Is Your Car Ready for your Dog (and Vice Versa)

By on June 22, 2019

The thought of your furry best friend riding on the seat beside you wearing a bandana with their head out the window and loving every minute of it is a dog owners dream. But the truth is, many dogs suffer some terrible anxiety in the car. This can range from unpleasant (panting and whining) to impossible to deal with (vomiting, pacing, and relieving themselves).

So what can you do to prepare your car and your pooch for the car?

Some recommendations include:

  • Crate in the car: A dog loves to have its own private space. If you can give them a crate that is on firm and solid footing (not jostling around) this might help get them used to your car. It has a number of other advantages too, there will be no pet hair on the seats and it is actually the safest place for a dog to be.
  • Be prepared: Bring cleaning supplies in case of accidents and invest in upholstery covers.
  • Make them comfortable: A favorite toy or blanket might help with dog anxiety in the car.


If your dog is very anxious about the car you may want to train them to have a better attitude. Try a method over a few weeks that will slowly acclimate them to the experience of being in the car with the reward of a favorite treat.

One strategy can be:

  • For the first couple times, put them in the car for a moment with a treat. Then let them out again.
  • Follow the same procedure, but turn on the engine when the dog is in the car, without going into motion.
  • After a few more positive trips to the car, start to go on very short trips and see how the dog handles the experience.

Also consider taking your dog somewhere nice in the car. If your dog is bad about the car, it might be because you have only taken them to places like the vet and groomer, where they don’t want to be. Get your dog used to having positive experience with the car by driving them to a park or to somewhere across town for a run.

If, however, your dog has serious anxiety or illness in the car, you’ll want to consult your vet. You may want to look at what pet insurance will cover, because anti-anxiety medication for travel might be in some plans.

Your vet may also have ideas for scents, sounds, our natural medication that will get your furry friends on the road peacefully and sometimes that’s the best you can ask for.


Guest contributor Sarah Archer submitted the above and she is a Content and PR manager at Your Best Digs. She’s passionate about evaluating everyday home products to help customers save time and money. When she’s not putting a product’s promise to the test, you’ll find her hiking a local trail or collecting stamps in her passport.


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