How to Calm an Excited Dog in The Car

Have you been thinking of taking a car ride with your dog and yet hesitating to plan a trip? Most dog owners remain confused about planning a trip with their dogs. Too many questions keep popping, how to keep a dog calm on a long car ride, what if they get too excited or whiny, etc. We have several ways in which your car trip, could be the best one of your life!

Most dogs are bound to get excited or hypersensitive during car rides. If you have been wondering how to calm an excited dog in the car, so that the ride could be a smooth one, we have solutions just for you. Dogs usually love the atmosphere of the outdoors; it corresponds with their energy and they feel safe and protected with their owners in a close space.

How to Calm an Excited Dog in The Car

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If doubt is keeping you from traveling, then think no more! The solution on how to calm a dog down in a car is now at your fingertips!

Why are Dogs Excited in the Car?

Let us start with the problem, why are dogs hyperactive in cars? I made a car trip with my dog last year and the beginning part of the journey was not smooth. He was irritable, whiny, and constantly trying out of the dog seat. Some dog owners do not understand that the dog is expressing its happiness while being excited. While going for a long car ride with your puppy understand that their temperament will be sky-high.

If your dog is whiny or irritable like mine, understand that they are not adjusted for car travels. The dog seat or straps might be uncomfortable which makes them annoyed throughout. The first step to understand an overexcited dog in a car is to make note of their temperament.

Pre-caution Before Getting in the Car

Before getting your dogs in the car for a long drive, make sure you have these three points in your head.

One, prepare your dogs. I made the mistake of keeping my dog unaware of the journey which is why it was not the best experience. Make sure you start with short trips to the local supermarket or park.

Two, prepare for emergencies. Always assume the worst when it comes to riding in a car with your dogs. Bring emergency supplies with you. Do not forget their favorite food or snacks; it is the best way for dog owners to solve the question of how to calm an impatient dog in the car.

Three, never forget to secure them safely in the back of your car. Straps and harnesses are mandatory to keep an overexcited dog safely in the car.

How to Calm an Excited Dog in The Car
PC: Flickr

How to Know if My Dog is Anxious or Excited in The Car?

Ever wondered why do dogs pant in the car? The reason is their anxiety. Some dogs find it extremely difficult to be in a close space for a long time. The idea of any restricted area which allows little to no movement disturbs their temperament and triggers their anxiety. My dog started to pant and shake at an abnormal rate on his first car outing.

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Do not fret about why does my dog pant and shake when riding in the car, instead try to find ways to keep them off anxiety.

Constant restlessness and panting can also be an example of hyper excitement. When I took the trip to one of the dog-friendly wineries in Napa Valley, my dog showed severe symptoms of hyper excitement which later turned into a case of nausea. It is important for all dog owners who have an over-excited dog in the car, to watch out for these common symptoms.

calm a over-excited dog in a car

How to Calm an Excited Dog in the Car?

After going through a terrible car trip experience with my pup, I found out that most dog owners go through the same. Any kind of benefits of traveling with a dog can only be experienced, if they are relaxed and safe. Keeping the following points in your mind, before planning the travel, will result in a fun-filled car ride with your furry friends!

Prepare for the Trip

Before planning any cross-country road trip with your dog, it is important to give your buddies enough time to get used to the close space of the car. Try taking them out regularly to the local places, let them be used to sitting at the back. If they suit well in the inside environment of your car, you would not have to fret again about how to calm a dog down in a car.

Mental Stimulation

While taking your dogs on any long trip, get them used to mind games. Your dog needs to understand mental games. You will see over-excited dogs in the car because their brains are hypersensitive to the outside environment. Play a few mind games with them, it tires them easily and results in controlled behavior.

If they start getting fussy in the car, give them their favorite interactive toys, puzzles, or anything that would keep them occupied. Usually, when people ask what can I give my dog to calm him down while traveling, the answer is toys that increase mental stimulation.

Physical Stimulation

It is seen that many concerned dog parents have the same query-how to calm an impatient dog in the car? Stop the car, and take them for a quick break. The break should include a quick but fast run or a few of your dog’s favorite exercises. When you get them back in the car, you will notice that they have grown quieter.

Trained dogs do not get unnecessarily agitated or show sudden bursts of energy. It is best to tire your dog out if they start getting hyperactive.

Physical Activity is Necessary for Dogs
Physical Activity is Necessary for Dogs

Investing in Impulse Control Games

Asking yourself how to calm an impatient dog in the car? Think no more. Carry with yourself impulse control games. If you have an over-excited dog in the car, understand their emotions are still young and beyond their control, it takes years for them to get their emotions on a lower scale. However playing games that help them to control their impulses, may be the right choice for you.

For my dog what has worked the most, is the enabling of ‘Safe Words’. We have created strong rules in the house where my excited puppy will have to stop its behavior when such safewords are said. These words need to be implemented to make them calmer and controlled. Since this safe word game, I do not ask myself how to calm an overly excited dog anymore!

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No Scream Fest, please!

