Dogs either love or hate cars and that is how it’s always been, there are reasons for this and ways to help this, but before we look at how to fix it we must look at the causes.
Every dog is different and you never know how Fido might react but there are certain cues as to why your pal might have dog anxiety in car rides.
One cause is nausea, just like humans dogs can get carsick and not feel well. This may lead to vomiting and will be very noticeable very fast if this is the case. Not all cases of car sickness cause nausea however and you can check your dog for cues. If you suspect your dog has nausea look for yawning, lick smacking, and whining, all of these cues could mean your dog is feeling carsickness.
The next is they could associate the car with a bad place. If your dog has ever been involved in a wreck or you only drive them to the vet they may associate the car with bad times leading them to fear the car.
The last cause I will cover is that they may just not like the vibration or noise of the engine while in the car. This one is less common but still very real when looking at a dog anxiety in car rides almost like PTSD.
Just like why dogs get anxiety the solutions I offer may work for one dog and not the other. All dogs react based on past experiences and some might require other methods. However you should give these options a try to see how your dog reacts.
For Car Sickness there is not much you can do to solve the problem but there are ways to counteract the symptoms. The first thing you'll want to do is contact your veterinarian see what they recommend, some offer advice and some offer medical remedies depending on their practice and the severity.
Another remedy may be CBD or cannabidiol, this hemp based compound has correlation to reducing anxiety in dogs and has loads of other benefits including reducing nausea. Check out our ultimate guide to CBD to find out more.
If your dog is one that associates cars with bad places there are plenty of options. First try taking your dog on a car trip to a park once a week to get him associating car rides with fun times. Another option is to load your car with fun toys or comfy beds so they feel more at home in the car.
Another great way to reduce dog anxiety in car rides is to train them the old fashioned way. Give them a healthy treat when they get in the car and then another if they have a good car ride. This is another association method that will get your dog thinking you car is a treat dispenser.
If none of these work there are still options like anxiety blankets or veterinarian prescribed sedatives. Make sure to contact your veterinarian before changing your dog's diet and to get the best advice for your furry friend. I hope this has helped you or someone you know with dog anxiety in car rides.
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A writer for SitStay dedicated to getting the information out to pet parents about all things pets.