How to Relieve Dog Anxiety and Stress in the Car

Your dog is your best friend and you just want to take them everywhere, we get it! Sometimes that means going on a car ride. Now, most dogs LOVE riding in the car, but that isn’t ALWAYS the case. Some of our four legged friends become nervous or stressed when traveling in a vehicle. So, how exactly do we relieve dog anxiety in the car?

First, it is important to understand what might be causing this anxious behavior in your dog. If they’re still a puppy, motion sickness could be to blame. The sensation of being inside a large moving box might be unfamiliar while they’re still adapting to the experience. Be it vibration from the engine or confinement in a tight space.

Another possible root to their anxiety is a negative prior encounter with a vehicle. This could be a physical accident they were involved in or mental association like a trip to the vet. Be sure to associate the car with positive emotional triggers such as toys and treats. This method helps to develop a sense of excitement when going on car rides.

Traveling with an Anxious Dog

Anxious dog riding in the backseat of a car.

If your dog is dealing with travel related anxiety, it might seem easiest to just leave them at home. Luckily, with a little training you should be able to counter condition their emotional response associated with car rides. The key is to look for signs of car induced anxiety from an early age so the conditioning process can start when they’re still in a learning/discovery phase.

Dog Anxiety in Car Symptoms

Signs of dog anxiety leading up to or during a car ride can be pretty obvious. Common symptoms include heavy panting, noticeable shaking, or excessive drooling and possibly even vomiting. As you approach the vehicle, monitor your dog closely to see when their anxiety begins to kick in. This is where you’ll want to start their condition training to create a positive association with the entire travel process.

How Do I Keep My Dog Calm When Traveling?

Preparing an anxious pet for travel starts well before getting into the actual vehicle. Plan ahead to make sure every step of the way goes as smoothly as possible.



Enjoy this blog? Let's stay connected ;)