Picture a dog going for a car ride and you’re probably imaging the dog sitting up in the seat, head out the window, tongue flowing in the breeze. It’s true that a lot of dogs love car rides, but there are plenty of them who are absolutely terrified of being in the car.
Whether it’s the noise of the engine and the air rushing by or the sensation of being in something else that’s moving, many dogs spend the whole car ride in panic mode. They pant heavily, drooling excessively, try to escape or hide, or possibly shed profusely. Here are a few tips to help you calm your dog down and make them more comfortable in the car.
Put them on the floor
For some dogs, the floor of the car feels safer than the seat. For others, the opposite is true. If the dog has been in the seat and has been scared, move them to the floor. If they’ve been on the floor, move them to the seat. Sometimes that’s enough to calm them down, but you may need to do more.
Sit with them
This, of course, only works if there’s more than one human in the car. If there is, then try having one of you sit with the dog in the back seat. Having you with them might be enough to calm them down. An especially nervous dog may want to climb into your lap, too.
Use calming treats
This and other dog anxieties are common enough problems that there are plenty of dog treats out there designed to help dogs calm down.
Most of them contain melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. So, essentially, it’s less of a “calm” treat and more of a “sleep now” treat. It might just be all you need, though.
You can also give dogs Benadryl- ask your vet about it first, though, because they’ll be able to tell you exactly what product to buy and what dose to give. This isn’t as natural as melatonin, and that puts some people off it. Benadryl is powerful stuff; anyone who’s used it before can tell you that it makes you drowsy quickly, and it’s hard to fight through the drowsiness. It’s safe for dogs in the right dose, so again, talk to your vet before using this.
For a more natural way to calm your dogs down that might be stronger than melatonin, you could consider using CBD pet products. Most CBD brands now have products made just for pets. People who have used them often swear by them. CBD is relatively new, and research into its effects is still inconclusive.
Many people see CBD as a cleaner, more natural product than products like Benadryl. CBD might reduce your dog’s anxiety in the car better than melatonin. In fact, it might be just as good as Benadryl. You shouldn’t have to worry about the dosage as much, either. If your dog struggles with car rides, CBD might just be the answer.