How Do I Get My Dog to Like the Car?
Nothing can put a trip on hold like a dog that refuses to hop in the backseat of the car. While some pups can’t wait to jump in and go for a ride, others find a car ride to be their biggest fear. Thankfully, with a little bit of persistence from their owners, many dogs are able to get over their fear of riding in the car. You may be asking yourself, though, how can you get your dog to like being in the car? This guide from Serra Mazda is here to help.
Read more: Can I Bring My Dog to the Car Dealership?
Help Rid Your Dog’s Fear Of Car Rides
There are a number of reasons that dogs can hold negative feelings towards riding in the car. Whether it be one bad experience, car sickness, fear of leaving home, or anything else, riding in a vehicle is something every dog will have to face. So how do we help rid your dog’s fear of car rides? Try out the steps below to help get your dog a little more comfortable riding in your vehicle.
- Use treats to lure your dog towards your vehicle. Instead of pushing your dog towards the vehicle, make it seem rewarding with their favorite treats. It is recommended you try this with one person leading the dog on a leash and another person already in the back seat of the vehicle with the treats.
- Keep all of the vehicle doors open so once your dog is inside they do not feel trapped in an unfamiliar area.
- Once your dog is inside the vehicle spend some time with them instead of hopping right over to the driver’s seat. Give reassurance and positive reinforcement to let your dog know the vehicle is a safe space and can be rewarding for them. Immediately getting up and into the front of the car may startle your dog and make him even more scared.
- Do some test runs of turning the engine on. Turn your vehicle on and give your dog some treats. Turn the vehicle off and repeat this process until your dog seems comfortable with the engine noises.
- Take a few small trips to rewarding areas like a dog park. Only ever taking your dog to the vet will only increase their association of the vehicle with somewhere they may not enjoy going.
- Consistency is key. Stay positive throughout the training process and finish each training session before your dog becomes overwhelmed or fearful.
Every dog is different and their ability to adjust to riding in a vehicle will vary. Over time and with consistent efforts you can get your dog feeling comfortable going on trips in the car. Do you need to upgrade your vehicle to a more pet-friendly model? Check out our lineup of in-stock Mazda models to find your family’s perfect fit today!