Understanding Why Your Dog Whines On Road Trips

Has it ever happened to you that you take your dog for a car ride and notice him crying or whining?

Don’t worry! This issue is very common amongst dogs. However, there are several reasons why your dog must be behaving in this manner. 

Curious to know what they are?

Keep reading this post to find the answers to all of your questions.

In this guide, we will discuss the reasons why your dog is whining in the car. Plus, we’ll also provide you with certain solutions to help your furry friend!

Why Does My Dog Whine in The Car?

Dog sticking his head out a car window.

Picture this: You want to do something for your dog to show how much you adore him. So, you take your furry friend for a drive. However, soon you notice your dog panting.

Sounds scary? Well, worry not, it isn’t something dangerous.

Basically, dogs communicate their emotional and mental states in various ways. This might come as a surprise, but whining is one of the ways. 

But the point to note here is that this kind of whining is extremely different from your dog whining at home. Whenever you hear your dog whining at home, it could be due to various reasons like maybe it wants:

  • To have another treat
  • To go out for nature’s call
  • To inform you that it is bored
  • Communicating that it is in pain

However, these are not the reasons why your dog whines in your car. 

Essentially dog yelping in the car can be narrowed down to the following reasons:

Your Pup Is Experiencing Travel Sickness

Yes, you read it right!

Dogs can experience travel sickness, too, just like we experience motion sickness. 

This is one of the most common reasons behind your dog whining, especially when it comes to young puppies. This is because certain parts of their inner ear are not fully developed. Fortunately, puppies outgrow travel sickness once they turn one.

However, your fully grown dog can experience travel sickness too, which is usually due to an upset stomach or lack of ventilation. This may be the reason why the dog’s panting in the car!

What to Do

Like there are solutions for human motion sickness, there are plenty of solutions for your furry friend!

Start by opening your windows, let your dog get some fresh air. This is one of our favorite cures for travel sickness. Here is our tip: if you end up opening your windows, bring your dog forward so it can look out from the front window. Trust us. Your pup will feel so much better.

Another way to help alleviate your dog whining is by withholding any kind of food for at least 5-10 hours before traveling. 

Having an empty stomach while traveling can do wonders when it comes to nausea.

If nothing works, ask your dog’s veterinarian to prescribe medication that can help your dog with travel sickness. Once your furry friend feels better, it won’t whine even a bit!

Your Pup Cannot Deal With a New Environment

This might come as a surprise to you, but the reason why you see your dog whining in the car is as simple as this!

At times, dogs get overwhelmed with new environments and scents. As a result, they can’t process what is happening, which results in your dog panting in a car or whining the entire time. 

What to Do

Consider it just like a situation when you miss something or someone. You relive the moment or try to feel closer to the place by looking at an old photo or souvenir. That’s exactly what you’ll do for your dog.

Just make your car smell like home! You can do so by adding a blanket or a shirt with your scent or maybe place your dog’s favorite toy in the car. Basically, it can be anything that makes them feel like their surroundings are home!

Your Pup is Very Excited

Ever been too excited and found yourself unable to contain it? That is precisely how dogs feel, making that another reason leading to them whining in the car.

Have you noticed how your dog seems to have this built-in GPS? Like when you are getting closer to your destination, their whining gets louder?

This is it! The cause of your dog whining is that it knows where you are taking them, and it just can’t control its enthusiasm. Perhaps you are taking them to their favorite park or favorite playground; your furry friend is anticipating it!

What to Do

One thing you can do is make it really hard for your dog to find out where you are taking it.

Then, all you need to do is take your dog out in your car regularly, not only when you want to take them to a playground. 

Also, try adding bits of unpredictability along the way. For example, don’t just go to the park. Instead, run some errands or get gas along the way, etc.

Another fun way you can help with your dog’s whining and excitement is by parking at a distance from the park.

This might sound strange, but it really works!

If you walk with your dog to the park, It will automatically stop connecting driving with their fun time, leading to them being less enthusiastic. This means there will be no whining in the car anymore!

Your Pup Is Suffering Through Stress And Anxiety

While those constant whines are usually because of excitement, they can also be because your dog is feeling anxious!

Unfortunately, dog anxiety is a real thing! Not only this, but your furry friend’s anxiety can heighten up in the car, which leads to your dog whining even more.

Sadly, this is especially true if your dog had traumatic or bad experiences in the car.

What to Do

One of the best ways to alleviate your dog’s anxiety is by making it feel comfortable in the car. To do that, take several short tours before you take your pup for a long ride. 

A dog sitting in the passenger seat of a car.

One of the simplest ways to make dog anxiety go away is by letting them sit in the car without traveling.

Yes, it might seem weird at first, but it works like a charm.

Start by placing your furry friend in your car and turning your car on. Let your dog sit there for a few minutes. Now, repeat this entire process. However, this time take your car out of your driveway then back in it. 

Also, don’t forget to praise your pup throughout the entire process. Give it some treats for showing good behavior. 

The next day, try taking a ride around your block. Just like that, gradually increase your distance each day till your dog is comfortable with being in a car for more than 20 minutes. 

Working your way up with the distance is a perfect way to alleviate dog anxiety without further overwhelming them!

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Bottomline

Seeing dogs whine can be very painful and upsetting for pet owners. However, whining is really common among our furry friends.

If you find your dog panting in a car, this article will guide you through why this is happening. Not only did we talk about the causes, but we have also discussed some ways you can resolve this issue. 

Now your dog can enjoy its ride, and so can you without any worries!

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