With their ears flapping in the wind and their tails wagging ecstatically as hundreds of different smells pass by their nose, dogs consider a car ride with their owner as one of life’s greatest pleasures–almost as desirable as being allowed to sleep under the covers with their human at night.
Anywhere But Inside the Car!
It may surprise you to know that some dogs do NOT like riding in a car, nor do they like hanging their heads out the window. These fearful dogs may fear unexpected noises (such as rumbling motorcycles or car horns) or have a sense of claustrophobia when enclosed in a small space,
Fear of riding in a car should be addressed by slowly acclimatizing the dog to car rides. Sitting with your pet in a stationary vehicle for a few minutes at a time is a good way to begin the acclimatization. Let your dog get used to the sound of the engine before progressing to backing in and out of your driveway. When you think your dog seems more relaxed about being in the car, drive around the block. Gauge your next trip by how your dog reacts to this short jaunt.
Fear of Car Rides May Be Due to a Medical Problem
Dogs with persistent motion sickness often appear ill after a car ride and may drool or vomit. If your dog gets sick after riding in the car, consult with Dr. Simon or Dr. Writes at the Woodside Animal Clinic about treatments available to relieve motion sickness in dogs.
If your dog begins fearing car rides for no apparent reason, he may be suffering emergent orthopedic problems that make it painful for him to jump in and out of your vehicle. With older dogs, it could be the onset of arthritis while certain dog breeds could be suffering heredity issues such as hip or elbow dysplasia.
Does your dog love riding in the car? If he doesn’t, how do you make it easier for him to ride?