Dog leaning head out of car window

Tips and Tricks for Getting Your Pups Comfortable Riding in Cars

How Can I Get My Dog More Comfortable in the Car? 

Summer is here and as many local families look to head out on road trips or camping trips, many hope to bring their dogs with. But there’s often a catch – a lot of dogs are fearful of the car. Whether it stems from one bad trip in the car, fear of going to the vet, motion sickness, or anything else, overcoming a dog’s fear of riding in cars can be stressful. 

We at Friendly Kia love having dogs come visit us here and we love bringing our own dogs on trips. Our team has put together this list of tips and tricks to help your dog get more comfortable riding in the car. Check them out below! 

>>> READ MORE: Friendly Kia is Tampa Bay’s Premier Dog-Friendly Kia Dealership! <<< 

Relieving Car Anxiety and Fear in Dogs 

Whether it’s shaking, excessive panting, hiding, or downright running from you, dogs often make it pretty clear when they are feeling afraid or anxious. Cars can be a trigger for a lot of dogs who didn’t often ride in vehicles as puppies. However, as the saying often goes, old dogs CAN learn new tricks. Here are just a few tips and tricks we recommend trying with your pup to get them more comfortable in the car and to help them overcome their car anxiety or fear.  

  • Try gradually introducing your dog to the car. Let them get into the back seat by themselves and don’t rush them. Allow them to hang out back there for a bit without closing the doors and let them adjust to being inside the vehicle.  
  • Put a favorite toy or treat on the back seat as a reward for getting in the vehicle, or even going near it.  
  • Don’t only drive them to negative places, like the vet or groomers. Take them out on a Sunday drive or down to the pet store for a new toy. Only going somewhere that they dislike will cause a negative association with the vehicle.  
  • Try having someone sit in the back seat with them. If it’s just your pup in the back seat by themselves, they may become stressed out not being near you.  
  • Take them on a few short drives. Gradually adjusting to longer and longer periods of time in the vehicle can be key for some dogs.  
  • Keep the vehicle’s interior cool and lower the windows to allow fresh air in.  
  • Let your dog run around and play before getting into the car. Getting out energy can help decrease stress in dogs.  
  • Try a vet-recommended pheromones diffuser or spray to help relax your dog.  
  • When in doubt, consult your vet for advice tailored to your specific pet.  
Dog with tongue out in car
Dog with head out of car window

>>> READ MORE: 5 Reasons to Love the 2021 Kia Seltos <<< 

There’s nothing better than hitting the road with your best pup by your side. Getting your dog comfortable in the car is key before heading out on any sort of road trip. Try out these tips and tricks to help get your dog feeling less stressed while riding in your car.  

Head over to the Friendly Kia inventory to view our full lineup of pup-approved Kia SUVs, sedans, and crossovers.