Car anxiety is a common problem when traveling with a dog, as there are many reasons to make your dog anxious in the car. More specifically, it can be the movement of the car making them nauseous, or it could be the vibration or sound of the engine.

We are here today to show you the best calming treats for car rides. Check it out for the correct methods to solving your headache issue. Let’s kick right in!

Encourage Your Dog to Accept the Car

If your dogs are scared whenever entering the car, you will need to teach them step by step to overcome the fear—helping the dog respond positively to the vehicle. Follow six steps in details below:

  • Start the process by letting your dog walk slowly towards the car; remember to reward him/her with a favorite thing or small treat as a reward. Repeat this action until your pet approaches the car with comfort.
  • Continue to approach the car, then open the door, reward, and go away. Repeat this process several times.
  • Now your pet can stand happily near the opening car door. Start by putting a value treat inside, encouraging them to enter the car themselves. Begin with the reward next to the car door and gradually put it deeper to make him go inside to reach the treat.
  • When the dog has entered your car, close the car door for a couple of seconds; after that, open and reward. If he/she wants to go out, let him/her do that. Repeat this process until you can close the door longer, about for one minute, without concern about your pup.
  • Walk with the pet and enter your car, let him/her sit alone in the back seat (with a suitable dog car seat), then get into the front one. Do not forget to reward your dog or gently pat his/her head for good behavior. After that, let start the car, continue to reward, then turn off the engine and allow the dog to exit.
  • Try driving a short distance slowly. Before stopping, provide a reward, and let the dog exit. Increase the speed and distance gradually if he/she feels comfortable.

The key to encouraging your dogs is to step by step rewarding them after every task. Once your pup is comfortable, gradually lengthen the length of the journey and think about going somewhere enjoyable.

Let Your Pup Wear a Thundershirt

Thundershirt is a form-fitting type of clothing that can wrap around your puppy. Several Solid clinical pieces of evidence have shown the usefulness of that kind of natural treatment for stress in dogs. The constant pressure exerted by a Thundershirt can calm the nerves and reduce the anxiety of your pup.

A lot of pet owners have tried Thundershirt and gained positive results. However, how effective depends on how you use it for your dog and the dog’s personality.

Give the Dog a Gentle Massage

Massage is one of the best calming treats for car rides. We all know that dogs often relax when we give them a message. When the puppy is in a car anxiety, your gentle touch will soothe his/her nerves and help the dog remain calm.

Besides, you do not need to be a professional masseuse to complete this task. A simple way to massage is to provide them with slow and long strokes, making the dog feel comfortable. One trick when doing massage is to make circular massages with your fingers on your pet’s body. The result will not make you disappointed.

Furthermore, acupressure can reduce anxiety as well. Several pressure points may help your dog relax. But make sure to do that without causing hurt to your pet.

Use Suitable Medicine

Another effective method to help alleviate motion sickness and fear of travel is using medicine.

Like medicine for people, standard pharmaceuticals are usually available for dogs suffering from travel sickness or car anxiety. However,  it would be best if you only used it in severe cases with the supervision of since medicine can cause side effects.

Anxious pets can get benefits from medicine, but you need a prescription from a doctor. Hence, remember to read the instructions carefully and ask your vet before letting the puppy use them.

Using calming aid for dogs will also help your puppy deal with his travel sadness and speed up this process, which explains why many owners often give their pets natural calming aid for long car trips, even when flying with them.

Distract the Dog

If a specific situation or action makes your dog anxious, attempt to divert his/her attention away. Try to keep the dog’s attention on you or the thing you give him/her rather than what is making it upset.

To be more specific, dog games can divert the dog’s attention away from the root of his fear. Or a peanut butter-stuffed treat ball will help to distract your dog from any sounds or other activities that cause fear.

Chewing toys can be more effective over any bone or food treat, especially when the pup is prone to carsick. If you do not like the noise, you can avoid toys with sound.

Conclusion

Dog car anxiety can cause discomfort to both you and your pet, but applying the correct method can help you solve this issue easily. As I’ve mentioned above, here are some useful ways: Encourage the pet to overcome their fear by giving rewards, wearing them a thunder shirt, gentle message, relevant medicine, and fear distraction.

Overall, I hope you find this article on “best calming treats for car rides” helpful for your reference. I wish you and your dog a nice trip!


About the Author: Kathy Warner is the chief editor of The Safety Restraint Coalition, a leading site on the topic of child restraint systems. She is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice.