If we want to enjoy a trip with our dog, it is necessary to learn how to calm a dog down in a car so that riding a car associates it with a positive and natural experience.
Otherwise, it will be a very stressful situation for it and with time it will get worse. For this reason, it is very important to work on getting them accustomed from the beginning both in what is the vehicle itself, the movement, and the carrier, since you always must meet the necessary requirements to travel with pets.
In addition to meeting the travel requirements of your pet, remember that you as a traveler should inform yourself of the recommendations and obligations depending on the destination, including travel insurance with guarantees of medical assistance, medical transport and repatriation, situations that could lead to a large outlay abroad.
Like children, puppies absorb everything better and are more flexible. It is more difficult for an adult dog to change its habits and have new experiences. Therefore, the sooner we start to put our dog in the car, the sooner it will learn that it is something good and positive, and therefore to be calm.
How to Calm A Dog Down in A Car? – Trip Duration Planning
The best thing, in any case, is to take short trips at the beginning and gradually lengthen the distance. End the trip somewhere your dog likes, like the park. This will associate it with a positive experience. Pamper and reward it for good behavior.
Before, during and after it acts in a calm way, make sure that the dog receives a feeling of calm and tranquility. In this way we will prevent it from being scared in the future. If the dog is panting continuously or salivating, it is because it is stressed.
First, you must teach it to get in and out of the car on its own (without using force), unless it is a very small breed and is not able to reach. Also, try to get it used to not leaving the vehicle in dangerous places where, for example, more cars circulate.
When the dog is inside, start the car and turn it off to get used to the sound and vibration. Later, we will begin to move it little by little until it circulates, making small paths. Do not forget to check that the interior temperature does not exceed 23 degrees, that the dog has sufficient ventilation, and that it does not get direct sunlight.
During the trip, make a stop every two hours so that both you and your dog can stretch your body and get some fresh air. Take this opportunity to give it water and prevent it from dehydrating.
Never leave it alone in the car, especially with the windows closed. Another factor to consider is the air freshener, since it can make our dogs uncomfortable if it is too strong for them. Try to make it a mild smell or remove it when traveling.
How to Calm A Dog Down in A Car? – Other Modes of Transportation
If we want to travel by train, boat, or plane, we will have to put our dog in a carrier. It is best to get used to it as soon as possible, especially if it is a medium or large dog. Keep in mind that the carrier needs to be large enough to stand upright.
Remove the top of the carrier and place its bed or blanket so the dog can lie down. Reward with treats when it is calm in the carrier. Throw some treats inside and make sure the dog can get in and out without problem.
Little by little, move the cage door and then close it for a few seconds. When you do, leave a prize in the carrier. Never force it to enter the cage because you will provoke aversion to feeling trapped.
Progressively, leave the door closed longer. Never take it out if it is nervous or barking but reassure it with encouraging words and ensure that it does not remain locked up for more than four hours (two if it is a puppy).
Now you know how to calm a dog down in a car. If during the journey your dog manages to be in a state of tranquility, upon arrival at your destination it will feel just as calm. Therefore, it will better accept the change of place and enjoy itself more.