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Dog's with Car Anxiety

Updated: Apr 5, 2022


Most dogs get excited when they see the car door open; but not every dog loves car rides. There're a variety of reasons your dog may not like trips; motion sickness, negative experiences (car wrecks), being kenneled or strapped into the car, or negative associations (veterinarian or grooming appointments).

How to help your dog adjust to car rides

When your dog is not happy in the car; it can effect everyone. Fortunately, there're ways to help your pooch. La Barkeria offers a variety of CBD products to help relax your dog before getting into the car. With that in mind, listed below are some tips to help your dog cope.


Dogs can be trained to associate a car ride with a positive experience through the process of desensitization and counter conditioning. Desensitization is a method of gradually introducing your dog to the car. Counter Conditioning is a process of changing your dog's emotional experience from a negative to a positive. With both, it is best to employ a professional to assist with the implementation; Wild at Heart Canine Academy are professional dog trainers in Fort Worth, Texas.

It depends on how the dog reacts, but you might have to teach him to ride in the car starting 10 Feet Away while the vehicle is parked in the driveway. The best thing to do is to start with the backseat. The trick is to find the point where your companion is more relaxed and comfortable, then slowly transition to the front. Make each process a positive experience by giving your dog a treat or toy to reward them. The goal is to make the car ride positive and fun for Fido.

Move the dog closer, once he becomes more relaxed. If the dog stops taking the treat or toy, it means you are moving too fast. If that is the case, then take a step back. Once the dog is more adapted to the car, it’s time to add more elements to the fun.

For example, you can have him sit in the driver seat, close the door, or make a remote lock beep. Don’t forget to pair each step with a reward like tossing a treat or toy in the back. Remember to keep the dog safe and secure with a harness attached to the seatbelt while the car is moving.

Once the dog is in the car, the first step is to turn the car on and off, but don’t go anywhere, just let your companion associate the sound of the engine with something positive.


Now that the dog is looking forward to getting in the car, the next step is to add some motion. Start with a short distance (down the block and back). The goal is to get acquainted with the motion of the vehicle. Don’t forget to make rides as pleasant as possible.

How to make road trips with dogs fun

When you decided to venture away from home, choose a place that your dog will enjoy like your local pet store or home improvement depot. You can also drive to the park to let your canine companion stretch their legs.

When you associate the car ride with something positive, your dog will start to look forward to it. Keep in mind that even after you teach your dog to ride in a car, not every destination will be pleasant; sometimes there will be trips to the veterinarian or groomer. Make sure to space these destinations apart, and take toys and/or treats to make them rewarding experiences for your doggo.


Puppies are more likely than adult dogs to get carsick. Most puppies grow out of this; but for those who don’t, here are some tips to help reduce nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach in the vehicle.

  • Lower the window for fresh air

  • Keep the temperature cool

  • Ask the veterinarian about motion sickness medication

  • Give your companions food and water a few hours before the trip

  • Exercise the dog about 20 minutes before the car ride

  • Spray dog pheromones in the car that mimics the odor of a nursing mother dog to relax the adult dog

  • Utilize CBD Dog Treats to help relax them and reduce nausea & vomiting

Visit La Barkeria for CBD Dog Treats to help your buddy relax during long car trips.


Some dogs (like humans) are naturally anxious; and car rides can be a triggers for these dogs. Luckily, there are ways to help these pups.

The CBD compound can react on your canine's brain receptor to release endorphins to promote relaxation. This can help your dog feel calm and relax during the entire car ride.

In conjunction with anxiety-relieving CBD, we have a few tips that can help your dog relax. Following these steps will increase your chances of helping your dog’s anxiety, and improving Fido's overall experience in a moving vehicle. Below are six steps to assist you:

  • Step 1: First, introduce your dog to the car. Before beginning this exercise, place a small piece of dog food or treat in the car. We suggest placing it where you would like your dog to ride in the vehicle. Walk your pet to the car with a loose lead. Then, walk Fido around the car once and let them take in all the sounds and smells. Next, open the car door and reveal the treat you left in the vehicle. If he or she chooses to jump in the car, you are ready for step two; but don’t be discouraged if they don’t; keep practicing this step every day for the next week. Be sure to reward your dog's hard work!

  • Step 2: Now we build on the positive experience created in step 1. While holding the loose lead, climb into the vehicle. From inside, try handing your dog a small bite of a high value treat. With every treat move further into the vehicle. Until your dog responds without nervousness. Practice this step up to three times a day. Let your dog’s behavior be the guide; you are ready to move forward when your dog is walking to the car and sitting down without hesitation.

  • Step 3: Now that your dog is acquainted with the car, you might need to calm any anxiousness associated with the seat belt. While sitting in the car with treats, attach the seat belt. Remember to reward their hard work with their favorite La Barkeria Treat. Sit in the car for a few minutes with the seat belt attached. When you’re ready, use a release such as “Home,” and exit the car with you in the lead. As an added reward, go for a quick stroll around the block. Don’t forget to practice this exercise regularly.

  • Step 4: Eating in the car might not seem ideal, but this simple act can help relieve your dog’s car anxiety. While repeating step three, serve an entire meal in your vehicle. You could even sit and eat with your pooch. Use the release command when you are both finished and reward them with a quick walk. As you repeat this step, start the engine, but don’t go anywhere. You want your dog to eat while the motor is running. Keep practicing until your dog is able to eat with you in the vehicle. You will know that your dog is relaxed when whey they climb in and out of the car; and enjoy eating while the engine is on.

  • Step 5: You and your best pal are ready to take the car out on the town. Following the previous steps, withhold the dog’s dinner until you return to the driveway. Continue using positive, verbal reinforcement while taking a short drive around the block (no more than a 5 minute car ride). Upon returning home, serve dinner while the engine is still on. Remember to use the release command and praise your dog for all of the hard work.

  • Step 6: Practice makes perfect. Keep practicing in the car with your dog, add additional drive time each time you go out. Watch for any signs of anxiety, such as drooling or whining; if your dog becomes stressed, find a place to stop and get out for a quick walk. As your dog becomes more at home in the car; you can stop eating dinner in the car and substitute the reward with a high value treat as long as success continues. If you dog backslides, then start over to cement progress.


Take your dog's favorite toy or blanket with you on long car rides. A familiar cozy blanket in your dog's seat can help them feel warm and secure in the vehicle.

Want to help your dog relax? Try La Barkeria CBD Dog Treats.

The CBD market has grown greatly in the past few years; and companies like La Barkeria carry CBD products specifically for dogs. These products have been lab-tested for peace of mind; and have been taste-tested by some of the pickiest pups.

Car rides can be fun for one dog and miserable for another. However, transportation to the veterinary clinics, grooming appointments, vacation, or grandma's house is unavoidable. Fortunately, there are a variety of tricks to help alleviate your dog's car anxiety.

CBD dog treats can help your canine companion relax during road trips. Other strategies like taking them to somewhere fun, having their favorite toy in the car, and slowly desensitizing them can help.

With that in mind, we hope that you are your canine companion will be sharing pictures of your adventures very soon.

Related: CBD treats for dogs available at La Barkeria


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