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How to Travel with a Dog in a Car

My dog Pierson wearing the Bergan Canine Car Harness
Tips for Making Travel with Your Dog Easier

Traveling with a dog in the car can be quite a challenge for some. Not all pets sit quietly and calmly. Sometimes they get car sick. Some are nervous and try to hide or climb onto the driver's lap. And some are overly excited in the car, making themselves a nuisance and a terrible distraction to the driver. If any of these situations reminds you of your furry best friend, here are three approaches you can take to help make dog car travel easier:  dog training, natural remedies, and/or dog travel supplies such as a canine car harness.

Help Dogs That Get Car Sick, Are Nervous, or Hyper when Traveling

This first approach of making car travel with your furry pal easier is the most difficult and time consuming, but it offers the best long-term results. Commit yourself to taking your best pal for a ride in the car at least once a day. Make it a short trip, as short as just around the block if you'd like. Do it more than once a day if you can. How does this approach help? It desensitizes your pet to the car ride as follows:

A. A dog that tends to get car sick gets used to the movements of the car.
B. A dog that gets nervous learns there is nothing to be frightened of.
C. A dog that gets excitable in the car soon comes to understand that it is just another car ride.

For pets that get nervous, take short car rides to somewhere fun. Go to the pet store to buy a toy or go to the park. Associate dog car travel with something fun. Your furry best friend not only learns the car is nothing to be scared of, but also that car rides can be enjoyable. For more ideas on helping nervous pets in the car, visit our Pet Auto Safety blog post, What if Your Dog Doesn't Love to Ride in the Car? Do the opposite for excitable pets. Make their trip boring. Drive around the block or drive past the park, but don't stop.

Ask your veterinarian about a medication or natural remedy that your pet can use. Depending on the severity of his behavior in the car, the vet can prescribe a medication or advise you if certain natural remedies for pet anxiety can be used. One such natural remedy is a topical spray with lavender in it. Lavender is a plant made into aromatherapy oil and is often used to help people relax. It can work on dogs too. Some topical sprays or medications can help with car sickness as well.

If you're wary about using such things (perhaps your pet has allergies), consider some wearable dog travel supplies like the Thundershirt. It is believed that certain types of pet clothing wraps have a calming effect similar wrapping a baby in swaddling. Natural remedies may not always work so use them in conjunction with dog training.

Yellow Labrador Wearing Thundershirt for Pet Anxiety

Other supplies besides clothing wraps are available to help for traveling with a dog in the car. A car harness, for example, can not only help secure your best pal for his safety, but also keep your crazy or nervous pet from distracting the driver. A dog seat belt is not the only option. Consider putting your dog in a pet carrier, then securing the crate in the car. Also consider a car barrier that helps to keep him in the back seat. As with natural remedies, for best results use a product in conjunction with training.

Using a canine car harness, dog car barrier, or natural calming remedies can be a great solution for those traveling with a dog in the car. But remember, those methods may only work for as long as you use them. Proper training, on the other hand, can last your dog's lifetime.

Training Your Dog to Ride
in the Car is the Best Way

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