How to accustom your dog to get in the car?
Nowadays people could hardly imagine life without a car, but is it the same for our 4-legged friends? Unfortunately, not all dogs think that a car is a useful means of transport, but mostly a strange contraption to be wary of. The problem then occurs when it is necessary to carry around your own dog by car. Sometimes it sparks a true “tragedy”: the dog starts to whine and does not want to get into the car, he plants on his legs and once on board he begins to stir – with the risk to “destroy” the interior of the car – and barks insistently.
To avoid that these problems occur any time, your beloved pet should get used to the car in 6 easy steps:
- Step 1: keep the car engine off and leave the back door or the trunk open, get in the car and take your dog’s blanket and some of his favorite toys. Finally invite him inside to play, rub his toys on the seat to make the interior of the car familiar to your pet. When the dog decides to get in, you should leave his toy at his disposal as long as he remains seated / curled up on the seat. To lower your dog’s last resistance, you should help him to relax, by stroking him or playing with him quietly.
- Step 2: Once the dog has got in, try to push him on the side of the closed door or close the car door quietly. If the dog does not feel “trapped”, but instead he allows you to carry on to caress him or play quietly, then he is ready to take the next step.
- Step 3: Hold down the car window and try to get out the car. Your dog should not follow you. Leave him alone inside the car and calm him down with reassuring words. During this phase, you can give him a biscuit through the car window and then let him get out of the car.
- Step 4: Repeat step 3, but instead of giving the biscuit to your dog by staying out of the car, sit on the driver’s seat and offer him his tasty prize and keep him calm with nice words, after closing the car door.
- Step 5: Now it is time to start the car engine. Offer Immediately a biscuit to your dog to create an association between reward and car start.
- Step 6: If all 5 steps have been correctly performed gradually, the dog should have lost his fear towards the car. At first it is advisable to start with short trips to nearby destinations, preferably to pleasant places like parks.
If the dog suffers from motion sickness take him to the vet, who may recommend medicines that can alleviate his problem. In any case it is better to stop frequently. Especially during long trips stop every 2-3 hours to let him stroll and to drink water, particularly when it is hot.