Is Your Dog Afraid of Car Rides?

The majority of dogs absolutely love riding in the car with their pet parent(s). They tend to enjoy watching the cars go by, the wildlife surrounding them and some may even take a nap to relax! There is that dog who absolutely despises riding in the car and actually has a fear of riding in cars, though. Why would a dog possibly not enjoy a relaxing drive? Why would a dog be fearful of a car ride?

A Dog’s Fear of Riding in Cars

Dog’s Fear of Riding in Cars

Car fear in dogs can be caused by several reasons:

  • Trauma
    Trauma is always a potential cause when a pet is fearful of an object, person or activity. The reason your dog could be fearful of car rides could be due to a traumatic experience.
  • Motion Sickness in Dogs
    Motion sickness could be a likely cause of a fear of riding in the car. Puppies and dogs who are new to riding in cars may experience motion sickness the first few times riding in the car. Most dogs grow out of motion sickness once they have gone on a few rides; however, others may experience motion sickness for the remainder of their lifetime. If your dog is experiencing motion sickness, he is likely to be inactive, drool and potentially vomit.
  • Noises
    Your dog may enjoy the car rides but have a fear of the noises associated with the car ride. If there are loud noises such as passing cars or loud exhausts, she may not enjoy riding in the car. This can be easily solved by leaving the windows closed and checking to see if she is still fearful of riding in the car.

Dogs Riding in Cars – Preventing the Fear

The fear of the car can easily be prevented with a new dog or puppy. You can teach her to enjoy car rides by giving her treats throughout the ride. If she is extremely fearful, you can simply sit in the car in the driveway and give her treats to see how she does. You could also invest in a Kong and fill the Kong with her favorite dog food so her primary focus is on the toy while riding. You should not travel long distances when first teaching her to enjoy the car. Begin with short distances and continue to increase the distance each ride. You can also use this technique with a dog that is fearful of riding in cars to eliminate the fear.

Dogs riding in Cars – How to get over the Fear?

There are some common mistakes of the pet parent. We have discussed what should be done to prevent and treat the fear of car rides; however, what should you not do? You should not yell at your dog if she cries or vomits in the car on your car ride. This will only increase her fear. You should not force her to ride in the car on long car rides. This will also make her more fearful. Finally, you should not give her any medication without first consulting your veterinarian.

Did you find this information about scared dogs riding in cars useful? Share this article with your dog-loving friends! Does your dog experience car sickness? Check out our tips on car sickness in dogs.

Amber Johnson, Animal Behaviorist

Miss Amber Johnson has many years of experience with pets and is a licensed cat and dog nutrition and behavior specialist. She currently collaborates with PetPremium where she counsels clients in pet behavior and nutrition. The statements made in this article are the personal opinions of Miss Amber Johnson and based on independent experiences and could be different from the opinions of PetPremium Pet health Insurance or any other pet health insurance provider.

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