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Car-Related Anxiety: How to Treat – Part One

Car-related anxiety can overwhelm your pet and derail your plans. Of course, you cannot completely avoid car rides with your pet. They will have to ride with you eventually for vet visits and vacations.
Thankfully, car-related anxiety doesn’t have to be a permanent issue for your dog or puppy. You can reduce their anxiety using various methods and help them get more comfortable inside your vehicle.
Continue below and learn more about the first set of car-related anxiety reduction methods.

Increase Your Pet’s Exercise Before Car Rides

One of the easiest ways to alleviate your dog’s car-related anxiety involves taking them out for some exercise. You may be wondering how exercise will prepare your pet for an upcoming car ride.
Exercise is also good for relieving stress. Following a walk, your dog may feel more relaxed. Being in a relaxed state can help reduce the stress of the car ride.
Pleasant time spent with your dog helps to build your dog’s trust in you. Even if your pet remains apprehensive about stepping inside your vehicle, that trust can help with overcoming the anxiety of being inside a car.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, more exercise also helps combat the effects of separation anxiety in pets. If your pet’s anxiety is related to being away from you, exercising them more frequently will help them manage better.

Ease Your Pet into Car Rides

Dog training may also help your pet deal with car rides better. In this case, we’re talking about taking more trips with your dog.
Start the training by planning short trips. Ride with your dog whenever you have to make quick trips to the store to get them better acclimated to the environment inside your vehicle. Continue going on short trips until your pet stops exhibiting the symptoms of anxiety.
You can take longer trips with your dog if they respond well to the first round of car rides. If your previous trips never exceeded five minutes, you can double that and see how your car responds. The longer trips may be rough at first for your pet, but practice can help them adjust.
Going on all these car rides with your pet may not be possible due to your busy schedule. Get around that problem by asking your family to take your pet on more rides or hire a dog walker/sitter.

Associate Car Rides with Positive Experiences

Training works best if it gives your pet a chance to get a reward instead of the chance to avoid punishment. So, how can you make riding in a car more rewarding for your dog or puppy? You can do that by driving to locations your pet will enjoy.
Set a nice park as your final destination for the day. Allow your pet to run around and have fun after the ride in your car.
If you cannot go to the park, you can take your pet to visit one of their favorite family members. Any destination will do as long as your pet enjoys it. Going on these types of trips will help them learn to like car rides more.
Help your pet overcome car-related anxiety by trying the techniques detailed here and see which one helps your pet the most!
Need more car-related anxiety tips? Complete our short form and our dog trainer Cathy will contact you via zoom or phone.



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