Dog Car Anxiety and Fear of Car Rides

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Written By LuisWert

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Are you a pet owner of a dog that hates car rides or is ill when the idea of taking a car ride is mentioned to them? Dogs don’t associate car rides with positive things. They go to the vet or groomer, which may be outings they don’t like.

These are the steps to relax your dog and allow you to enjoy car rides with your dog.

Dogs can feel more comfortable riding in cars if they are taught to associate the car with positive things. For fresh air, you can open the car windows a bit before starting these exercises. You might want to work at night or in the morning if it is hot. It is possible to cool your car before you bring your dog outside, but don’t blow the air conditioner on your dog. Be sure to praise your dog for any progress she makes.

Here are some ways to get your dog to love riding in the car.

Step 1: Do not feed your dog before you do the exercise. Begin by taking a short walk to your car. For safety, if your car is not in a fenced driveway, you can keep it on a loose leash. You can open the car door to hand your dog food or a favorite toy. Walk back to your house if your dog refuses to get in the car. If your dog does manage to get in the car, you can move on to step 2. For six days, repeat this step up to three more times daily.

Step 2: Once your dog has a positive association with the car, get in the car and hold the lead. You can tell her how much she loves car rides and give her one more bite of food or the toy. Then, go back to your house. If she seems hesitant, continue the process three more times per day. Once she’s comfortable with the idea, move further inside the car until she can reach the kibble or toy. Repeat the process three times daily for six days if necessary. When she is more relaxed, you will be able to surprise her and get in. As you get further into the car, you can make it more exciting by offering a tempting food item (such as boiled chicken).

Step 3: Your dog should be able walk and sit in the car after six days. If your dog is still refusing to climb in, you can gently lift her up and assist her. If you intend to ride with your dog, attach a seatbelt. As a reward, you can sit next to your dog and pet it. Next, you can teach her a release word such as “OK” and then climb out (you first) to go for a walk. Three times a day is enough.

Step 4: Next day, repeat steps 3 and have your dog eat the entire meal in the car. Let her eat in the car while you sit next to her. Once she is done, give her an “OK” sign and go for a walk.

Step 5: Eat again Step 5: Go out for dinner again! Do not go anywhere, just start the engine. Let the motor run if she is willing to eat. If she is not willing to eat with the motor running, turn it off and let her finish eating. Release her and go for a walk together.

Step 6: If your dog stops eating while the motor is on, you can give it a better-value food the following day. You can repeat the activity from the previous day: Have a delicious dinner and go for a walk with the motor running. You can practice daily or nightly until your dog becomes comfortable with climbing in and out of cars and enjoying dinner with the motor running.

Step 7: Now you are ready for the most important event, the car ride! As you would every day, go out with your dog, jump in your car, and start the engine. Take the dog to dinner, but don’t eat it yet. For the short trip, attach her seatbelt to her and give her a toy. Talk to her as you drive out of the driveway and give her praises. You should not drive for more than five minutes. When you return, make sure the motor is still running and serve your daughter dinner. Take a short walk with her and then release her.

Stress-free car rides with your dog

You can continue to practice every day, increasing your drive time each day. Stop if your dog becomes anxious or drowsy. Take her for a walk and then drive home. If you think that your dog might be affected, make the next day’s journey shorter or use a route with less curves and bumps. Begin taking your dog for walks on outings. Remember to travel often together. It doesn’t have to be dinner. But a little treat or some playtime can make stress-free travel more enjoyable. We are grateful for your cooperation with your dog, so she can have car rides all her life.