Even if you secure your dog with a special doggie car seat or harness, some dogs may still feel scared and experience stress during car rides. Unfortunately, most people don’t have a vet’s office within walking distance, so using the car is unavoidable. To help out pet owners with sensitive dogs, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help keep them calm during the ride.
- Bring a Friend – Until your dog gets used to car rides, bring an extra person along who can pet and soothe the dog while you’re driving.
- Talk – If you can’t bring a friend, you can reassure your dog by constantly talking to her in a calm, measured voice. Remember to tell her how good she’s being!
- Positive Reinforcement – Bring treats and toys with you in the car. Once the destination is reached, reward your dog with lots of attention and goodies. If you do this every time, he will begin to associate car rides with good things!
- Put a Blanket Down – This can be a blanket that your dog uses or one that you use regularly. The dog’s own scent or the scent of her owner will help to keep her calm.
- Take Breaks – If you’re going on a long trip, remember to take regular rest stops so that your dog can stretch, wind down and, of course, go to the bathroom.
- Be Patient – It’s possible that your nervous dog will have accidents the first few times he takes a ride in the car. Keep up the positive reinforcement. You can also get a car seat cover to protect your car from urine and other fluids.