Dog-Friendly Travel Blog | Guide For Dog Owners

Stress By Dogs in Car Rides - How To Relieve Dog Stress?



How to Help A Dog With Stress in The Car?

This dog blog will discuss one of the most common problems when travelling in the car with your dog: stress. Stress by dogs in the car is a familiar problem by many dogs when they are on the road.

 

How to calm a stressed dog in the car? In order to eliminate dog stress we gathered the best tips to prevent such problems. This dog blog will be your ultimate guide about how to travel with dogs. These must-follow tips will help you to be prepared when you are hitting the road. Whether you're going on a short or long trip - you will be successfully prepared! 

 


What Are The Symptoms of Stress By Dogs?

Dogs with travel stress may exhibit one or more of these behaviors:

  1. Pacing or shaking. You have seen your dog shake after a bath or a roll in the grass. That whole body shake can be amusing and is quite normal…unless it is occurring as the result of a stressful situation. For example, dogs are commonly stressed when visiting the veterinarian. Many dogs “shake it off” when they descend from the exam table and touch down on the ground. Dogs, like people, also pace when agitated. Some dogs walk a repeated path around the exam room while waiting for the veterinarian to come in.
  2. Whining or barking. Vocalization is normal self-expression in dogs but may be intensified when they are under stress. Dogs that are afraid or tense may whine or bark to get your attention, or to self soothe.
  3. Yawning, drooling, and licking. Dogs yawn when they are tired or bored, they also yawn when stressed. A stressful yawn is more prolonged and intense than a sleepy yawn. Dogs may also drool and lick excessively when nervous.
  4. Changes in eyes and ears. Stressed dogs, like stressed people, may have dilated pupils and blink rapidly. They may open their eyes really wide and show more sclera (white) than usual, giving them a startled appearance. Ears that are usually relaxed or alert are pinned back against the head.
  5. Changes in body posture. Dogs normally bear even weight on all four legs. If a healthy dog with no orthopedic problems shifts his weight to his rear legs or cowers, he may be exhibiting stress. When scared, dogs may also tuck their tails or become quite rigid.
  6. Shedding. Show dogs that become nervous in the show ring often “blow their coat”. Dogs also shed a lot when in the veterinary clinic. Although less noticeable in outside settings, such as visiting a new dog park, shedding increases when a dog is anxious.
  7. Panting. Dogs pant when hot, excited, or stressed. If your dog is panting even though he has not exercised, he may be experiencing stress.
  8. Changes in bodily functions. Like people, nervous dogs can feel a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. When your dog urinates shortly after meeting a new canine friend, he may be marking territory and reacting to the strain simultaneously. Refusal of food and loss of bowel function are also stress indicators.
  9. Avoidance or displacement behavior. When faced with an unwelcome situation, dogs may “escape” by focusing on something else. They may sniff the ground, lick their genitals, or simply turn away. Ignoring someone may not be polite, but it is surely better than being aggressive. If your dog avoids interaction with other dogs or people, do not force the issue. Respect his choice.
  10. Hiding or escape behavior. An extension of avoidance, some tense dogs literally move behind their owners to hide. They may even nudge their owners to prompt them to move along. As a means of escape, they may engage in diversion activities such as digging or circling or may slink behind a tree or parked car.

 


Dog Stress Causes & Common Stressful Situations

A variety of factors can lead to travel anxiety in dogs:

  • Motion sickness or other bad experience while traveling, causing a negative association with car trips;
  • Learning that a car ride means going somewhere unpleasant, such as the veterinarian’s office;
  • Stressed by certain sights or sounds while riding in the car (e.g., car noises, traffic, etc.);
  • Feeling unstable or insecure while in motion.
  • Confusion and memory loss associated with aging.
  • Fear (of loud noises, new environments, large or strange objects and big groups of people)
  • Separation stress

 


Preventing & Treating Travel Stress in Dogs

Dogs primarily communicate using body language, so it’s important for humans to understand what they are trying to tell us. Learning our dogs’ special ways of communication can reduce their anxiety and prevent potentially dangerous situations from happening. There are several warning signs to look for to help tell if your dog is stressed.

 

#8 Best Tips To Master Stressed Dogs

  1. Invest in good dog travel elements: dog car seat, dog seat belt & a harness.
  2. Start with short car journeys: let your dog get used to the car seat at home first. By using a dog car seat, you can bring the comfort of home into the car. Then start slowly with short car trips and fun destinations such as the beach or forest. During the car journey, it helps considerably if you reward your dog well with cuddles or treats. 
  3. Personal scents & accessories: travelling in the car is different for every dog, so it is wise to bring something from home into the car. For example, a rug, a cuddly toy or a toy. The smell and comfort of home will help the dog to slowly get used to the car.
  4. Exercise your dog about 20 minutes before your car trip. Activity stimulates endorphins (“feel-good” hormones) and will also tire her out; she might even settle down for a nap once you hit the road.
  5. Bring her favorite dog toy. She’ll especially enjoy the recognizable smell of her plush toys.
  6. Keep the car comfortable. Regulate the temperature; crack the window or sunroof to allow in some fresh air (don’t allow your dog to hang her head out the window). Soothing music can also reassure your dog. If you plan to crate her, make sure the crate is level and flat, not listing to one side; cover it with a towel if that seems to calm your dog.
  7. Talk to your vet about pheromones. These are chemicals animals release which affect other animals of the same species, usually through smell. A female dog releases a pheromone that calms and reassures her newborn puppies; its synthetic version is available in a spray or collar, and has been shown to help anxious dogs during car travel.
  8. Experiment with homeopathic remedies. The efficacy of these is less documented, but some dog owners swear by them. Made from the essences of flowers and plants, they’re worth a try.

 


Invest in a Dog Car Seat

L'élianne ® designer dog car seat is original, exclusive & innovative designed for any car-adventure. Our iconic dog travel bed provides the best protection, comfort, and support during dangerous & unsafe situations.

 

The dog booster seat is a must-have to instantly master anxiety, stress or car sickness. The elevated seat provides a breathtaking view of the outside world. L'élianne ® strives for a future where dogs no longer have to feel such problems.

 

The luxury dog booster car seat functions as an airbag effect during sharp turns, hard brakes & high bumps. By recreating the comforts of your home for small to medium-sized dogs into the car.

 


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