There are many other ways to make sure that your dog is comfortable in the car. If possible, behavior modification and training are ideal. It is best to get your dog used to the idea of riding in the car. This can be done by practicing jumping into the car and then going on short, frequent trips inside of the car.
Treats can make this training much easier and is a means of positive reinforcement so that not only will you teach your dog to remain calm in the car, you will also help him learn that the car is not scary.
Sometimes medications or supplements are necessary to help with your dog’s anxiety. If he is prone to motion sickness, then he may need a motion sickness medication. Most veterinarians prescribed Cerenia, which is FDA-approved for vomiting and motion sickness in dogs, or they may recommend an over-the-counter medication like Dramamine.
Pheromone products and calming treats can be used during training and also during car trips. These are usually available in sprays, wipes, and even dog collars.
Medications like gabapentin and trazodone can be prescribed by veterinarians because they are good short-acting anxiety medications. CBD oil has also been shown to help dogs with anxiety and stress. It can be given via a dropper or inside of dog treats. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before starting CBD because it may cause excess sedation if given with anxiety medications.
Dogs sometimes appreciate music in the car. Whenever researchers perform studies on the effects of music on animals in a shelter setting, they usually determine that classical music and sometimes jazz or reggae have the most calming effect. If your dog isn’t a music fan, then you can give him chew toys or puzzle toys to help keep his mind occupied.
Frequent rest stops are always a good opportunity to allow your pup to stretch his legs and to take in some of the local sights and smells. If he is afraid of loud noises and traffic, then avoid rest stops right by the highway where it is sure to be loud and busy.