10 Ways to Calm Your Pup in the Car - Pet Hub USA

10 Ways to Calm Your Pup in the Car

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Some dogs love taking rides in the car. Others are a bit fussier, though, and can cause problems while you’re trying to drive. Sometimes you just need to get where you’re going, though! If you’ve got a dog who gets anxious in the car, here are ten ways to help calm them down.

Not Just the Vet

A Veterinarian Vaccinating a Dog
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels

Some dogs get anxious in the car because they associate car rides with seeing the vet or a groomer. If your dog has made this association, it can be difficult to calm them down in the car. To avoid this, make sure you take them to the dog park and to see your friends often, too! That way, the car doesn’t automatically make them think of negative things.

Train with Treats

Woman giving her dog a treat

You can train your dog with treats to enjoy car rides in the same way you can train them to learn commands. Reward them for staying calm with little treats and positive affirmations. Your pup will begin to treat good car behavior as a trick for which they get rewarded.

Open the Windows (A Little)

dog leaning his head on car window
Photo by Ignacio Amenábar on Unsplash

Some dogs are more at ease if they have good awareness of their surroundings. Opening the windows a little can give them a good chance to smell everything passing the car. Just don’t open them too wide, as the amount of wind whipping around them can be overstimulating and unpleasant.

Seat Belt Harness

black pug puppy on car seat
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

You might have noticed your dog slipping and tripping in the car when they’re allowed to walk freely around. To prevent this, you can get your dog a seat belt harness that will keep them securely in place as the car makes turns and accelerates. This is basically a seat belt for dogs and can make them more relaxed.


brown short coated dog lying on green metal cage
Photo by Ayla Verschueren on Unsplash

One way to prevent overstimulation is to let your dog spend car rides in their crate. You can get them a special car crate or just use the crate they sleep in. This can help them relax, as they’re in a smaller area that they feel they have more control over.

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Window Films

white and brown short coated dog inside car
Photo by Lauren Guardala on Unsplash

Another way to keep your pup from being overwhelmed in the car is to install window film or screens to limit their ability to see out from the car. This can keep them from getting carsick and becoming overstimulated by the amount of visual information they’re suddenly taking in.

Calming Collars

white and tan dog inside vehicle
Photo by marieke koenders on Unsplash

Many brands offer calming collars that have pleasant smells and oils on them. Since dogs’ noses are so sensitive, they might be more receptive to these smells. This can help them calm down even in a stressful situation like a car ride down the highway.

Calm Music

adult black and white collie sitting at the back of car
Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash

Playing low-tempo, classical music might help dogs relax. Try to avoid up tempo, aggressive music. Be particularly careful about not playing your music too loud. If you’re rocking out, your dog might become anxious from the noise and your seemingly agitated behavior.

Read More: 5 Things to Do If Your Dog Runs Away

Walk Beforehand

person walking beside Golden retriever on the street
Photo by Andriyko Podilnyk on Unsplash

Give your pup lots of exercise before you hop in the car. This can help them burn off excess energy and can reduce their anxiety when they’re moving quickly in the vehicle despite not exerting themselves. This can also help encourage them to enjoy the car ride as it usually follows an activity they enjoy.

Read More: Tips to Keep Your Pets Calm During New Year’s Fireworks

Remain Calm

brown curly haired small dog
Photo by Jonathan Cooper on Unsplash

Most importantly, make sure your demeanor stays relaxed in the car. If you shout or fuss at your dog for getting antsy in the car, they’re going to associate car rides with stress and negativity. If you remain calm and stay positive, however, they’ll begin to associate car rides with your good mood.

Read More: Easy Tips to Calm a Panting Dog

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