Easy Tips to Make Car Trips a Breeze for Your Anxious Dog

Updated On: Friday, January 26, 2024 11:24:34 AM America/Los_Angeles

Car trips can be a source of stress and anxiety for dogs, with the motion, unfamiliar sounds, and sense of confinement. These elements can transform what should be a simple car ride into a challenging ordeal. For dogs, car trips are a whirl of sensory inputs without understanding the cause. The engine's vroom, changing landscapes, and the sensation of moving without walking can be perplexing and scary. Ensuring car rides are comfortable for your dog promotes their well-being, allowing them to enjoy the journey alongside you. A comfortable and calm dog during car rides leads to a peaceful drive free of distractions.

Photo by Avi Richards

Preparing for the Trip

Preparing for a car trip with your dog involves ensuring their comfort and safety, not just packing essentials like snacks and water. Here's how you can set the stage for a serene journey:

Familiarize Your Dog with the Car: Allow your dog to explore the car while it's stationary. Let them sniff around and hop in and out at their own pace. Spend time with them in the car, offering treats and positive affirmations to associate the car with happy moments.

Invest in a Comfortable and Safe Space: Safety is paramount during the trip. Opt for a well-ventilated carrier or a dog seatbelt to secure your pet. Ensure the space is inviting with their favorite blanket or toy, making the car feel like a safe, familiar environment.

It's also worth taking the time to consider your dog's bodily needs for longer trips. That's when our DoggieLawn might come in handy. DoggieLawn provides real grass patches that serve as a convenient indoor bathroom solution for dogs, ensuring they have a familiar and comfortable spot to relieve themselves during extended journeys. This innovative product not only caters to your dog's natural instincts but also brings a touch of the outdoors to your pup's world, making travel more enjoyable and stress-free for both you and your canine companion. With DoggieLawn, potty breaks on the road become a breeze, ensuring your dog stays happy and comfortable throughout your adventures.

Take Short, Positive Trips: Begin with brief drives around the neighborhood. These short trips can help your dog associate the car with positive experiences. A drive to a park or a fun area can show your dog that car rides often lead to enjoyable destinations.

Considering CBD for Anxiety Relief: CBD, or cannabidiol, is known for easing anxiety in dogs during car rides, as shown in a recent study. Choose high-quality, pet-safe CBD products and start with a small dose. Consult your vet before introducing CBD or new supplements into your pet's routine for proper dosage guidance and to ensure safety considering their health history.

Taking these steps helps build a foundation of trust and comfort, making every journey with your furry friend a pleasant and enjoyable adventure.

Training Tips for a Smooth Ride

Proper training can ensure a calm and obedient companion who enjoys car trips. Here's how to train your dog for a smoother ride.

Start with Basic Commands: Ensure your dog knows basic commands like 'sit', 'stay', and 'come'. These commands are crucial for their safety and maintaining order during the ride. Practice these commands at home, then introduce them in the car with the vehicle parked.

Introduce Car-Specific Commands: Create commands specific to car travel, like 'car time' for getting in or 'quiet' if they tend to bark. Consistent use of these commands fosters clear communication. Reward your pet with treats and praise for correctly following these commands.

Reward Calm Behavior: Positive reinforcement works well with dogs. Acknowledge and reward calm behavior or good conduct during car rides with treats, toys, or verbal praises. This approach emphasizes that calmness and obedience in the car are beneficial.

Practice Makes Perfect: Consistent practice is crucial. Start with short trips and increase the duration as your dog gets more comfortable. If your dog shows anxiety or acts out, don't punish them. Instead, return to shorter trips and gradually build their tolerance.

Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key to transforming car rides into enjoyable experiences for you and your furry friend.


Addressing car anxiety is crucial for the emotional well-being of your dog, turning challenging journeys into enjoyable experiences. Each dog is unique, requiring patience and willingness to try various strategies. Whether it's familiarizing them with the car, ensuring a comfortable space, practicing training commands, or considering supplements like CBD, every step contributes to more enjoyable and stress-free travels. Experiment with different methods to find what suits your furry friend best. With patience and a positive approach, car rides can become eagerly anticipated experiences filled with joy. So, buckle up and embark on this journey, knowing each trip enriches the bond and builds lasting, happy memories with your beloved dog.