My 3-year-old Maltipoo has never gotten used to riding in the car. She has her own booster car seat (secured with a seat belt) so she can see out the window. She is very excited about the idea of taking a ride and is happy to get into the car. But from the time we start to drive, she cries/whines and pants. I have tried homeopathic drops and benadryl...but nothing works. She never gets sick, just full of anxiety. We take her to fun places so that she doesn't think that every time she gets in the car that she is going to the vet or the groomer. Please help.
Is she harnessed inside the booster? How often is she being exposed to car rides? What is your reaction when she begins having the anxiety? Do you normally pick her up or give her attention when she whines?
Hopefully you are not stressed out when she is not only for the obvious safety reasons, otherwise it is just making it worse. She probably has it figured out that is how to get your attention. Just ignore her when she whines, and pet her when she's calm.
You could also try giving her a yummy bone with a filled center to work on if she is too fixated with the motion, sights and sounds. Crack the window, bring her some water to sip before you pull away and once you arrive if she pants excessively.
The only way to get used to it is by repeating it.
"I found my place in the world Could stare at your face for the rest of my days Now I can breathe, turn my insides out and smother me."
Thank you for your reply. Yes, she is harnessed in her seat. When she cries and whines, we give her the shush sound and say quiet. We do not pet her and we do not take her out of her seat. But, on the return trip, no matter where we go, she then usually rides quietly. We have tried taking her on frequent rides, but no change. We get tense hearing her continual whining while driving as it is very distracting. Will try your suggestion about the bone, but she gets herself in such a high state of anxiety that I don't think it will help.
If you can think of anything else, I would greatly appreciate your input. Again, thanks for replying.