How to Help Your Dog with Travel Anxiety

Travel anxiety for dogs can be caused by a lot of different things. It could be that they don’t know what is happening, they have negative associations with the car because they think they are going to the vet or groomer, or that you aren’t the best driver (kidding). Whatever the cause, we have a few tips that we think can significantly help you and your dog’s travel anxiety.

Top 5 Tips

1. Help them Get Used to the Car

  • In a non-moving vehicle, sit in the back of the car with your dog for a few minutes – pet them, give them a treat, and comfort them
  • Repeat this exercise every couple of days, and work on extending the time you spend in the car
  • Continue to offer praise and affection, and include treats – if they can start to associate the car with food, it will decrease their anxiety

2. Take Short Trips to Fun Destinations

  • If your dog’s anxiety with the car comes from them thinking a car ride = a vet visit, taking them on fun, short trips can help them to disassociate the car with negative emotions
  • Consider driving to visit a dog park, or driving to go for a walk / hike

3. Bring Along Some of Their Favourite Things

  • Bring a toy, or their favourite blanket on the trip
  • Bonus points if the blanket smells like their best friend – YOU
  • These items can help to provide comfort, and a distraction for your anxious pup

4. Try out a ThunderShirt Calming Wrap

  • A ThunderShirt applies constant, gentle pressure around a dog’s torso (like a hug, in order to help them feel calm and safe).
  • The ThunderShirt can help reduce your dog’s anxiety, having already helped over a millions of dogs

5. Consult your Vet

  • If none of the above completely calms your dog, and he or she still seems very distressed during travel anxiety, contact your veterinarian for additional assistance.

Success Stories

“My Havanese is not the best little traveler in world, so I purchased this to use on an extended road trip. It was nothing short of remarkable! Although he’s normally anxious in the car, he was relaxed and calm, sleeping most of the way. “


Dog Owner

“The ThunderShirt is amazing. My dog has anxiety when traveling in the car. I bought it because we where traveling by car from ME to FL. It works! She was a lot calmer, and made for a much more enjoyable ride for all of us.”


Dog Owner

“I am very impressed and so happy with the effectiveness the ThunderShirt has had with my dog’s anxiety while traveling. Before, my dog would stand, pant, and brace herself against the back seat while riding. Since wearing the ThunderShirt the panting has stopped and she is laying down for at least 90% of the time while riding. I feel like I have a new dog!”


Dog Owner

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