New Puppy? Here’s How to Get Them Used to Car Rides
Getting a new puppy is exciting! Having them vomit or try to jump out the window on their first car ride is not. It takes time for a little pup to get used to traveling around via car. Use these tips to help your fur baby get used to riding around in style.
You may have driven your puppy home from the breeder or shelter, but otherwise, your puppy may not have a lot of experience with a car. To them, it’s a strange, stinky, and dangerous object. Help them get acquainted by letting them explore it first. Let them roam through the parked car to get their bearings, and then turn on the engine. If they get scared, this may be enough for one day. However, if they seem okay, you may be ready for a test drive.
When left to their own devices, puppies tend to jump all over a car. While it’s cute, unfortunately, it’s extremely dangerous, especially when you’re on the road. To stop this, you’ll need to secure them with a crate or harness. This teaches them to sit still, keeps them out of your way, and also protects them if you’re in an accident. You may want to reward your puppy when you successfully get them in the crate or harness, so they know it’s not a punishment.
It’s common for dogs to get motion sickness while in a car. Often, just getting used to the feeling of driving will help with that. In the meantime, you can help them feel a little better by waiting to feed them until after the trip. If they’re looking a little green, you can also crack open a window (but not too far), so they can get some fresh air.
When your puppy feels comfortable, it’s time to go on a short drive. At first, you only want to circle the block. During this time, see how your puppy behaves. Are they quivering in fear? Are they trying to escape their confinements? Correct them as necessary, and give them a treat for positive affirmation when they sit still and are quiet.
Hopefully, these tips can make it a bit easier to transport your pup around town. For peace of mind when traveling with your dog, also make sure you have auto insurance that will cover you in an accident. USAgencies offers low-cost insurance so you can spend the money you save on more treats for Fido.
“Travel Training for You and Your Pets.” FDA, July 17, 2019, https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/travel-training-you-and-your-pets.