Travel Anxiety In Dogs: What Pet Parents Can Do To Help


Dogs can show signs of travel anxiety for quite a few reasons. Motion sickness is one of the main causes. This is often the case for puppies whose ears and ability to regulate balance are still developing. Although your pup may grow out of motion sickness, the association between car travel and feeling sick can remain.  

Other reasons your pet might be an anxious travel is overstimulation or a previous motor vehicle accident. The smells, sights, and sounds can be factors that create stimulus overload. As other vehicles speed past, honk, or have a loud muffler as they go by, your pet can become overwhelmed and lead to being stressed out. The dog could also associate car ride with seeing the vet or going to another place they recently experienced stress during a visit. 

There are a few things pet owners can do to help their dog with anxiety. Because this problem is so common, there are several products available, such as prescription medication, calming pheromone products, anti-anxiety compression jackets and collars and over the counter supplements designed to calm the dog. These can be quick fixes that do not deliver long term results. Most experts agree that behavior modification and training are the most effective long-term strategy to help your pup be successful on the road. 

Most trainers will recommend familiarizing the pet with the car when they are still young, there are plenty of tricks an owner of an older dog do to help their pet stay calm in the car. For more information about pet anxiety in the car, please see the below resource. 

Graphic created by ncillary K9, a provider of aggressive dog training in Denver CO.

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