How to Handle Your Dog’s Fear of Riding in a Car

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Most dog owners look forward to take their dogs with them on car rides. However, it can be disheartening to discover that your beloved pet is terrified of riding the car. This is one of the most common dog phobias we’ve seen. Fortunately, most pet owners have overcome this fear by using lots of positive reinforcement and gradually introducing the dog to car rides.

Dogs that are afraid of car rides usually fall into 2 categories: those who have fear of riding in a car or those who have motion sickness.

 

Calming fears associated with car rides

Dogs and puppies may develop a fear of car rides, either from bad experiences in the car or motion sickness. If your dog’s fear stems from more than motion sickness, then you’ll have to put in more time and effort in order to get rid of this phobia.

Whether you’re dealing with a puppy or an older dog, the first thing that you should do is to consult your veterinarian. Mind you, medical issues are usually the root of most behavioral problems. Unless you have addressed these underlying health issues, you cannot change your pet’s behavior.

Motion sickness

Some dogs may feel nauseous or even vomit on car rides. In order to help your dog overcome motion sickness, you have to go slowly and avoid making them nervous. Just like children, puppies get motion sickness more easily, but most of them outgrow this problem eventually.

If your dog starts to vomit once you hit the road, we suggest limiting their food and water intake a few hours before the trip. Also, lower the windows so as to equalize the air pressure and provide fresh air. Praise your dogs for every successful trip. Once he’s comfortable with that, you can gradually increase the length of the rides.

 

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