Unreasonable dog parents do not make good dog parents. It is understandable if you get angry and irritated during the trip if you have an over-excited dog in the car. However, screaming or shouting will not result in any good. Your dog might start feeling more anxious or irritable with your mood, and the situation might become ten times worse.

Instead, adopt a calmer stance to reduce the dog’s excitement in the car. Talk to them in quieter and neutral tones to elevate control over their emotions. Never under any circumstances make your dog feel unsafe or scared in a close space, it might result in unnecessary lashing out from your dog.

Dividing Attention of Your Dog

Ever wondered how to calm down a hyper dog in the car, in the quickest way possible? This remedy is something I have tried and tested on my dog. When you deal with your dog’s anxiety in car rides, trick them into separating their concentration.

I give chewing gums to my dog when he starts experiencing anxiety or hypersensitivity. It focuses his attention on chewing the gum for a long time instead of being bothered by his moods. Also, keeping the window open might help. It circulates air inside the closed car space and also triggers opens your dog’s smelling senses; they will start focusing on different smells while you drive the car happily!

Dividing Attention of Your Dog
Dividing Attention of Your Dog

Calming Dog Products

While focusing on how to calm an excited dog in the car, keep calming dog products handy. Your vet might suggest different products which the Pet Industry has been circulating for a long time. These products are available in the market at economic costs to help you.

Natural soothing supplements like Chamomile or Jasmine tea might prove to be beneficial. However, it is strongly advised to not buy these products over the counter. You do not know what product can trigger your dog so best be careful. If the right item is used you would not have to wonder again about how to calm a dog down in a car!

Reward Your Dogs

When you question yourself how to calm an excited dog in the car, when they start behaving excitedly or annoyingly, think of the ultimate tested solution, the Reward Method. This has been tried and tested on several dog owners and most of them had a good rate of success.

Train your dog in a manner that whenever they behave calmly or in a controlled way, their rewards are their favorite dog treats. Keep a dog backpack carrier when you are going for a long car ride with your puppy, and fill it with their favorite treats.

My dog has responded well to this reward method; whenever he starts behaving excitedly, I let him know strictly that good behavior will be rewarded. When he gets the treat, he is happy the rest of the way and so am I! Repeat this reward method several times to make it a habit and you won’t have an over-excited dog while driving the car anymore.

Reward Your Dogs
Reward Your Dogs

Seat Belts are a Must

If you are locking in safely and securing dogs with a seat belt it will reduce the chances of you looking for the answer to how you can calm an excited dog in the car. My dog used to be impatient and fussy most of the car ride, because I thought restricting their movements might make them uneasy. On the contrary, restricting their unnecessary movements is the best solution to reduce the dog’s excitement in the car.

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Also if you are wondering why does my dog cry in the car, it is their defense mechanism that acts out when you confine them. If air circulation is alright then your dog can be confined with a harness, there is no problem with it. Your dog will stop pacing when the harness is included in the car ride and you will never worry again about how to calm an excited dog in the car.

Minimizing Visual Contact Outside the Car

If you have been dealing with an over-excited dog in the car and no solution comes to your head when you think about how to calm an excited dog in the car, your windows might be the culprit. Most dogs love the outside view, the changing visuals attract their mood and they start behaving excitingly. Some dog owners also deal with dog anxiety in car rides, because their pets are not adjustment to see the changing visuals.

As a dog owner, my suggestion will be to cut contact with their visuals of the outside world. Dulling or blackening of windows when you are on a trip might be the best way to reduce a dog’s excitement in the car. You will never have to think again about how to calm an excited dog in the car.

Sedatives for Dogs

If most of the abovesaid solutions do not produce effective results and you are still wondering how to calm your dog down in a car, it is time to consult your vet for dog sedatives for car travel. If these medications are given in the appropriate doses they will not develop into any kind of side effects and will aid you to calm an over-excited dog in the car and also reduce the dog’s excitement in the car.

Acepromazine and Diazepam work as anti-anxiety medications but they should never be purchased over the counter. Only when your vet gives you the medications in appropriate doses, keeping in mind your dog’s medical history, can they be taken.

Almost 90% of all dog owners have wondered how to calm an over-excited dog in the car. These solutions will give you a doubtless mind about taking a trip with your furry friends. Only when there is an absence of dog anxiety in car rides, you can enjoy goings for a long car ride with your puppy. So, keep your engines on for the best car ride with your pup!

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FAQ on How to Calm an Excited Dog in The Car

1. How do I stop my dog from freaking out in the car?

A: Many dog owners deal with dog anxiety in car rides. The first key is to make sure they are comfortable. Rub their backs and bellies to settle them at the back of your car for the journey.

2. Where should a dog sit in the car?

A: Always at the back. You will deal with an over-excited dog in the car if they are seated in the passenger seat. Keep them in a secure dog seat, in the back seat of your car.

3. Should I put my dog in a crate in the car?

A: Absolutely. Crates act as security and calming tools for dogs. There is a reduction in their pacing and anxiety when a crate is included in the ride.

4. What can I give my dog for anxiety?

A: Drugs should not be taken without a doctor’s advice. However, Jasmine and Chamomile tea can be given as a quick calming drink.

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