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Old 07-19-2017, 05:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Severe anxiety on car journeys


My Basset is a rescue so I don't know his full past but he has serious issues with car journeys. He'll wail and cry and won't even take treats as he's so stressed out.

It's strange as he's happy to jump in the car but about 5 mins into a journey he'll start up. We've tried him in the boot, back seat (with harness and seatbelt) and even front seat but it's all the same to him.

We started going on very small journeys and tried building them up but he's always the same!

If anyone has any ideas/tricks to help we'd be very grateful!

Thanks in advance
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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similar issue with sophie (3k)..... was eager to get in the car then howled and wouldn't even take peanut butter treats. seemed inconsolable

consulted with vet; tried luck

UNTIL ........soundtrack (I think, maybe someone else on the forum) suggested it wasn't distress at all, rather excitement!

she was right!!!! the eagerness to get into the car was her clue.

She said her dog would howl as tho greatly distressed but it was excitement.

That turned out to be the case with soph. still does it to this day although frequent short trips have helped.

you may, as do we, just have a dog so excited to go they can't contain themselves. sophie's howls are intense.......
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sorry about your travel problems ..... we've had anything from those who vocalised the entire trip (and yes this was probably more to do with excitement-anticipation), threw up, to those who just found it a great adventure. We have noticed, with the difficult ones, that they travel far better when it's dark outside - soooo, capitalising on that, perhaps using a crate (which I prefer in any case) and covering it to provide a darker area would be a good idea.

There are also non-drug pills (we use Kalm Aid here in the UK) that may help if given in advance of a known trip.

It is a fact that as a breed, generally Bassets are not great travellers but it does help to have a young puppy and get them used to the car as part of the general training. We'd put young puppies in the back of the car, tailgate up and sit with them, playing with toys, so being in there wasn't at all scary. It was only when they appeared to be fine in there that we'd move on to shutting the tailgate, starting the engine etc. But even at that stage, we didn't move off the driveway. Eventually we did, making sure the early trips were short, and on smooth roads with little turns. On a long trip most will settle down for a sleep - the engine noise being constant (ideally on motorways/freeways).

I honestly think that using a crate would be better than a seat belt - you may of course (like we did with our very first hound, having to sell our MG which hurt) have to change to a 'Basset-suitable' car!!

My only advice is to keep at it - perhaps with the help of non-drug medication. Again with one of ours who was a terrible traveller - until we hit a period of repeated vet trips (ingested grass seed!) which actually cured him - showing that keeping at it, does work!!
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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make sure it is not Motion sickness

things that can help Preventing the dog seeing out the windows by using a crate

Motion sickness tablets

ginger i.e ginger snaps, ginger bread.
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone, really good advice and such a relief to think that perhaps it's excitement rather than fear. We'll keep at it and try those suggestions!

Many thanks
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