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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

The car is often used as a means of transport to get to your destination. But like some children, our dogs can get sick while driving. Find out here how to get your pet to drive and how best to keep him safe. All about driving with dog.

Safe on the road

One thing is for sure, the dog must be secured in the car! Because in case of an accident he can otherwise be seriously injured or even die. As a driver, you are quickly distracted when your pet wants to come to you. From a traffic law point of view, an animal is regarded as a “load” while driving. According to the road traffic regulations §23 StVO a load must be secured during the journey in such a way that road safety is not impaired at any time. Violations are punishable by a fine.

There are many possibilities of securing, such as partition grids or nets, buckling systems, bags or boxes. The safest, especially for the animal, are TÜV-tested metal transport boxes. In case of an accident, these boxes are the best and most comfortable for most dogs. Tests conducted by TCS or Stiftung Warentest also prove this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se7baFKpxF0

Choose the box in the appropriate size, i.e. large enough that the dog can lie, sit and stand in it, but not larger. Because in the event of a braking action, the dog otherwise has too much space and can injure itself more quickly. It is best to place the box in the trunk or on the rear seat, it is important to fix it with straps.

There is also a warning vest obligation for our dogs in Austria. A warning vest for the dog must be carried and, in case of a breakdown, worn.

In many situations a rescue blanket is useful, which you should always have with you.

buy safety harness for dog

Getting used as a puppy

There are many ways to get your puppy used to driving in the car, it all depends on the character of your pet. For an individual training contact a trainer. Valuable tips:

  • Get the dog used to the box at home. Make him comfortable with a blanket and let him chew something good in it. So he quickly connects the box with positive feelings.
  • Put the box in the car and let your puppy get in. Reward him and give him treats. Afterwards he can get out again. Attention: if you have a high car lift your darling in and out at the beginning so that you don’t damage his growing joints. If you have a very big dog you should also get him used to a boarding aid (ramp).
  • In the next step you start the engine while the puppy is busy with something tasty. Turn off the engine and go home.
  • Next time you can start driving. Choose short straight routes at the beginning. Some sensitive stomachs can’t take curvy roads. Try to cover the windows, because the sense of equilibrium quickly gets mixed up when the surroundings “move” but the body stands still. Don’t give your darling the full meal before the car ride, otherwise breakfast could reappear.
  • Drive to a place where it is nice for the puppy. Maybe an exciting walk awaits him? If you only ever go to the vet, the dog will soon no longer like to get in.

How fast you can go to the next step, whether you can skip steps or have to add intermediate steps depends entirely on the dog. Make sure he is relaxed at all times.

Fear of driving in a car

Does your four-legged friend hardly like driving a car? It could be because he has experienced something bad. Either he was repeatedly nauseous, he was always driven to negatively connected places such as the vet, he injured himself during a ride, he was frightened (windshield wiper, horn, radio, …) or many other causes. Dogs from abroad (puppy mafia) also often have strenuous transports behind them. Without water, light, space and many other animals, they have to endure a long time.

Here your patience is required. Your dog needs to trust you and learn that driving is only half as bad. You can slowly get him used to again like a puppy. Pay attention to when your dog gets nervous. Often the car key is enough to trigger the negative feelings.

Pure excitement when driving with dog

Is the opposite the case and your dog is so happy that he can hardly wait? Dogs often learn to drive is great, because it goes to exciting places. They can hardly wait, are restless, bark and would like to start right away. The key word is calm. Your pet has to learn that it only reaches its destination relaxed and with patience. If he is already jittery when entering, get out again and go for a walk in the familiar surroundings. Some dogs can be brought down something with chewing articles, also here it is to be paid attention individually to your favourite.

From now on your dog is only allowed to get out on your signal. To do this, open the door of the transport box a bit. If your dog wants to open and leave right away, close it carefully. This game is played until you can leave the door open and your darling waits there relaxed. He may get out on your ok. If he turns up again immediately, sprinkle a few treats on his car and let him search. Now you start your walk together.


Travelling by car is convenient, as breaks can be taken. But for our animals it is not self-evident that driving a car is a good thing. Show your darling how nice car journeys can be and think of the right safety device! TOBALIE wishes you pleasant and safe journeys.