Ideally you would slowly acclimate your dog to the car using positive experiences, long before the day of your veterinary appointment.
- Use high value rewards (such as food), favorite toys, and praise any time your pet is in the car
- Start by just getting your pet into a stationary car
- Then, reward your pup for doing well with short (5 min) car rides
- Over time increase the time in a moving car
It is recommended by the Center for Pet Safety to use a restraint devices such as seatbelt or harness or appropriately sized crate/carrier to transport your dog. You will need to use the same, slow acclimation process for the restraint device used.
Avoid forcing your dog into the car. Instead try to lure him in voluntarily. And NEVER punish your pet for showing signs of anxiety or fear.
When in the car:
- Avoid loud startling noises and/or loud music
- Some dogs do better if they can’t see out the car (use sun shades, hang towels, confined in crate with a towel draped over it)
- Use non-slip mats and towels for crates/carriers
- Use pheromones (Adaptil ™) on towels in crate or on a bandana around their neck
- Drive smoothly