Despite 90% of pet owners stating their dog travels well in the car, 10-25% of dogs display signs of stress related and sickness behaviors in the car, including:

Agitation, panting, salivating excessively, trembling, vomiting, barking, whining, urinating/soiling, attempting to escape

Reducing your dog’s stress levels will, in most cases, help to reduce the symptoms of travel anxiety and sickness too.

Desensitization is the key to car training and is done prior to travel as follows:

1. Place an Adaptil Collar * on your dog and/or Use the Adaptil Spray* on the blanket used in the car (REMEMBER to wait 15 minutes before putting the dog in the car once you have sprayed)

2. Begin by teaching your dog to sit calmly in the car while the car is stationary.

3. Use treats with quiet praise and calm play to get your dog to associate the car with good things

4. Keep sessions short, allow the dog to become comfortable with the car before proceeding to the next step

5. The next step is to encourage the dog to get into the car with the engine running again using treats and praise

6. Once your dog is happy and calm in the car, start taking them on short trips with each successful trip getting progressively longer but always interspersed with shorter ones.

7. Consider using a travel cage or carrier, to provide reassurance (REMEMBER if using Adaptil Spray make sure you spray the bedding of the carrier and wait 15 min before introducing the dog)

8. If you don’t use a cage or a carrier, consider using a leash or a harness to attach to the car seat belt, to restrain your dog for safety reasons. These will allow the dog to sit or lie down and also prevent them from moving around in the vehicle.

9. On the day of travel, only feed a light meal (do not limit water)

10. Keep the vehicle well ventilated and never leave your dog unattended in the car

We wish to thank CEVA Animal Health Inc. for sponsoring this document.

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