Dogs make for wonderful companions, giving us love and affection every moment we spend with them. As their humans, we find lots of ways to make time for them or to have them with us at all times. That’s why some people decide to bring their canine companion with them while they travel.
While traveling may be a relatively normal experience for us, it might not be for some dogs. Traveling by car seems like an everyday thing to us that we really think nothing of it. Dogs, on the other hand, may be uncomfortable and anxious when it comes to these things. This is an entirely normal response from dogs, but there are ways to help them through these car rides to help lessen things such as a dog bite, panic attacks, and just general restlessness. If you are thinking of going on a trip with your companion, consider these tips when traveling with your dog to help make it a pleasant experience for you both.
Dogs are very receptive creatures and will react to what’s going on around them. This is why it’s important to keep calm around them in situations where they may panic or get anxious, such as when traveling. In doing so, not only are you helping yourself handle the situation properly, but you’re also giving your dog a sort of cue that there’s nothing to worry about. If they see you not panicking, then chances are they’ll feel like they don’t have to panic with you. This can somehow help set the tone for the trip for them.
Make Your Dog Feel Secure
Aside from keeping calm, the next thing you can do to help make traveling a pleasant experience for your dog would be to help them feel secure. One reason why your dog may feel anxious or uncomfortable would be because your car might be an unfamiliar place for them. There are lots of strange and unfamiliar stimuli in a car, after all. Giving them a sense of security helps them slowly realize that there’s nothing to be afraid of while in the car.
There are lots of ways to help your dog feel secure when you travel. You can bring their favorite toy or blanket with them. Helping them achieve some sense of familiarity with their favorite trinket in an unfamiliar situation can work wonders. At the least, it can help relieve some tension and let their guard down by even just a little bit. You can also find ways to secure them to a seat or even put them in a travel crate of sorts. This can help them move around less, startling them, and, with the help of the crate, give them their own space to feel safe and secure.
Help Them Get Used To It
Another thing you can do is help them get used to traveling. Car rides might be scary at first, given all the strange sounds, surroundings, and whatnot, but they can eventually be something they’re used to. One way you can do this is by just getting them in the car first. Let them get used to sitting in a certain spot and taking in the car’s surroundings. You can throw in a little treat to reward them and encourage them for doing so. Helping them feel secure, as mentioned earlier, can also help in encouragement.
Once you get them used to being in a car, you can start driving them around. Start first with short trips. A drive around the block or just up and down your street could be an excellent way to do so. And then, when they start getting comfortable with the short trips, you can slowly increase the duration of the trips and drives you take them on. Eventually, they’ll get used to being on drives in no time.
Consider Supplements or Medication
If your dog still tends to get anxious when going on trips even after trying to get them accustomed to car rides and trips, then medication might be of more use to you. You can go to your vet and ask them for any possible medications you can give your dog to help them relax or even sleep during trips. They might prescribe things such as anti-anxiety medication, sedatives, or the like. You can also ask them if there are supplements you can give them to help them relax. Just remember that if you do plan on giving your dog something, it’s always good to ask your vet first if it’s safe and if it will work for your dog.
Taking your dog on trips can be an enjoyable experience, with lots of opportunities for quality time. Having them around can always make for great times, after all. But, not all dogs are immediately comfortable going on car rides, especially long ones. If you think about it, they’re just like babies who need to be slowly accustomed to rides and to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible. Luckily, there are ways to help your little fur baby get used to these things so that you can eventually take them with you on road trips.