How to Introduce Your Dog To A New Car – For Better Travel


Is your dog ready for a car ride? If you’re looking for an easy and fun way to introduce your puppy to the joys of automobile travel, you’ve come to the right place.

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In this article, we cover not only how to introduce your puppy to a new car but how to make the road trip experience more enjoyable.

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Donnie & Bella are in the car!

Soon you’ll both be taking trips together in no time!

Introducing Your Dog To A Car For Better Travel

Who should introduce their dog to a car?

Everyone should introduce their dog to a car. Even if you never travel, there will come a time your puppy needs to go on a car ride, like when they need to go to the veterinarian. Plus, car rides can be an enjoyable experience for both the owners and their dogs, as it provides an opportunity for bonding, physical activity (driving to a hiking spot), and exploration of new places.

Why do you want to introduce your dog to a car?

Introducing your dog to a car is important for a number of reasons. The first is safety. Having an understanding of car travel can help prevent accidents involving both your dog and you.

Next, being comfortable in the car also allows you to take your pup with you on trips, instead of leaving them at home alone or relying on someone else to watch them.

Finally, it’s a great way to expose your pup to new environments and experiences, allowing them to become more confident and well-behaved while out and about.

What should you do before taking your dog on a car ride?

First and foremost, make sure that your dog is properly restrained inside the car. This includes placing them in a seatbelt harness or crate, depending on their size and age. Additionally, make sure that you have water available for your pup in case they become thirsty during the ride.

If possible, take some practice rides with your dog prior to taking a longer journey. This will help them become accustomed to the car’s noises and movements, as well as help you both become more comfortable with one another in the vehicle.

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Step by Step – How to introduce your dog to a new car for better travel

Step 1: Start Small

Before taking a long drive with your dog, it’s important that they get used to being in the car. To do this, start small by putting them in the car for short periods of time without starting the engine.

For example, if you have a driveway or garage, put them in the vehicle and let them explore—just be sure to stay with them while you’re letting them investigate.

Doing this will help your dog get used to being in a confined space while familiarizing them with all the new sights, sounds, and smells associated with cars.

Step 2: Make It Fun

Once your dog is comfortable with spending short amounts of time in the car, it’s time to make it fun! Bring their favorite toys and treats along on these rides so they can associate these pleasant experiences with being inside a car.

Additionally, take frequent breaks during longer drives so that your dog can stretch their legs, drink some water, and go potty if necessary.

Step 3: Practice Makes Perfect

The more frequently you take your dog out on drives (even just around town),the more comfortable they will become with automobile travel.

With enough practice runs under their belt (or paw!),you may even find that your pup starts getting excited when it’s time for a road trip!

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In this video, Top Dog Professional Training walks you through a real-life example of how to train your dog to load into the car.

How long will it take for my dog to get used to the car?

Generally speaking, small dogs may take up to a few weeks of regular practice sessions before they become comfortable in the car. On the other hand, larger breeds may take closer to a month or longer to become used to the car. Ultimately, it is important to be patient during this process and remember that every pup is different!

What dog breeds love going on car rides?

Many breeds of dogs love going on car rides, such as Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Poodles, German Shepherds, and even smaller breeds like Chihuahuas and Pomeranians. These breeds are often known for their intelligence and high energy levels; they enjoy the excitement of a car ride and the new places that it can take them.

According to Wag, here is a list of ten breeds that love going on car rides:

  1. Japanese Chin
  2. French Bulldog
  3. Newfoundland
  4. Basset Hound
  5. Labrador Retriever
  6. Clumber Spaniel
  7. Standard Poodle
  8. English Bulldog
  9. Maltese
  10. Chihuahuas

No matter what breed of dog you have, taking them out for a car ride is a great way to bond with your pup and experience wonderful sights together.

When should you introduce your dog to a car?

It is important to introduce your dog to a car at an early age, ideally from puppyhood. This would be as early as eight weeks old when they need to go to the vet for a check-up and shots.

This will help accustom them to the sensation and sounds of car rides, which can often be intimidating for dogs who have not had much exposure to vehicles.

Boston Terrier Puppy with Soldier
Bella as a puppy traveling with dad.

Can Puppies travel in cars?

Yes, puppies can travel in cars but there are certain safety precautions that need to be taken. It is important to ensure puppies are properly secured in the car at all times, such as being placed in a crate that is appropriate for their size and age.

Also, having someone with the puppy during the car ride can increase safety, as they can keep an eye on the pup and react quickly in case of emergency.

Tips for keeping your dog safe while traveling in the car

Here are some safety tips when traveling by car with your dog:

  • Make sure your dog is properly restrained in the car at all times, using a seat belt harness or crate
  • Never leave your dog alone in the car, as they can quickly become agitated and overheated
  • Take frequent breaks during long trips to allow your dog to stretch their legs and go potty
  • Bring along your pup’s favorite toys and treats to help keep them calm and entertained
  • Offer plenty of praise and positive reinforcement to keep your pup’s spirits up
  • Make sure their ID tags are up to date in case they accidentally get separated from you during the journey.

By following these tips, you can ensure a safe and comfortable car ride for both you and your pup!

What are some tips for calming an anxious dog while in the car?

To help keep your dog calm during car rides, you can try playing soothing music in the background, offering them chew toys to occupy their time, or speaking in a calming voice.

Additionally, it’s important to break up the ride with frequent stops so your dog can get out and stretch their legs, go potty, and get some fresh air.

Is there medicine I can give my dog to help with car travel?

Yes, there are various medications and natural remedies available to help dogs cope with car travel. If your pup is starting to show signs of distress such as pacing or panting during car rides, talk to your vet about medication options that can be used for this purpose. Benzodiazepines like diazepam, buspirone, and alprazolam can be used to help reduce anxiety and make car rides more comfortable for your pup.

In addition to medication, there are also natural remedies that can be used to help dogs cope with car rides such as Bach flower essences and herbal remedies like chamomile, valerian root, or lavender essential oil.

It is important to note that these medications and remedies should only be used after consulting with a veterinarian. They can help make car rides more comfortable for your pup, but they may not work for every dog or situation.

Ultimately, it’s best to talk to your vet about the options available and determine which one is best for you and your pup. Good luck!

How to make a long road trip easy with a dog

Taking a long road trip with a dog can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for both you and your pup. However, it is important to properly prepare for the journey so that it is safe and stress-free for everyone involved.

Before heading out on the open road, make sure that your pup is up to date on all vaccines and has a clean bill of health so that any potential issues can be addressed before the trip.

Additionally, equip your vehicle with all the necessary supplies, such as water bowls, travel crates, first-aid kits that are pet-friendly, and other items to make sure your pup has everything they need for a safe journey. Check out this Amazon link for everything pet car travel related: Dog Car Travel Gear.

During the trip, make sure to provide plenty of breaks for your pup to get out, stretch their legs, and go potty. Offering treats or a special toy that they only get during car rides can also help keep them calm and entertained during the ride.

Finally, don’t forget to bring along their favorite toys or blankets—these will help create positive associations with automobile travel!

Final Thoughts

Taking your dog out for a drive doesn’t have to be stressful—it can actually be quite enjoyable! By following these steps—start small; make it fun; and practice often—you’ll be well on your way towards introducing your dog safely and successfully into automobile travel.

Before long, you’ll both be heading out on exciting adventures together!

Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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