Several problems often occur with your dog while traveling in the car. These problems are mostly the result of stress and anxiety, especially if your dog is scared, or is not used to being inside a car while the engine is running. Car travel with your pet may also be a problem if you have a highly strung dog that can’t sit still for a long period of time, or if it associates any kind of negative experience to traveling in the car.
If you have difficulties getting your dog to step and stay inside the car, the following suggestions may help alleviate its fear and can make car travel fun for the both of you.
Do these exercises at least a week before going on your trip.
1. While the car is parked in the driveway, open the back seat and place your dog inside the car. Make sure that the engine is off so you do not scare your dog while it is inside. Let the dog spend some time alone back there with either a snack, chew bone, or a toy to play with. This will allow it to get used to being inside the car.
The snack, the chew bone, or the toy that you placed in there will create a positive experience for it, which will make the car ride stress free. Take heed: avoid keeping your dog inside the car for too long in a hot weather!
2. Once your dog is comfortable being in the backseat of the car, close the door (with the windows rolled down) and get inside the driver’s seat. Stay there for about a minute while your dog is getting used to the door being closed.
3. Finally, turn on the engine and take it for a short ride (maybe a trip around the block). Leaveits chew bone and toys inside the car to keep it occupied while it is getting used to being inside the running car. After the short trip, make sure that you give your dog a good treat, such as a game of fetch or a nice walk.
Repeat the same process, increasing the distance of the trip, until your dog gets to the point where it actually looks forward to riding in the car. From now on you you will be able to drive long distances and through high noise areas without disturbing or upsetting your dog.
For more dog training tips read: Dog Training Secrets