If you are a pet owner who enjoys the company of your dogs, you obviously want to take them with you wherever you go. However, while most dogs enjoy going for drives with their owners, some dread the thought of riding in the car.
If your dog experiences difficulty with riding in the car with you, this may signify two things: Either they are afraid of riding in the car for whatever reason, or they simply experience motion sickness during car rides, which makes the whole process very uncomfortable for them. As a loving pet owner, therefore, it is your responsibility to help your dog become more accustomed to car rides, so that they can always tag along with you whenever you are driving.
Today, we are going to explore some of the ways you can train your dog to be more comfortable riding in the car with you. So without much ado, let us begin.
Help You Dog Overcome Fears Associated with Cars
Most dogs tend to develop a fear of cars due to past negative experiences in the car, such as car accidents or uncomfortable trips to the vet. If your dog has car anxiety that is unrelated to motion sickness, you will need to lovingly support it to overcome this phobia, so that it can develop positive feelings towards car rides. You can do so by slowly introducing your dog to the car and allowing it to become comfortable with the car.
Instead of forcing your dog into the car, slowly lure it using positive reinforcement and treats. This will allow it to develop a positive relationship with the car. If your dog’s phobia is mild, you can begin to see positive results within a very short period. However, if your dog has deep-seated car anxiety issues, you may need to train it over several sessions. Just as with all other pet training exercises, patience is key. The more sympathetic and supportive you are when helping your dog deal with car phobia, the better results you will see.
To help acclimate your dog to car rides, it is also recommended that you begin with short trips. If you take your dog on a prolonged trip on your first attempt, they are likely to get tired and more anxious. Try driving your dog for a few blocks at first, and then gradually increase the distance over time. You can also help your dog overcome car anxiety by taking it to fun destinations during your first long car ride. A drive to the beach or a dog park will allow your dog to develop a positive impression of car rides, thereby helping reduce their phobia.
Help your Dog Overcome Motion Sickness
Motion sickness is without a doubt one of the common difficulties that dogs face when riding in cars. This condition mostly affects puppies, since their inner ear structures that control balance are not fully developed. While most dogs naturally overcome the problem with time, some may need more assistance to be able to deal with motion sickness.
If your dog frequently vomits or drools excessively when riding in the car, you can help ease their motion sickness using the following tips:
- Keep the temperature inside the car cool throughout the ride using your car’s air conditioner.
- Lower the car’s windows when driving to increase air circulation in the car
- Limit your dog’s food and water intake for a few hours before the drive
- Give your dog a treat every time they enter the car to make them more at ease when driving
- Give your dog frequent breaks between long car rides and trips
- Exercise your dog for a few minutes before the car ride to reduce stress and anxiety
- Carry some dog toys in the car when riding with your dog to keep them engaged throughout the car ride
- Consult with your dog’s vet on the appropriate medication that can reduce your dog’s motion sickness.
A Final Word
Teaching your dog how to ride in the requires some patience and effort. However, by helping your dog overcome car anxiety and motion sickness, you will enjoy the benefits of taking your pet companion with you wherever you go.