Jump to content

Car Anxiety


Guest Doreybelle
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Doreybelle

My girl has severe anxiety whenever she gets into my car. She will cry and whine the whole car ride, and it's not just a whimper. She is extremely loud and seems to be stressed out, and she will start shaking so badly.
I've tried getting her to lay down but as soon as the car starts to move, she gets right up and will stand the whole way. And when she is standing, every time I push on the gas or step on the brakes she will stumble around in the back.
I'm not entirely sure why she is like this, and I was just wondering if there was anything I could do to help her with this? I feel so bad getting her into the car, especially since we are back and forth to the vet every two weeks.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What kind of car?

If she's standing on the seat she may fall into the floor area. Some folks stuff pillows in the floor area.

Perhaps try putting her in the car but not going anywhere. Do this several times a day.

Give her a treat if you see her relaxing. Don't give a treat if she won't relax.

Keep yourself relaxed she she won't pick up on your stress.

Don't coddle or sweet talk her.

Be sure to keep her collar and tags on. If she stresses you don't want her bolting when the door is open.

Consider DAP spray. Take her for a long walk right before going in the car.

I'm sure others will have more suggestions for you.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

tiny hada siggy.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Doreybelle

It's a Mazda Tribute, so an SUV. I put her in the trunk area where she has room to stand and whatnot. there are blankets and such back there for her and she still won't lay down.

I've also tried taking her for a walk before putting her in, but that doesn't seem to be much help either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carl is a teribble passenger, but has been made better over the years by positive reinforcement and made a safer passenger by some gear I bought. He was so bad that he would literally stand, drool and pant for a 4 - 6 hour drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas (time depends on traffic conditions). It was horrific.

 

Gear: I bought an Extend a Seat, put two 5 gallon buckets underneath in each foot well to support it (I drive a Prius with the back seat down), a car barrier, so he wasn't sticking his head over my shoulder drooling and almost getting us killed each time I changed lanes, put foam dog beds down in the back so he would know he was supposed to lay down.

 

For a while I had to give him 5mg of Valium just to get him to lay down for a little bit. Then, when he would lay down, even for a nanosecond, I would loudly praise him and give him a treat. He is VERY food motivated, so this really helped a lot. Eventually, he "got it" that he should lay down. So, I always travel with a big bag of small treats. He got to the point where he only stands up on surface streets and lays down when we get on the freeway - I'll take that! I do need to continue to reinforce it, though, I slacked off on it and what did he do...stand up. Oy! I tell him to lay down, when he does, it's treat time. I'll probably have to do this the rest of his life, but it will be a longer life (for both of us) now that he lays down! You may want to try Dale Edgar Calm K-9 biscuits, they really work well, but you need to give one in advance so it gets into her system.

 

ETA: I think Carl gets claustrophobic, he has proven he cannot be crated. Even with windows, it's tough for him to be in the car, but with the +reinforcement, he has gotten better in the car.

Edited by seeh2o

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Doreybelle

Hmm, I should try maybe picking up the Extend a Seat for her and put that in the back.

Dorey is very food motivated as well, I'll have to bring a bag of treats with me and see if she will respond to that, or try out those calming biscuits!

 

And Dorey is fine with being crated, she gets right in there when I need her to, so I don't think she'd be claustrophobic.

I try talking to her the whole ride so she can hear my voice, but that doesn't seem to do anything either

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both of my guys are terrible travelers. Paul is awful. He has now taken to pooping in the car from anxiety. This trip to Gettysburg I gave them two Benedryl before we left. We got there poop free, but, they still stood and drooled for most of the trip. I used to have a ginger based pet sedative. Something you purchase in the pet store and that worked somewhat too.

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
Zoom Doggies-Racing Coats for Racing Greyhounds

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good suggestions, just a few more to add...

 

Her anxiety could be worse if her car rides typically lead her to the vet's office. (Not sure why she's going to vet every 2 weeks.) If her health permits, try taking her on more "fun" rides with a more exciting destination pet store (to pick new treat), or leashed walk in a park, or meet another Greyhound owner for a walk, etc.

 

Feed her meals (in bowl) in the car for several days, but only while the car is safely parked (and only if cool + shady weather, or parked inside garage). Then take her back inside house (no ride). Thereafter, after finishing her meal, add a brief ride down the street and return home within a minute or two, etc. (Please be careful to ensure she is leashed to you so she doesn't escape entering/exiting the car.)

