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January 27, 2014
Dog Head Out Window Danger

This dog really likes riding in the car. But not all dogs do. (For safety, you should not allow your dog to put his head out the window.)

It seems wherever we go, we see a happy dog with his head out the window, his ears flapping in the wind, and a big doggy grin on his face. Seeing this so often, one would think all dogs love to ride in the car. Sadly, this is not the case. Here are some reasons why a dog may not like riding in the car, along with some possible solutions:

1. Unfamiliarity and/or Anxiety – If a dog doesn’t ride in the vehicle often, it can be a very strange place. The movement, the sounds, and everything moving by at a blur can seem frightening to a dog that is not used to it.

* Let your dog sit in the vehicle without starting it up. Praise with words and treats. Do this often. Once he is comfortable with getting in the vehicle, start taking him on short trips. Also, consider a dog anxiety treatment such as the Thundershirt.

Daffy the Dachshund in the Thundershirt

Daffy the Dachshund in her new Thundershirt!

2. Car Sickness – Some dogs get motion sickness.

* Take short trips that don’t require a lot of stops and turns. If your dog is small, it helps if he can see out the window. Let him ride in a pet car booster seat. Also, consider a pet travel remedy such as Travel Calm in order to help with car motion sickness.

Roxy in a Pet Car Seat

Roxy the Dachshund can see out the window in the Skybox pet car booster seat from Kurgo.

Dog Sissy and Travel Calm

Travel Calm helped Sissy remain calm while her neighbors shot fireworks. It also helps for car sickness and travel anxiety.

3. Destination – If the only time your dog rides in the car is when you have to take him to the vet, it’s no wonder he doesn’t like to ride.

* Take your dog somewhere fun and rewarding. Go to the park, the pet store for treats, or just go to the bank drive-through and ask the teller for a dog biscuit.

Maya Vet Caption

Actually, Maya loves the vet. She’s weird.

Does your dog like to ride in the car?

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5 Responses to “Reasons Why Your Dog May Not Like Riding in the Car”

  1. Lindsay:

    My current dog and all my other dogs have always loved car rides. I’m sure it’s because they’ve associated it with going along (not getting left behind) and going somewhere fun!

    I do have a cat who doesn’t like the car, and with him it seems to be because the motion scares him. He never rode in the car when he was little, except maybe once or twice to go to and from the vet and to and from the shelter. To help him get used to it, we put him in his carrier and put a towel over it and that has helped calm him down some over the years.

    My other cat loves the car because I made a point to travel with him a lot when he was a kitten. He associates it with fun experiences just like my dogs always have.

  2. Tegan:

    You can also try feeding ginger 30 minutes before travel for travel sickness. 🙂

  3. Jody Miller-You g:

    Really good piece. Sophie doesnt line riding in the car, but I think it’s because she took a long journey as a young puppy to get home to us. It was probably scary. But with time, she seems to be getting better. Now just need to tackle flying! 🙂

  4. Jodi:

    I’m very lucky, even though he got sick the first time he came home with us and then a month later had a bout of gastritis and was sick all the way to the vet, Sampson still loves to ride in the car. And yes, we take him to fun places and he loves going to our vet too.

    Delilah is a good rider as well and usually just lies down and goes to sleep.

  5. Jackie Bouchard:

    Rita LOVES to ride in the car. She’s a very funny girl because she will ONLY go in the backseat. I tried to get her to sit in the front, just for a photo-op, but she wouldn’t do it for any amount of treats.

    Our family dog when I was a kid was afraid of the car, but that was because the only place he ever went was to the vet. I always made sure after that to teach all my dogs that car rides could be fun!