Getting your dog used to travelling by car can be complicated.
Some of our furry friends see cars as veritable torture instruments, because of the noise made by the engine, the oscillation caused by the motion of the car, or by the landscape that goes by quickly.
How, then, to get our dog used to travelling by car without fear?
Baby steps are the key to getting our dogs used to our car.
Dogs learn in pleasant situations characterized by positive emotions. A similar context helps them get used to the car.
Experts advise a very mild first approach, using a cushion or a blanket your dog uses at home to create an area in the car where he can make himself comfortable while you see how he reacts in this new environment, for just a few minutes.
In this case, it’s crucial not to start the car, so as not to scare your dog.
The next time you try this, you can sit in the car for longer, with the engine off, perhaps making the experience more exciting by adding a biscuit and a toy.
Before venturing in an actual car trip, another step is advised: get your dog used to the noise of the engine. Just start the car and leave it on for a few minutes, without going anywhere, and stay with your dog; perhaps give him a cookie or a toy.
At this point, everything should be ok and your friend should be ready to travel with you, in increasingly longer trips.
A few practical tips are still useful:
Don’t give him too much food before the trip, to avoid nausea and vomiting;
Keep water at hand at all times;
Leave the windows slightly open, to allow him to breathe;
Drive carefully, without sudden jerky stops.
A word of warning, however: the law forbids dogs from moving freely inside the car, as this could be dangerous for the dog and for the driver in the event of a sudden brake. The best solution is to use a carrier, such as Atlas Car or Atlas Vision, placing inside it the blanket or cushion you used to get your dog used to the car. This will ensure that your dog will travel safely, and he’ll also feel comfortable in a familiar environment.