Imagine you are about to go out but you are dreading getting in the car because today, you need to take your dog. You know from past experience that it’s going to be a very unpleasant journey, you know that your dog will make this a memorable trip, for all the wrong reasons.
Dog travel anxiety effects many dogs. It can manifest in many ways; some dogs bark, some dogs whine and whimper, some dogs become over excited and won’t sit still, jumping around the car and all over you and other dogs become physically sick and even vomit in the car.
It can be dangerous, while you are concentrating on what your dog is doing, you are not concentrating on the road. How ever dog car anxiety manifests in your dog, one theme is common, it’s unpleasant for your dog and it’s not enjoyable for you either!
Today we look at some ways that you can minimize your dog’s travel anxiety and reduce the incidence of dog car sickness.
Then we look at;
Exercise to Reduce Dog Travel Anxiety.
Exercise is one of the best ways to manage dog car anxiety. Exercise can greatly reduce the dog’s anxiety, especially for those dogs who have a lot of natural energy. Taking your dog for a long and vigorous walk and help to tire your dog, so that when they get into the car they are ready for a rest period.
Diet to Reduce Dog Car Sickness.
Never feed your dog a large amount of food or water just prior to going for a trip in the car. You might think that if your dog has a full belly that they will be more calm and relaxed, but anyone who observes dog behavior will notice that dogs get a burst of energy just after eating.
Change Your Attitude to Traveling with your Dog.
You might have often heard, we get what we expect. If you are anxious about taking your dog on car trips your body can expel certain pheromones that will get your dog on edge.
You must always act calmly and confidently when taking your dog into a potentially stressful situation.
If your dog is concerned about getting into the car, you can try some positive re-enforcement methods to help them overcome their fear or anxious feelings.
Guide your dog into the car while in a stationary position with the engine off. As soon as your dog is in the car, praise them and give them affection or a dog treat.
Call the dog out of the car and reward that behavior with a pat. Them get them back into the car and reward with a treat or lots of affection. Each time you put them back in the car extend the period they are in the car.
Try this until your dog is getting into the car by themselves and sits/lays down and is calm before giving the reward. This way you are rewarding good behavior and the behavior you want them to continue.
Next try the same methods with the car stationary but with the engine on (in park with the hand break on). Wait until your dog is comfortable and well behaved in the car before giving a reward.
Next start by moving the car. Only reverse or move forward a few feet in the beginning. Praise your dog when they are behaving appropriately.
Remember, don’t wait until your dog is exhibiting anxious behavior before stopping the car.
Look for signs of anxiety, changes in body language, standing up, sudden movement of the head for example.
Using Physical Tools for Dog Car Travel.
Car Seats for Dogs.
There are a number of tools that you can use to make the car travel with your dog safer and more enjoyable. Dog Car Seats can make your dog feel more secure and some have the option to tether your dog safely to stop them from moving around in the car.
Anti Anxiety Dog Coats.
There are anti anxiety dog coats that have worked very well for some dogs, keeping the dog calm while traveling. To learn more about anti anxiety dog coats visit ThunderShirt.com or see my article titled ThunderShirt for Dogs.
There are some suggestions that can help you manage your dog more effectively, reduce dog car sickness and stop dog travel anxiety.