If your dog is going on his first holiday with the family, you want to prepare him for the journey long before you actually depart, especially if the travel time will be long. Some dogs might get comfortable in a car more quickly than others, but it is still important to prepare your dog beforehand. Keep in mind that not all dogs enjoy car rides.
The younger your dog is and the sooner you start with training, the better. From the beginning, make sure that your dog is safe in the car.
- Get your dog in the car and drive a few short trips to begin with, like around the block. Give him a few treats after the trip so that he will associate a trip in the car with good things.
- When your dog seems comfortable with the short trips, take a trip to a nearby park where he will be able to get out of the car, smell interesting things and spend time with you. Remember to give him a few treats when you arrive home. The idea is that he learns to experience car rides as pleasant times.
- Slowly increase the distance of the trips in the car and take him to experience new places and adventures. If possible, try to avoid trips to the vet, grooming parlour, or any place he might possibly have a negative experience at, during this time.
- Stay calm during the trip. Your dog might sense your stress and might become anxious himself, which doesn’t allow for a positive experience.
- Circulate fresh air in the car – you can open the windows a few centimetres. Also have his favourite blanket and toys with him in the car. All of this can help him to stay calm.
By doing shorter trips with your dog in the car, he will learn to behave, what to expect, and you will learn how he behaves in the car. All of this can help a lot in getting prepared for a long trip.
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