 

Blankets in cars sometime slide around, increasing dog's fear. You might consider replacing it with something more secure for a moving vehicle. We've had good success with (2"-4") thick dense foam(orthopedic-like) beds that fit snugly wall-to-wall in our SUV crossovers. Dense blocks of foam are fairly secure footing for Greyhounds. (Available at foam shops or pet stores.) We fold down our SUV middle seats also, so hounds have more space.

 

Many dogs relax with time and patience (when they realize every ride doesn't end at the vet's office). If her medical condition allows, might help diffuse her "ride = vet" association by taking her to a fun destination immediately after each vet appt. too.

Edited by 3greytjoys
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you get the Dale Edgar biscuits, I think the most you can give are two. Please don't give them as the positive reinforcement reward though, when I discussed them with my vet she thought they were fine, but cautioned me to not give too many in a short period of time (not to be given daily) as she felt they might make Carl get the runs because of one of the ingredients. I've given one at a time (about an hour before Dodger stadium shoots off fireworks) and have had no negative repercussions. They work really well, the dogs do not appear to be "drugged", but the do not care at all about hearing the fireworks.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Giselle

Good suggestions, just a few more to add...

 

Her anxiety could be worse if her car rides typically lead her to the vet's office. (Not sure why she's going to vet every 2 weeks.) If her health permits, try taking her on more "fun" rides with a more exciting destination pet store (to pick new treat), or leashed walk in a park, or meet another Greyhound owner for a walk, etc.

 

Feed her meals (in bowl) in the car for several days, but only while the car is safely parked (and only if cool + shady weather, or parked inside garage). Then take her back inside house (no ride). Thereafter, after finishing her meal, add a brief ride down the street and return home within a minute or two, etc. (Please be careful to ensure she is leashed to you so she doesn't escape entering/exiting the car.)

Agreed. Try to counter condition her association with the car. Right now, she probably has a negative association with it, which is why she starts getting anxious. If you do the above approach by changing her association with the car from "Oh NO! Car ride! Scary!" to "Oh, hop in the car, get some food. How fun and relaxing!", you will decrease her anxiety. If you do it in small steps as outlined above and practice often, she should change her anxiety very quickly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teague has this issue as well. I don't think it is nervous anxiety, more "excited" anxiety if that is possible. I have never seen him in a car without panting, and often he trembles a bit as well (on a side note he is very eager to get into the car). He used to be a lot worse when I first got him, he whined a lot, now there is an occasional whine but it stops and he lies down quite quickly (although he is still not relaxed, panting, and jumps up any time I stop). I have no idea how to stop it, as it is hard to do a lot when I am driving in the first place. We are in the car all the time and always to fun places. Even after we do a 2 hour hike he will still pant on the drive home. I drive 3 hours to visit my parents and he will pant the ENTIRE trip, so it doesn't seem to stop with time. Karma, my other pup is back there with him totally relaxed and sleeping but that doesn't seem to rub off on him either. It has gotten better with time but I have yet to be able to fix it completely.

Edited by RedHead
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Waterdog66

Audrey is still rely new and I am learning to read her.

 

We were told she loves car rides (Adoption Center did regular car rides for lake walks)

 

All three times she has been in the car she is showing signs of stress. (Panting, drooling but no whining)

 

She is very eager to get into the car but it does take her a while to settle afterward. (Especially if we are not at home)

 

I am not sure if I am reading the stress signs properly and it could just be arousal from being in the car. (She has no fear or reticence of the car)

 

Just need to make sure to keep the experiences positive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Atticus had this problem and the best thing we did was make the car as comfortable and secure as possible. The trunk of your SUV might be too much space. If you want to keep her back there, maybe she would feel more secure in a crate. We got a seat extender and put a foam bed on it. Then we started building up positive experiences in the car when it wasn't moving. The three of us would just go sit in the car and the driveway and we would completely ignore him until he laid down. Once he did, treat shower. If he stood up when we started the car, we just sat there idling, ignoring him until he laid down again. Treat party. Sometimes this would take 20 minutes. Then we would pull out. When he stands up we just ignore him (which we can only do now that we made the backseat safe. He used to fall off the seat - nightmare!). When he finally lays down, treat. If we go through a stop sign and he doesn't get up, treat. This is much easier to do with two people. If you're alone I would try a kong full of peanut butter or a bully stick.

 

TL;DR version: Make the car safe and comfortable (so you can relax!); use super high-value treats; get in the car every day, whether you go anywhere or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...