Teaching Your Dog to Ride in the Car

Teaching Your Dog to Ride in the Car

We all love our dogs and want them to be with us wherever we go, even if it means taking them on a car ride. Although some dogs love to ride in the car, others tend to feel anxious, vomit, whine, or drool. There are several reasons, such as a past traumatic experience, motion sickness, or anxiety. Also, dogs can feel uneasy if they know they are going to the vet. Wouldn’t it be great if your dog can go from anxious to calm in the car? It would benefit everyone, allowing your dog to be your trusty co-pilot. We will discuss ways to teach your dog to ride in the car so everyone can have a pleasant experience.

Your Dog Can Learn to Love the Car

With desensitization and counter-conditioning, you can teach your dog to love the car. For instance, gradually introduce your dog to the car. Also, condition the dog to have a positive reaction and not negative by associating the car with fun things happening inside or near the car.  If your dog has severe reactions, sit with your dog in the driveway. You can have your dog in the backseat if it cannot handle being in the passenger seat. The primary purpose of this is to find your dog’s comfort zone. 

Enticing your dog with treats and toys can make the car ride more fun for the dog as you associate its favorite activities to the car. However, you’re moving too fast if the dog stops playing or eating. Restart the process if this occurs. Whatever you do, move at a comfortable pace for your dog and have patience. Don’t forget to safely secure your dog once the vehicle is on the move, so incorporate a crate, harness, or seat belt into your routine. Before you know it, your dog will learn to love the car! 

Your Dog and the Joy of Riding in the Car

After your dog is comfortable and learns to love the car, now it’s time to start moving. At first, start with small distances and where your dog is familiar with, like in front of the driveway. During the drive, encourage and praise your dog, letting them know they are doing a good job. Give them treats and reward them. 

Then, start going to places like the park or anywhere your dog can have some fun. They will soon associate the car with awesome activities that they enjoy and love. Of course, trips to the vet can still be stressful but add some balance, and your dog will enjoy riding in the car. If there are any issues, there’s nothing like a tasty treat to make your dog happy!

Motion Sickness Prevention

Despite puppies experiencing motion sickness more than adult dogs, some dogs don’t grow out of it. Luckily, there are ways to prevent motion sickness for dogs which include:

  • Decreasing stress in your dog by having them active 20 minutes before the car ride.
  • Keep your car cool.
  • Make sure there’s fresh air; lower the windows.
  • A few hours before a trip, limit water and food consumption.
  • Use dog pheromones in the car, available as a spray, collar, or diffuser; suitable for younger dogs and adult dogs. 
  • Ask a vet about medication for motion sickness or anxiety and see if it’s appropriate for your dog. 

Get Help From a Trainer

With enough time and effort, your dog will love to ride in the car! If you are having any problems, contact a professional who can train your dog to ride in the car. Our trainers at Argos Dog Training will be glad to assist and provide you some tips!