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Conquering fears, building confidence

If your dog is terrified of the car, careful planning and patient training can literally teach him to ‘relax and enjoy the ride.’ Learn a few tactics for building canine confidence in the car

Conquering fears, building confidence

My dog is afraid of travelling in the car. I keep the windows closed to keep him confined. What should I do to make him overcome this fear?

There can be various reasons:

Car sickness: Just as people do, some dogs get car sick. They may feel nauseated or even vomit during car rides.

An unfamiliar feeling: Dogs that aren't used to going on car rides may be disturbed by the odd feeling of riding in a car. Cars usually have their own smell and there's also the sound of the engine, the vibrations of the floor, and seeing everything whizzing past at a fast speed.

Negative experiences: Some dogs associate the car with negative experiences, which can easily develop into a fear.

Helping the dog overcome this fear

Begin by enticing your dog to the car rather than forcing it to approach. Many dogs with this fear start putting on the brakes as soon as the car comes into view. Instead of dragging your dog to the car, slowly lure it closer using lots of treats and praise.

Have some special bonding time with your dog inside the car. Don't rush to slam the doors shut and start the engine the minute your dog finally hops inside. Instead, leave the doors open and spend some time snuggling.

Start your engine. When your dog has become fairly comfortable hanging out with you in the car, start it up.

Begin with small trips. Don't make your dog's first car ride a long road trip.

Take your dog to fun destinations. Your dog's first long car ride should not be to the veterinarian. Instead, take it someplace fun where he can run around

People advise to not give puppies a bath until 3 months. Why?

It is very important not to bathe a puppy before weaning. If you do so, you could cause the mother to reject her puppy as she may not identify their scent as familiar. Once you give the puppy a bath, you as their owner will have to take over caring for the puppy. This care means making sure your puppy is given appropriate feed, medication, exercise and training.

On the other hand, it is also necessary to take into account the vaccination schedule of the dog before giving puppy a bath. Occasionally, a dog will suffer from stress during their first bath, which can lead to a poor immunological response to vaccines.

For this reason, veterinarians recommend waiting 1 to 2 weeks after each vaccine before giving a puppy a bath.

Once you are clear on when to give a puppy a bath, we can proceed to accumulate the appropriate tools for this puppy's first bath. The tools are:

Warm ambient temperature

Positive and relaxed atmosphere

Puppy specific shampoo


Dog comb for rubber (soft)

A bucket of warm water

Towels and hair dryer

It is recommended to make sure all of the above is prepared before giving a puppy a bath. We must provide them with a warm environment, to avoid causing thermal shock in the dog.

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