When you love your pet dearly, it is hard to leave it home while going anywhere. You might want to take your furry friend with you in your car. This is where problems can arise because sometimes, dogs get severe anxiety while riding in a car and experience motion sickness. However, pets can’t go their whole lives avoiding cars because some trips like those to the vet are not optional.
Today, we will be addressing why pets experience these issues and what you can do to help normalize car rides for them.
Identifying the Problem
It is possible that your dog’s reaction to car rides comes purely from a psychological perspective. What this means is that for some reason, your dog has associated bad memories with car rides. For instance, for your pet, the car is only considered as a way to go to the vet or places where it is going to be separated from its owner, such as a dog shelter. To overcome this, you need to identify and avoid triggers which make your dog uncomfortable.
Solving the Problem
There are quite a few things you could implement to correct your dog’s behavior. For starters, you should make sure that your dog gets in the car willingly and feels safe within it. For this, the car needs to feel welcoming and relaxing.
You could do this by starting the car a while before the dog gets in and get the car to a comfortable temperature. Some pups really appreciate it if you keep one window open for fresh air. Finally, turn on some soothing low bass music because dogs get uncomfortable with loud music. If your dog still feels nervous when getting in the car, you should consider crating it before getting it in the car.
Once your pet is in the car, you have to recondition it so that it can start enjoying car rides. Get it accustomed to the moving car. You can start with short distances and gradually build up to longer rides.
Also, make sure you interact with your dog during the journey and try to make the trip as pleasant as possible. Occasionally reward it with treats and toys for its good behavior. Traveling in the car to places which your dog enjoys, such as a dog park, will also let your pet attach positive feelings with car rides.
One other source of inconvenience you need to address is motion sickness, especially in younger dogs. Make sure your furry friend does not have a full stomach before the ride and ask your vet to prescribe motion sickness medicine.
If you follow all these steps with patience, you will be looking forward to enjoyable car rides with your dog in no time. Remember to start with baby steps and not rush your dog.