Car-related anxiety can take a significant toll on your pet dog or puppy. Your normally cheerful and energetic animal companion may look terrified and stressed inside your car. After seeing your pet in that state, you may decide that car rides are no longer on the table for them.
Unfortunately, car rides are sometimes necessary for our pets. It is vital to address your pet’s case of car-related anxiety instead of trying avoid it.
In a previous article
, we highlighted some effective techniques to reduce car-related anxiety. Let’s use this article to highlight a few more effective solutions.
Give Your Pet Some Medication
Medication can be used to alleviate anxiety in dogs. Some pet owners may even prefer to treat car-related anxiety using medicine because it provides immediate results. Exercise caution if you use medication to treat your pet’s anxiety. You must not give human anti-anxiety medications to your dog. Doing so can put your precious pet in grave danger.
You must meet with a veterinarian if you’re hoping to treat your pet’s anxiety with medication. Give your vet all the information needed and allow them to run the necessary exams to determine if your dog or puppy can safely take those meds.
Furthermore, the veterinarian will select your dog’s medication based on the source of their anxiety. Certain forms of medication work better for treating separation anxiety, while others are more effective for controlling the effects of fear. The veterinarian will be able to identify the source of your pet’s anxiety and prescribe the appropriate medication for it.
Note that certain types of anxiety medication can cause side effects. Ask your vet about potential side effects before you give any medication to your pet. This article from PetMD
highlights specific types of anxiety medication the veterinarian may prescribe and their possible side effects.
Create a Comfortable Environment for Your Pet Inside Your Car
Your pet may currently see the environment inside your car as hostile. They don’t like how different it is from home, the park, or their other favorite places. If your dog feels anxious because they feel uncomfortable inside the strange environment your vehicle provides, why not change the environment itself?
Start with a seatbelt designed to buckle into your car’s receptacles and ONLY ATTACH IT TO A HARNESS on your dog. This not only helps keep your dog safer in case of a quick stop or accident, but it helps them feel more stable in the car. Then add a blanket and/or pillow ordinarily used on your dog’s bed or the bed itself if it fits. Arrange them inside your car to create a cozy little nook for your pet. While you’re at it, you can add one of your pet’s favorite toys.
The next time you ask your pet to hop in your car, they’ll see and smell those items and want to get in and check them out. They may become less hesitant to join you for a ride now that you’ve created a familiar hangout spot for them.
Entrust Your Pet’s Car-Related Anxiety Treatment to a Professional
Remember that you don’t have to address your pet’s anxiety alone. If you’re having a tough time helping your dog during car rides, you can enlist the help of a professional.
Look for a professional with dog training experience because you want them to be hands-on. Your pet may not respond to their lessons without that personal touch.
Finding a professional to handle your dog’s anxiety training shouldn’t be difficult. You’ll want a certified trainer, a certified applied animal behaviorist, or a veterinary behaviorist. These pros techniques should produce positive results.
Going on car rides with your dog or puppy can be tons of fun. Make sure that the experience is as enjoyable for your pet as it is for you, by addressing their anxiety beforehand.
Need more car-related anxiety reduction methods? Schedule a complimentary call with our dog trainer Cathy today: https://app.10to8.com/book/zxznlfrciytyebkoug/