How to Help Your Dog with Car Travel

Dogs can find travel a challenge for a variety of reasons. It could be that they don’t know what is happening, they have negative associations with the car because they think they are going to the vet or groomer, or that you aren’t the best driver (kidding). Whatever the cause, we have a few tips that we think can significantly help you and your dog travel happier.

Top 5 Tips

1. Help them Get Used to the Car

  • With the engine off, sit in the back of the car with your dog for a few minutes – pet them, give them a treat, and comfort them.
  • Repeat this exercise every couple of days, and work on extending the time you spend in the car.
  • If they remain calm with the engine off, move to repeating this process with the engine on.
  • Continue to offer praise and affection when your dog remains calm, and include treats – if they can start to associate the car with good things, it will decrease their anxiety.

2. Take Short Trips to Fun Destinations

  • If your dog’s anxiety with the car comes from them thinking a car ride = a vet visit, taking them on fun, short trips can help them to disassociate the car with negative emotions.
  • Consider driving a short distance to visit a dog park, or driving to go for a walk / hike.

3. Bring Along Some of Their Favourite Things

  • Bring a toy, or their favourite blanket on the trip.
  • Bonus points if the blanket smells like their best friend – YOU.
  • These items can help to provide comfort, and a distraction for your anxious pup.

4. Use your ThunderShirt Calming Wrap

  • ThunderShirt applies constant, gentle pressure around a dog’s torso helping them feel calmer during car trips.
  • ThunderShirt can help reduce your dog’s anxiety, having already helped over a million dogs.

5. Consult your Vet

  • If none of the above completely calms your dog, and they still seem distressed during car travel, contact your veterinarian for additional assistance.