Some dogs have loved car trips since day one, some others... not so much. Car rides can trigger anxiety and/or motion sickness. But it is likely that your dog will have to be on the road with you, whether it's for a vet visit or a holiday. Here are some helpful tips.
How to help your dog feel better in the car
Exercise before the drive
It is better for your dog and yourself if they get in the car tired and ready for a nap. Therefore, get them to expand some energy beforehand. Take them on a walk, play fetch, get them to jump around... You get it.
Adjust their meal time
Considering that even a short car trip can trigger motion sickness, it is not recommended to feed your dog just before you start driving. Plan to feed them at least 3 hours before taking the road to limit the risk.
"Train" them with short, enjoyable trips
If your pooch only gets in the car when you take them to the vet. they will associate car rides with negative situations which can cause anxiety. A great way to help them think positively about being in the car with you is to drive them to enjoyable places nearby, such as a dog park or a beach.
It goes without saying that you should have water available for your dog to drink in the car, but this means that they will need toilet breaks every couple hours.
Bring their favourite items
The longer the drive, the more your dog might need to get distracted. Don't forget to bring anything that might bring them some comfort, from their usual blanket to their favourite chewing tog.
Treat motion sickness
If your dog is now an adult and is still car sick, talk to your vet about options to reduce their symptoms. They might suggest trying some medication.