Handling a Dog in a Vehicle


Often times, we need to bring our dogs with us in our vehicles, may it be to go on a vacation or to the local dog park, or to make the dreadful trip to the veterinarian. Some dogs (like mine) absolutely love car trips, and get as excited for them as they would for a walk. Others, though, get anxiety from trips in the car.

According to PetHelpful, there’s a way to ease your dog’s stress and lessen their apprehension if he or she is prone to car anxiety.

“If your dog displays anxiety about traveling from the outset, start slow and take small trips. Reward the dog for quiet behavior and good behavior in the car.”

Often the reason a dog feels anxious with car trips is due to the fact that, for many dogs, the only time they get into a car is for a trip to the vet’s office. Just like humans, dogs are not too fond of having to go to the doctor. Often times dogs become classically trained to think that a car trip equals vet time. By taking them on more car trips (to the dog park, or other favorite places), as well as rewarding them for good behavior, your dog will become much more comfortable with spending time in the car.

Just like humans, it’s important that a dog is kept safe in vehicles. This is in cases of hard braking, as well as car accidents. Car accidents can be terrifying and could potentially lead to serious injury. Having a proper restraint will help keep your dog safe, as well as make sure they don’t run off in case of an accident. It’s best to either crate your dog if possible, or if need be, use a car restraint to help keep your dog safe. This will also help with preventing dogs from jumping out an open window.


When preparing for long trips in the car, consider bringing your pup’s favorite toys and treats. These will provide entertainment for your dog, making sure they don’t get too bored while on the road.

Never leave your dog in your vehicle for extended periods of time. With high summer temperatures that are amplified by your vehicle while it’s off, they can become death traps in very short periods of time. Keeping a collapsible water bowl on hand can make keeping your dog hydrated easy and convenient.

Dog with head out car window
Help Your Pup Out

If you’re like me, you may have a large vehicle like an SUV or a pickup truck. These types of vehicles can be difficult for some dogs to get into, especially if the dog is small or old. One of the best ways to help them out is to have a step stool (you can store it in the back or in a trunk) that will be a great help with your dog getting in and out. Also, if you struggle with back issues or another injury, these can also prevent you from further injuring yourself while trying to lift your pup in the vehicle.

These tips will make sure that both you and your dog will have good and safe travels!

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