Dog Car Anxiety | Dog overstressed in car rides

Stressed dog watching outside of the car, dog overstressed in car rides

Just like any other member of the family, dogs can feel sick for a myriad of reasons. We’re pretty certain that you’ve seen that type of dog: wide-eyed and barking in the backseat of a car, seemingly terrified of being part of a road trip. While some people may think this is a natural behavioral pattern displayed by dogs, several researches have suggested that car travel stresses them out. Anxiety and health issues can result from such a situation. This article will talk about following strategies that can help reduce dog car anxiety, and help our furry friends feel more comfortable in the car. Read on to find out!

Understanding Car Anxiety in Dogs

Car anxiety occurs as soon as the dog appears distressed while in a moving car. Most dogs like to travel in cars as this typically leads to exciting spots like walking, interacting with friends or visiting a doggy day care.

Some dogs that only travel once or twice per year when visiting the veterinarian, are not used to long car rides. Thus, they can suffer from extreme forms of car sickness whilst traveling in automobiles, and may experience a very traumatic ride.

As a result, car anxiety symptoms are mostly associated with motion sickness.

Symptoms of motion sickness and automobile anxiety in dogs may include:

  • Resisting to go into the car
  • Excessive barking, whining or panting
  • Excessive drooling to the point of having a dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restless pacing
  • Yawning
  • Lip licking or lip smacking
  • Shaking, trembling etc.
Sick dog looking outside of the car, dog car anxiety, how to handle car anxiety in dogs

How to Prevent Dogs From Developing Car Anxiety and Motion Sickness?

There are several solutions that dog owners can adopt to either prevent motion sickness, and car sickness. And in the event that motion sickness occurs, how to minimize its effects and gradually eradicate it.

As a dog owner, you must plan ahead for these types of scenarios. Furthermore, the process of adapting your dog to car trips can be a lengthy one, and may take some time to materialize. Thus, preventing motion sickness and/or tackling its symptoms is of paramount importance.

Here are some of the solutions that you can adopt in order to treat motion sickness in dogs, and ultimately, tackle car anxiety and treat all the symptoms associated with them:

Withhold food from your dog for 1 hour to avoid car sickness:

Dog Food, how to avoid car sickness in dogs, what to feed the dog before the car ride

Avoiding heavy meals will reduce the probability of developing anxiety nausea, and diminish the need for frequent urination and/or defecation of your pooch.

If you absolutely have no choice but to feed your dog, there are a few options available: Wolf Spring has developed a formula that enables your dog to become cool, calm and collected. The formula is crafted with Chamomile to promote muscle relaxation, L-Theanine to support calm behavior, and L-Tryptophan to help fight against stress.

Additionally, make sure to provide constant access for fresh water. For instance, water bottles that hang on the carrier’s door are often seen as a good option for your dog.

Securing the Dog Inside the Vehicle

small dog sitting safely inside the car, how to transport dog in the car if it has stress and anxiety

Dogs that get motion sickness and car sickness can hurt themselves, their immediate surroundings, and cause mild or life threatening accidents. A dog carrier, or a plastic kennel, if used correctly, can be labeled as a safe space for dogs.

Train your dog to enjoy the carrier whilst it’s covered, since it will help your pet feel safe and secure.

Keeping a Fresh Temperature Inside the Vehicle

Car AC, conditioning car while the car ride with dog

As a dog owner, when you are on a road trip and your dog is accompanying you, make sure to keep a cool temperature inside your automobile.

For instance, lower the windows for fresh air, or turn on the air conditioner to maintain a cool temperature.

This will mitigate the symptoms associated with motion sickness, and will enable your dog to eventually grow out of said motion sickness.

Training Your Dog To Love Your Vehicle

Your dog can be taught to associate road trips to a positive and an exciting adventure using desensitization and counter conditioning.

Desensitization is a method that consists in gradually introducing your dog to the vehicle. Counter-conditioning changes your dog’s emotional response from a negative to a positive one by having a great experience happening for your dog inside and/or near the automobile.

Training Your Dog to Enjoy Riding inside The Car

Dog with spects sitting on the window seat, dog enjoying the car ride, how to make dog relaxed during the car ride

You can train your dog to look forward to a road trip, whether it is sitting on any given passenger seat, whether it’s a back seat, front seat or a window seat.

Start with short distances, and build up the time spent driving by short increments. Additionally, choose destinations you know your dog will enjoy.

For example, drive to a park or the woods outside of your neighborhood. Get out and let your dog play and explore before returning home.

In no time, your dog should look forward to car trips because the drive itself is enjoyable in your dog’s eyes.

Utilizing Thundercaps

As a dog owner, you can resort to utilizing thundercaps, which can be labeled as a treatment solution. A thundercap, or a specialized dog blindfold, can be regarded as a behavior management aid solution for dogs during stressful situations.

In other words, thundercaps can come in handy in terms of reducing both motion sickness and car anxiety.

Giving your Dog Calming Drinks

There are certain refreshments that you can offer your dogs half an hour prior to the car ride that can help your dog calm its nerves and better prepare mentally for the car ride. Wolfspring has developed a Calming Formula that provides relaxation and relief during tense situations. The Calming Formula utilizes chamomile for muscle relaxation, L-Theanine to support calm behavior, and L-Tryptophan to help fight against stress

calming formula for dogs, dog anxiety supplements, drinks for stressed dogs, calming supplements for dogs

Final Thoughts

If your dog is having trouble adjusting to auto rides, don’t get discouraged. You don’t need to have a formal medical education to tackle car anxiety and motion sickness for dogs. With a little patience and effort, you can help your dog enjoy being in the vehicle instead of having a queasy feeling of hopping into an automobile being anxious about the trip. There are many products and tricks that can help calm your dog so they can sit back and relax on the ride.

And remember, if you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health, be sure to consult your veterinarian. They will be able to give you the best advice on how to keep your dog healthy and happy.

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