Travel anxiety in pets

Many dogs get anxious about getting in or travelling in a car.  It’s a fairly common problem and there could a variety of reasons that are causing the anxiety.  It maybe that your dog is scared of the noise the car makes, that the movement makes them feel ill or that they are fearful because they’ve had bad experiences related to travelling such as a stray that was dumped or transported in a bumpy truck on the way to their new country or home or that they are simply terrified of going to the vets and that’s they associate the car with a visit to the vet. 

So, what can you do to help to ease the anxiety?

Try and make the experience a more positive one!  Offer your dog a favourite treat as you head to the car as long as they don’t suffer from car sickness.  You don’t even need to get into the car the first couple of times.  Make it a fun activity for you and your pet to bond over.

When you think your pet is ready to jump in then try that a couple of times and, only when you think you are both ready then start up the car. Have a toy and favourite blanket inside the car.  If you are concerned that your dog isn’t ready then try this again a few times.  When you are both ready then set off on a short journey and reassure your pet regularly.  In time, your pet may become more comfortable but be patient.

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