3 Tips to Make Car Rides Anxiety-Free
According to the experts from ClickerTraining.com, an animal training and positive reinforcement training program, travel anxiety is common for many dogs and occurs for a variety of reasons. Some dogs have anxiety because they are unfamiliar with the car, others may have negative associations with car rides from previous trips to the vet or groomers. Whatever the reason, her anxiety can be lessened or even prevented. If the pet you’re caring for or if your own dog is having symptoms of anxiety when riding in the car, such as mild panting, vocalization with yips and barks, shaking, vomiting or urinating, follow these 3 tips to make car rides anxiety-free for your pets.
Anxiety can be provoked because of a negative association with the car. Dogs who only get to take trips to the vet for routine checkups or to the groomers for a nail trimming are more likely to have negative associations than pets who regularly ride in the car for trips to the park and playtime. Help your pet feel more comfortable when riding in the car by rewarding her with treats. First, start by getting her into the car without forcing her. Each time she’s in, reward her with a tasty dog treat. This will help create a positive association with the vehicle. Once she’s comfortable inside of the car, another way to help ease her anxiety is by taking short trips. Take her on short trips to the park, the beach or on doggy playdates. This will help her associate riding in the car with positive events.
Prevent Motion Sickness
Motion sickness is a big issue for a lot of dogs and results in both vomiting and anxiety, according to Pets Adviser. As the driver, you can avoid causing motion sickness by driving cautiously, avoiding sudden stops and bumps on the road. Another way to prevent motion sickness is by driving with tires that are specially designed for smooth rides. BF Goodrich has made a special sort of tire, available from TireBuyer.com, that offers superior handling and makes the car ride smoother, for not only your dog but you and your human passengers, too. Additionally, always keep the car cool to keep her comfortable and have a stash of cleaning supplies on hand to wipe up any motion sickness messes. Remember, don’t scold her if she vomits. Scolding will only make her anxiety worse. If the problem persists, consult your pet’s veterinarian about a treatment option or an anti-anxiety drug.
Bring Comfort Items
Make the car seem like a more familiar space by bringing her favorite toys along for the ride in addition to accessories like her pillows and doggie blankets with a recognizable and familiar scent. Use a pet carrier or hard or soft-sided crate to keep her safe and stash her goodies inside. This will make the car ride easier and best of all more comfortable for her. You can also provide her with a shirt or a blanket with her owner’s scent to make her feel more comfortable and at ease while riding in the car. This solution is great for pets who have anxiety toward riding in cars and leaving their owners for short or long periods of time.