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How to Manage Temporary Emotional Distress in Dogs During Car Rides

You've likely wondered about all the fun things you can do with your pup – those long hikes, camping trips, and visiting friends and family over the holidays. But what if your furry friend gets a bit jumpy or displeased during car rides?  

Dogs need mental stimulation, and traveling by car allows for plenty of outdoor adventures off the beaten path, but first things first: car travel tips for the distressed dog. In this post, we'll discuss how to keep your dog relaxed and safe while traveling by car.

Since many like to take their dogs along on their adventures, it’s important to help your dog learn how to relax and feel comfortable during car travel. Keep in mind, though, that positive dog training starting from puppyhood where short trips allow for puppies to get used to traveling by car.

Since cars are the easiest way to get to places from taking your pup to the vet and even enjoying the outdoors on a pet-friendly vacation, we're sharing some tips on how to keep your dog calm during a road trip along with how CBD may help calm your dog during car rides in general.  

 

What is Dog Distress?

Emotionally distressed dogs will display fear, pacing, drooling, panic, and will also have an increased heart rate. 

Here's the take with some signs that your dog may be experiencing emotional distress:

  • Hypervigilant
  • Pacing
  • Tense muscles
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Increased heart rate
  • Unusual aggressiveness
  • Fearfulness
  • Destructiveness
 

Different Types of Distress

Dogs can develop emotional distress behaviors from unpleasant experiences. If your dog is stressed during car rides, it may take a while to change. But you can help your dog through emotional distress by taking the time to work with your veterinarian and behaviorist. 

You'll need to tune into your dog's distress and see exactly where they’re at and what may be triggering it. How uneasy are they? If there's any unusual behavior, that's a red flag.  

 

What Causes Distress?

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, BVMS, MRCVS, says via Animal Wellness magazine that dogs can feel occasionally stressed in situations like a veterinary visit, being home alone, a new pet arriving, moving, back to school, and so forth. He adds that during times of stress, dogs may experience an increase in stress hormones. 

CBD research has demonstrated that CBD hemp oil supplements may be effective for pets in providing a calming effect.   

 

What is CBD Oil for Dogs?

CBD, i.e. cannabidiol, comes from the cannabis-sativa plant that does not have an intoxicating effect when free of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as CBD is a non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid itself.

Today, CBD natural supplements can be purchased as capsules, chews, transdermal patches, lotions, shampoos, tinctures, and more. These are manufactured specifically for pets and are generally safe when purchased from a reputable CBD pet brand.

CBD is arguably the most important cannabinoid in the cannabis plant and has numerous health benefits. Most cannabidiol pet products are derived from the hemp plant and can naturally and holistically support dogs in multiple ways, including in their emotional wellness and balance. 

At VETCBD Hemp, our formula takes effect after 1-2 hours, lasts between 8-12 hours, and you can give a second dose 12 hours after the first CBD dose, if needed.   

 

What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil?

Full-spectrum CBD oil can provide calming effects, which is what makes it a helpful supplement for occasionally distressed pets during car rides.  Additionally, it also supports normal joint function, normal brain function, and normal GI function.   

 

CBD for Car Rides

If you're a pet parent to a dog who may be restless while on the road, you'll want to help improve your dog's quality of life. You'll want to see him happy again and more relaxed during car rides. At VETCBD Hemp, we understand that you want to do all you can to help your dog live a happy life, and that includes being calm in the car!

With that said, we're all pet parents, and not just veterinarians, and we have developed a cannabidiol oil supplement that we've formulated especially for pets that can help provide a sense of calm when they may be experiencing unease. 

Our VETCBD Hemp Oil features natural ingredients and is made from premium-quality American hemp rich in phytocannabinoids to provide a calming effect while also supporting overall well-being and health.

Because there's been so much talk about CBD, you may be confused about what products are actually legitimate and safe. But keep in mind that our CBD pet products are veterinarian-formulated, all our ingredients are U.S.-sourced, and our products undergo extensive third-party lab testing to check for purity and to make sure no contaminants have gotten into any of our batches. With all these pros, CBD oil could be your ticket to a smoother car ride with your pup!  

 

Tips for Riding with Fido

If your furry friend is a little restless during car rides, here are a few tips on keeping them comfortable and stress-free during travel. 

You'll first need to figure out what triggers your dog's restlessness in the first place. Is it the moving feeling in general, is it that they can’t be next to you, or would they just feel a little more at ease with the window down? 

Depending on what’s triggering them, the fix could be as easy as crating them, then covering the crate with a blanket, training him to lie down versus move around the car, or just make sure you always have a window open in case they’re feeling constrained. 

Using a crate or doggie seat belt ensures safety when traveling with your dog, but a crate creates a cozy and safe space for your dog that also can be used for hotel stays. It's a convenient way to travel, most especially if you have multiple dogs. 

Even though it can take up a fair amount of space, a crate with soft padding and a few toys can alleviate restlessness and allows a dog to have a safe space of his own. You can also treat your furry best friend with a few favorite treats while traveling to reward him.

Car rides can cause nausea and may also result in restlessness because of this type of discomfort, even if the dog never actually vomits. 

Our CBD oil can help to calm dogs during car rides, and the additional support for GI health may be beneficial in temporarily easing GI upset caused by the motion. 

When trained during puppyhood, dogs can enjoy car rides and will naturally jump in the car and get comfortable during the ride. Keep in mind that when traveling by car, if you don't want to use a crate, you can always opt for a doggy booster seat or harness to keep them safe.   

 

Mini Trips Can Help Dogs with Car Travel Restlessness

During mini road trips, reward your pup with praise and a few rewards when they act calm and behave like you want them to. Just like people, dogs do well with a cooler, but not too cold, air temperature. 

Plan on stopping a few times and taking your pup out of the car, possibly visiting your local dog park or beach. 

Make this experience as positive as possible, and take some time to play a game of fetch or ball while your pup is going for a stretch. Gradually increase the car ride travel times from 10 to 30 to 60 minutes, and so on.  

During puppyhood, car rides should never be only for going to the vet or groomer. When enjoying a car ride with your furry friend, crack the window a bit to allow him to enjoy all the different scents throughout the drive, too, even if they’re not old enough to safely stick their head out for the ride.  

 

Takeaway 

There are many ways to help with pet distress during car rides, but if you're opting for a natural, organic supplement, consider our hemp tincture. Our CBD products feature natural ingredients and are made from premium-quality American hemp rich in phytocannabinoids to support optimal well-being and health. Third-party lab tested with every batch, you can rest assured knowing that your pup can travel with ease on your next car ride.   

 

Sources:

https://www.usdaa.com/news/training-tuesday-new-study-shows-how-dogs-mirror-our-stress.cfm

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