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Why Does My Dog Scream In The Car – Anxiety & Other Causes

Do you have a dog who can not seem to stay quiet in the car? They start to get anxious and will whimper or cry out? This can be hard to handle for people who travel a lot and like to take their pups with them. Sometimes this even becomes a reason for people to start leaving their dogs at home. So why do dogs scream in the car?

Dogs will scream or whimper in the car because they are uncomfortable. When dogs are anxious or scared, screaming is their primary form of communication. Dogs may also bite or scratch in addition to screaming in the car.

Even if your dog has been doing this for years, it doesn’t mean future car rides are doomed. If you can track down what is causing the negative feeling your dog is experiencing during your drive, you may be able to find a solution. Why does my dog freak out in the car?

How Can I Calm My Dog Down In The Car

The best way to calm a dog down in the car is to prepare them before the ride. When you know that you will be taking your dog in the car, make sure they get plenty of exercise before it’s time to go.

Whether it’s a long walk or a vigorous play session, wear your dog out so they are more apt to lay down in the car and will be less excited about the drive.

Another good way to prepare for your outing is by keeping food and water from your furry friend a few hours before you leave. Doing this will keep your dog’s stomach empty and prevent your dog from vomiting or having an accident in the car if they are scared or suffer from car sickness.

Lastly, to keep a dog calm once you are in the vehicle, keep the windows open, allowing tons of air to filter throughout the car.

What Does It Mean If A Dog Screams In The Car

Your dog is screaming in the car if they are scared. This may include whimpering, whining, or yelping. Understand, it isn’t because they are trying to annoy you or enjoy hearing themselves make noise.

When your dog is communicating with you, it is because they are trying to let you know something is wrong. There are a few reasons your dog could be screaming at you while you are riding in the car.

Your Dog Has Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the main reasons a dog can become vocal when going for a drive. When your dog gives you a hard time getting them into the car and struggles to try and get out, it can be an indication your pup has anxiety about going for a ride. 

Riding in the car is not the norm for many dogs; changing up their habits or routines with an unfamiliar situation can cause them to become anxious. Not knowing what’s going to happen or where you will end up can be very scary for an animal.

Car Sickness For Your Dog

Another common reason dogs will scream at you while sitting in the passenger seat is because they are getting ready to throw up. Like humans, dogs can experience motion sickness; it can make them feel dizzy, nauseous and cause stomach pain.  

Other common signs your dog gets car sickness

● Pacing

● Excessive drooling

● Lip-smacking

● Diarrhea

Your Dog Is Suffering From PTSD

Maybe your pup has had a bad experience riding in vehicles before. If it’s a rescue pup, maybe they were in a car accident, or maybe they remember being taken to the shelter and then never being picked back up.

Why Does My Dog Cry When Someone Leaves The Car

Does your dog stare out the window and whimpers when you or someone they love get out to run into a store or when they get dropped off at work? This is because they do not want that person to leave. 

Dogs are not called man’s best friend for no reason. That saying was created because it holds for every pet out there. A dog’s love is unconditional; you are their whole world. When you or someone they love is out of sight, they start to worry they will not see you again. It bothers them that they are unable to make sure you’re safe, and it upsets them not to know how long it will take you to come back. To sum it up, they cry because they want to go with you.

Why Does My Dog Pant And Shake When Riding In The Car

If you are driving down the road and your furry friend is shaking or shivering, it’s probably not because they are cold. When dogs are nervous, they will start to shake; this is a huge red flag that your pup is scared and anxious about the ride.

The same goes for when a dog is panting. Panting can be a sign that your dog is suffering from anxiety. It can also mean they are nauseous about to throw up. 

How Do I Know If My Dog Has Car Anxiety

If you know your dog, you will know that they have car anxiety. Whether the signs are huge and noticeable to anyone with eyes or so subtle, only you can pick up on them; they will be there.

It can be as simple as a change in their mood or behavior. Your dog can seem tense or distant, not paying attention to you when you speak to them, or they can present the exact opposite and jump around the seats barking a screaming like crazy.

You will also notice the physical signs that are uncontrollable for your little buddy. This includes vomiting, accidental peeing, drolling, etc. When your dog is super anxious, they may not be able to control their bodies and functions as well as they usually could.

This can also lead to your dog feeling bad about having an accident even though they could not help it. (never punish a dog for having accidents in the vehicle, this can be due to underlying issues such as anxiety)

How Can I Calm My Dog’s Anxiety In The Car

The best way to calm a dog’s anxiety while taking a trip is to keep the atmosphere stress free. Play some quiet, calming music, keep the windows down, allowing cool fresh air to circulate through the vehicle, and comfort your pup when they seem to get upset.

Talking to them calmly and petting or patting them softly may soothe them when they are scared.

Another idea is to bring your pup’s favorite toy or blanket with you on the car ride. This will give them a familiar comfort item to keep them calm.

How Do You Calm A Hyper Dog In A Car

If you have a dog who jumps from the front to back seat over and over or tends to try and wiggle its way onto your lap, you know how aggravating and dangerous the situation can become. If you have a dog who tends to get overly hyper in the vehicle, you should try getting them exercise before you go for a drive.

Medication could be another way to keep your pup under control while you are trying to drive. Before trying any medications, talk to your vet.

However, most vets encourage CBD or Benadryl to calm a dog who is about to take a long ride or even the short ones for the dogs with bad anxiety. There is also medication that can help with car sickness. 

Final Thoughts

Never let your dog’s adverse reaction keep you from enjoying their company on a road trip or even while just running errands. Your dog screaming at you while in the back seat could mean a whole slew of things. Once you find out what it is, there is a good chance it can be controlled, and your buddy can travel happily by your side everywhere you go.