New puppies can be uncomfortable and even afraid of riding in cars. Making them comfortable, and even happy, as passengers is an important challenge, because driving can be hazardous enough. None of us wants to be distracted from the road while trying to pacify our new furry friend. The risks are too overwhelming.
Happily for all of us, dogs like simplicity and clarity, and the best solutions are very simple and very clear. Place a comfortable little bed on the seat for your dog. Ensure that this arrangement is tightly secured from slipping and sliding on the upholstery. Taking along a couple of puppy treats the first time you ride with them is a great way to coax your friend to enjoying sitting in the car. If they still seem anxious, run the engine and sit idle in the driveway. Let them get used to being with you in this rumbling environment. Take them for short rides at first, for at least a couple of days. Once they’ve relaxed, go on longer journeys. If at any time your dog trembles, drools, whines or pants, be alert. These are strong signs of anxiety. Take it slower until they are fully integrated with the car.
After all, safety is the most important thing. For a dog in a panic state, going slow for short trips is far better than ever putting them through a grueling experience. One great way to put your pooch at ease is to make their first rides a trip to a dog park, or a hiking trail. Let them associate climbing into a car with a destination that is fun. Once they have positive associations with riding about, they’ll always be ready to join you.