The Ultimate Guide to Traveling With a Nervous Dog

Traveling is a great way to bond with your dog. But traveling with a nervous dog can seem like an impossible task. After all, how can you be sure your pup is comfortable and safe while visiting new places?

Fear not! With these simple tips, you can ensure that both you and your furry companion have a fun trip.

In this guide, we’ll share tips on how to make traveling with a nervous dog as stress-free as possible – from pre-trip training to in-car routines and everything in between.

So buckle up, grab the leash, and get ready to hit the road with your furry companion! 

Signs that your dog is nervous while traveling

Traveling with your furry friend doesn’t have to be stressful! With these five signs fresh in your mind, you can make sure that both you and your pup are comfortable during long trips.

1. Panting:

If your pup is panting heavily, he may be feeling anxious or overly excited while traveling. This can be an indication that he’s either apprehensive about the journey or just really enjoying the window view!

2. Whining:

A tell-tale sign of distress in dogs, whining can mean that your pup is feeling overwhelmed and uneasy about being on the road.

3. Hiding:

Dogs are smart enough to remember past experiences, so if your dog decides to hide away in a corner of his crate during a car ride, this could mean he’s scared of what’s happening around him.

4. Trembling/Shaking:

Not all trembling should be cause for concern (sometimes it means excitement!), but if your dog is shaking in a car, it could be an indication of fear or anxiety.

5. Not Eating/Drinking:

If your pup doesn’t show any interest in food or water during the ride, he may be too stressed out to take anything in.

This could mean that he’s feeling anxious about something and needs some reassurance from his guardian.

Remember, it’s important to pay attention to how your pup is reacting on the road and make sure you do what you can to keep him as calm and relaxed as possible.

After all, a happy pup makes for a happy journey!

How to travel with a nervous dog

Traveling with a nervous dog can be nerve-wracking for owners, but it doesn’t have to be! With proper travel planning and preparation, you and your pup can enjoy the adventure of a lifetime.

Here are the top 10 tips that will help you help your dog feel happy while traveling:

1. Plan ahead:

Before you hit the road, make sure your pup has access to all of the things they need to be comfortable and safe on the journey.

Decide in advance which routes will create less stress for them (e.g., ones with fewer stops). Pack an overnight bag filled with treats, toys, water, food, a blanket, and any medications they may need.

2. Start small:

If your pup is new to travel or gets anxious when traveling, don’t plan a cross-country adventure right away.

Instead, start off by taking short car rides around town or to nearby locations that will help them get accustomed to being in a car for long periods of time.

3. Get comfy:

Bring along a comfortable bed or crate that your pup can rest in during the trip. This will provide them with their own space to relax and feel secure.

If you’re traveling by plane, consider investing in an airline-approved pet carrier for them to travel in comfortably and safely.

4. Make sure they are wearing proper identification:

In case of an emergency, make sure your pup is wearing a collar with contact information so they can be returned to you quickly.

A microchip is another excellent way to ensure they have permanent identification if they get lost while away from home.

5. Exercise before you go:

An anxious pup may benefit from a healthy dose of exercise before getting on the road. Tire out your pup with a long walk or an intense game of fetch so that the ride may be more enjoyable.

6. Take frequent breaks:

Stop every few hours to let your pup out for a potty break and to stretch their legs.

This will not only make sure they stay comfortable but will also help reduce any motion sickness they might be experiencing from all the bumps in the road.

7. Give them privacy:

If they want to hide under a seat or curl up in a corner, let them. Providing your pup with a quiet and private space may help comfort their nerves.

8. Distract them:

Bring some treats, toys, and other items to keep your pup occupied during the journey.

Playing music or videos specifically designed for animals can also help keep them distracted and happy during their trip.

9. Stick to a routine:

Whenever possible, try to stick to the same routine that your pup is used to at home.

This will help make them less anxious during the journey as they are surrounded by familiar sights and smells.

10. Don’t forget the post-trip plan:

After you reach your destination, give your pet plenty of time to adjust to their new surroundings and explore at their own pace.

A few days of rest followed by lots of outdoor playtime can do wonders for resetting their inner clock and helping them feel more relaxed in an unfamiliar environment.


Overall, how to travel with a nervous dog can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be! Make sure you plan ahead and anticipate your pet’s needs.

Give them plenty of time to adjust to their environment, give them the space they need when they need it, and provide entertainment along the way.

With these tips in mind, you and your pup will be ready for any adventure that comes your way! Happy travels!

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