog is now partially trained to join you on the next car trip.
Step 3: Now your dog knows that it is a common object and it can’t harm them. It’s great and now it’s time to move to the next step and teach your dog to sit in the car.
Teach your dog to sit in the car
To teach them first you need to observe what their intention is by seeing the open door of a car. They might get anxious or start feeling a little tense by seeing an open door of a car. After all, it’s new for them. But the struggle doesn’t stop here and you need to encourage them to move towards the car and join them in the driving seat.
Step 4: For this, open the door of the car and see what they do with it. Whether they move backward or stand comfortably next to the car without any feeling of anxiety.
If they move backward or do something unusual then repeat the first and second steps a couple of times again. Make sure to keep the doors of the car open this time.
If your dog is standing still next to the car then they are ready to move to the next step.
Step 5: Now you get inside the car and see whether the dog joins you or not. Also, if he refuses to join you then make them feel like it’s a safe place for them and they will feel comfortable there(inside the car). It might take some time to accept that there can be other comfortable places than a couch or a beanbag placed inside a home. You can also offer them a toy or food inside the car so that they get comfortable getting into the car.
Repeat the steps for multiple days until the dog himself starts joining you in the car.
Teach Your Dog to Enjoy Riding in the Car
Now as your dost starts to join you in the car and doesn’t feel anxious anymore while sitting inside the car it’s time to add motion to your car.
Step 6: Initially, take your dog for a short drive. Maybe to a park nearby or the local market.
Keep doing this for a couple of days and observe the change in behavior of the dog. Also, remember to increase the distance as your dogs get comfortable with the drive. Meanwhile, praise your dog for this bravery and award them with soft toys, favorite food, or something that he loves to eat.
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Beware! Don’t just take a U-turn back to your home if you are going to your dog’s favorite place like a park or somewhere like this. Get them out and let them play with other pets in the park or maybe with the kids before returning home.
Step 7: If your furry partner is comfortably joining you on short trips without drooling or whining in the car then he is ready to join you on long trips as well. Whereas if he is having any issues while short drives like feeling Nausea or drooling then consult a Veterinarian to help them out. Your dog might feel anxious in the car due to some health issues that could be treated with medicines.
After treating the medical condition of your dog here comes the final and most important step. You need to check whether the dog is okay staying alone inside the car. Generally, the thought of locking up inside a moving object haunts pets. Not only pets but kids also get anxious in such situations. So, you need to check whether your goofy partner is comfortable getting locked inside the car. Of Course, you will never do such a thing with him intentionally. But it’s important to consider such things before taking them for a long trip.
Check their comfortability inside a locked car
Step 8: To check their reaction inside a locked car, encourage them to sit in the car and close the door from the outside. If their reaction changes as soon as you close the door this means that he is still not comfortable sitting in the car alone. Repeat this for multiple days gradually increasing the timing to check how adaptable your dog could be.
I hope that these tips will surely help you to deal with your dog’s car anxiety. Dog stress is common during long trips if they are not given proper training before the trip. Hence you need to consider this situation before planning any long car trip with your pet dog.