Many dogs are thrilled to ride in the car. Others, not so much. There are a few reasons a dog could develop an aversion to car rides:
- It could be a learned behavior. Maybe the first few times your dog rode in the car ended in uncomfortable visits to the vet.
- You dog may be afraid of the noises of transportation, such as a loud motorcycle or a honking horn.
- Medical reasons – if your dog suffers from motion sickness or orthopedic problems, riding in the car and jumping in and out of the car might be troublesome.
If you’re not sure why your dog does not like the car, have him or her checked out by a vet, who could point out potential orthopedic problems. If your dog has motion sickness, ease her into car rides slowly, after exercise when she is likely to feel calm. Make sure she hasn’t eaten in a few hours to minimize mess.
For a dog that has bad associations with riding in the car, there are several options to desensitize him from this fear. Giving treats in the car, driving to places he enjoys, and starting slow with short rides or even with the car stationary will begin to promote relaxation.
Enjoy the ride!
“Fear of Riding in Cars.” ASPCA.org. Web. 18 March 2014. <http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/fear-riding-cars>