How to Train Your Dog to Travel in a Car

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Our pets are our friends and companions for life. Even going on a road trip, we do not want to part with them even for a second. However, you can’t just put your dog in a car and drive to your destination. As dog owners, we must help them adapt to roadtrips. We must also provide them with comfort and safety during the trip.

When traveling in another country, you can not do without renting a car, so as not to worry about transporting your pet. In this article, we will talk about how to train your dog to travel in a car and how to make the trip safe.

Black dog in car
Black dog in car

Getting to know the car

If you force the dog to get into the car and go on a road trip that will take several hours, then you will encounter a lot of difficulties and scare your pet. In this regard, it is necessary to gradually introduce it to the car and help it feel comfortable and safe inside the cabin. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Show the car to your dog. Have the dog examine and sniff it while the engine is off.
  2. You can open the car and let the dog climb inside on its own. Do not force the pet to get into the car, and do not close it alone inside. This way you will scare your pet and it will probably never come close to cars again.
  3. If the doors are open, but your pet is in no hurry to get inside, then you can put its favorite toy or treats that your dog loves into the car.
  4. After a successful attempt, give the dog time to get used to the salon. Let the dog know that it can leave when it wants to.
  5. Next time you can try to start the engine while the dog is inside and see the reaction.
  6. If there are no problems with this, then you can try to leave the yard and drive a car for 10-15 minutes. Increase your travel time gradually.
White dog in driver's seat
White dog in driver's seat

Pet and driver safety

Do not allow the dog to walk inside the car while driving. Firstly, the dog may not interfere with your driving. Secondly, during emergency braking, if your pet is not fastened, then it can hit and injure itself and other passengers.

In this regard, think about how to organize security. If your dog is small, you can put it in a carrier. If the dog is large, then you should fasten it.

Comfort while traveling

Dogs can experience stress during road trips. Make sure your pet can drink water while traveling. To do this, take a bowl of water, as well as food if it wants to have a snack.

It is worth remembering that some dogs can feel motion sickness. That’s why it’s probably best not to give a lot of food before the trip so it doesn’t throw up. You should also put a waterproof blanket on the rear seats to keep your pet cozy. If you have a car with a spacious trunk, then you can allocate this place specifically for the dog.

Two small dogs in back seat
Two small dogs in back seat


Our little friends occupy an important part of our lives. Many owners are not ready to part with them, even when going on a trip. To have a good time during a road trip, you should get your dog accustomed to car rides in advance. Also, make sure your pet is comfortable and safe.

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Meghan Waters Mbaye

Meghan is a contributor for Backpacker Travel. She is an avid traveler who is always up for a new adventure. Meghan loves exploring new parts of the world, especially in Africa and Latin America.

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