FunNature & AnimalGetting your dog to travel calmly by car is...

Getting your dog to travel calmly by car is possible if…


These four legs are: 1). The innate behavior of hunting , 2). The defense instinct , 3). The fact of being a gregarious animal and 4). The tendency to live in a burrow.

This last innatism, its tendency to live in burrows, which we can take advantage of, so that car trips with your dog go smoothly.

Safety and comfort, the characteristics of the burrow

For your dog to see that traveling by car is like being inside the burrow, two fundamental requirements must be met, which are: comfort and safety .

How to make the car a burrow?

  1. Reduce the openings in the vehicle: all the windows of your car are a point of surveillance and stress for your dog. Especially if a person or dog approaches by any of them. Doesn’t it happen to you that he starts barking when he sees something approaching?

    If you want your dog to relax inside the car and not have to defend it, reducing visibility from so many fronts is of great help.

    To do this, you can place some parasols or tint the moons .

    Likewise, if you get him to lie down and relax in one of these commercial blankets that protect the seats, the windows will be above his head and he will not be aware of what is outside.

    Another resource is to place a carrier inside your car. This carrier must be associated with something positive and calm, as I explain below.

  1. Get a suitable temperature: burrows are characterized by having a pleasant temperature. If you leave your car in the sun on a summer day, it is normal for your dog to refuse to enter. They handle high temperatures very badly, since they only eliminate excess temperature from their body through the tongue and pads. Insufficient surface in heat waves.

    Always keeping the vehicle cool before asking it to enter and while your dog is inside is a fundamental requirement.

  1. Make the space positive: before starting any trip, I advise you to give your dog a positive association with the car, or the carrier. You must do this in advance of the trip, for example, giving him dinner inside for several days.
  2. Turn the car into a space of tranquility: once you have positively activated the car and given your dog an association with something that it likes, such as its food, it is time for it to learn to rest inside it.

    Why it is not enough for your dog to see the interior of the car as a positive space, it is because he could be so happy or anxious that it makes driving difficult. That is why it is important that you also see it as a calm space where you can relax. To do this , invite him to rest inside after a long walk.

  1. Habituation to movement : once we have managed to get our dog to associate the car with something positive, such as its food, and also be able to relax and rest inside it, it is time to start moving.

    Some dogs can get seasick . To avoid this: 1). find a place in the car as low and close to the front seats as possible, 2). do not give too much food before the trip and 3). Take as much time as you need to get used to seeing you sitting down and hearing the sound of the engine.

  1. External aids: if your dog shows anxiety during car trips, there are certain external aids without the need to use drugs.
    1. Calming pheromones : spray to be sprayed inside the car 10 minutes before the trip and that give a feeling of familiarity when they are captured by their powerful smell.
    2. Anti- stress garments: garments that slightly compress your body as an artificial hug.

And now that my dog already sees trips as something positive and calm…

…do not forget:

  1. Rest every two hours: Like us, dogs also need to stretch their legs, drink something and relieve themselves.

    Taking 10 minutes will be enough, but don’t forget to maximize safety, since it is common to stop in areas close to the road or unknown to your dog.

  1. Maximize safety: It is important that your dog cannot distract you or interfere with your driving. Also, that in the event of sudden braking or a collision, it does not pose a risk to the other occupants of the vehicle or to the vehicle itself.

    The DGT has carried out technical tests that show how a dog loose in the trunk is shot out of the front window, assuming an enormous weight that could kill the occupants of the vehicle in the event of sudden braking or a collision.

    The best options in terms of security are:

    1. For small dogs: a horizontal carrier placed on the floor between the front and rear seats
    2. For large dogs: well-fixed carrier in the boot and additional safety barrier
    3. Without carrier: Double safety harness tied in short with belt mechanism. 
  1. The three maxims of health :
    1. Up-to-date health card and visit your veterinarian before and after the trip. It will inform you of prevention risks according to your travel destination.
    2. Locate the 24-hour vet in your holiday area
    3. Under no circumstances leave your dog alone in the car in summer, not in the shade, not even for two minutes. It is a huge risk to your life.

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