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Car Anxiety

Discussion in 'Doberman Talk and Discussions' started by Devan, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. Devan

    Devan Member

    I need some advice. I have a three year old female and she has always hated being in the car she paces and whines the whole time.. I showed a video to our vet and he gave me trazdodone as needed and he suggested prednisone was an option to but I said we would do the trazdodone for as needed I didn’t want to put her on a med for the rest of her life. She really only has trouble in the car and is startled easily on walks (I just walk her on the back street where it is quiet) we have a big yard so she doesn’t go for walks a ton she likes running around the goat pen watching the goats. I read the side effect of these meds and they make me hesitate to give them to her. Does anyone have experience or natural product recommendations

  2. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    I'm not sure what you have tried previously to try to overcome this problem and I'm not an expert by any means but I would be trying to desensitize her to the car before going the medication route. Maybe start as if she was a beginner and train loading and unloading without even shutting the door to start with. Feeding in the car could help, and when she is comfortable start the engine and if she doesn't react a very short drive. Just really small steps! I think that if there is a place she really loves to go and a car ride leads to that it might go a long way to making anxiety into anticipation.
    Another thought is if riding in the car is making her feel sick?
    • Agree Agree x 5
  3. Devan

    Devan Member

    It’s worth a shot... she gets in and out nicely even if it’s running but she just doesn’t like it... it gets worse if we hit a red light or people are around... sometimes putting her harness on is enough to get her started... when it’s dark out she barely whines in the car she will sleep.
  4. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    Can you put a crate in your car. The anxiety is from being loose. Many times they will settle down if In a crate and just lay there being still.
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  5. Devan

    Devan Member

    I don’t think a crate would fit and she hasn’t been in a crate since she was about 1 she never cared for her crate even though we fed her in it gave her treats she always preferred the couch.

    I tried a harness and connected the leash to the seatbelt but she always stepped on it and unbuckled it.
  6. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    Try CBD Oil a couple of hours before car trips and walks.
    Is she good with thunder?
    A good one to look for is called Petreleaf.
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  7. Devan

    Devan Member

    I have considered cbd oil before just never tried it... thunder has never scared her. We had a really bad light night storm this summer so lightning upsets her but she settles after a few minutes.

    have you tried apatil? Our vet said we could try that too. Trying to find all the options available I love taking her with me but wouldn’t want her to by dopey after we get there
  8. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I have not but I do have a friend with a very anxious dog that asked me about it. When I researched it I found something confusing, enough to make me scratch my head. :scratch: You have some choices on how you use it. One being a collar, a diffuser and a spray. The instructions for the spray say to spray it and wait 10 minutes before allowing your dog in. They also say to never spray it in the crate while the dog is in there. Yet they offer a diffuser that they say to use near the dog's bedding. We couldn't find enough info on safe dosages or if levels build up over time. She ended up calling the company for answers to the questions we came up with. She got somebody that was not real knowledgeable so that didn't quite her fears at all.
    She ended up going with catnip. She grows her own and makes a tea with the leaves that she use in the dogs water bowl. Seems to work for Casey. Everyone in their house is a life with much less stress.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    Yes we tried Adaptil long time ago. It puts pheromones which are to be calming. Didn't work for us. But some things work for one dog and don't work for another.
    Also any product I would only look for UADA/Organic!
    Also prescription meds would be the very very last ditch resort go too!

    6 Natural Solutions For Dog Anxiety - Dogs Naturally
      1. CBD Oil. The use of CBD oil is exploding, especially among dog owners, because of its many …
      2. Herbs. There are several herbs that can help soothe your dog’s anxiousness. Chamomile – this …
      3. Homeopathic Remedies. Homeopathic remedies are effective because many are very specific. …
      4. Bach Flower Essences. About 75 years ago, English physician Edward Bach made an exciting …
      See all full list on dogsnaturallymagazine.com

    6 Natural Solutions For Dog Anxiety

    By: Emily Vey -

    Reading Time: 7 minutes

    You know your dog better than anyone else. You know when she’s relaxed, when she’s bored, and when she’s happy …

    … But can you also tell when she’s stressed out?

    Dog anxiety is common. It can stop your dog from enjoying normal doggie activities … like going for a walk around the neighborhood. So it’s important to find a way to help her relax and have fun!

    Do you know what to do to calm your dog when she’s anxious? I’m sharing below some great natural remedies you can try. They’ll help you avoid pharmaceutical meds that have some bad side effects.

    But first, some background on dog anxiety in general.

    Common Types Of Dog Anxiety
    There are 2 types of dog anxiety, behavioral and situational.

    Behavioral anxiety is when your dog has ongoing anxiety about something.

    Separation anxiety is an example of behavioural anxiety. It’s the most common anxiety in dogs. Some experts estimate that about 14% of dogs suffer from it. These dogs are afraid of being at home alone or separated from you in any way.

    There can be many causes of behavioral anxiety. Past trauma or abuse can cause your dog to react or act out.

    Situational anxiety is when your dog is afraid of something specific, like storms or other loud noises, car rides, or going to the vet or groomer.

    Note: Many dogs also suffer chronic fear or anxiety as a side effect of over-vaccination, especially with rabies. If you think this is your dog’s case, it’s best to consult a homeopathic vet to help treat her condition. Find one at theavh.org. Most will do phone consults.

    Signs Of Dog Anxiety
    Sometimes it’s easy to tell when your dog is anxious. Other times you may have to pay extra close attention.

    These are some of the most common signs of dog anxiety:

    • Chewing or destructive behavior
    • Barking or crying
    • Restlessness, pacing
    • Excessive licking
    • Aggression
    • Loss of appetite, refusal to eat
    • Trembling or shaking
    • Excessive panting
    What About Conventional Treatments?
    If you go to a conventional vet, you’ll likely leave with a bottle of anti-anxiety medication. This includes meds like Valium, Xanax, ProZac, Paxil or Lorazepam. You’ve probably heard of these – many are human meds.

    Most dogs have to take these drugs for several weeks before there’s a change. But that doesn’t mean the treatment stops after that.

    Some dogs can eventually stop taking them, but others need life-long treatment.

    And these drugs come with a long list of adverse side effects.

    Some of them include:

    • Increased or decreased appetite
    • Lethargy and/or drowsiness
    • Affected learning and memory
    • Increased urination
    • Upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting
    • Increased aggression and anxiety
    • Damage to the liver
    • Seizures
    • Insomnia
    • Skin conditions
    Some drugs can even result in withdrawal symptoms if used long-term and stopped abruptly.

    Luckily there are lots of natural alternatives you can safely use to calm your dog and help her deal with her anxiety.

    6 Natural Solutions For Dog Anxiety
    #1 CBD Oil
    The use of CBD oil is exploding, especially among dog owners, because of its many benefits. It helps with pain management, seizures, even cancer …

    And it’s also showing great results when used to manage dog anxiety.

    How does it work?

    It’s all about the endocannabinoid system.

    The body has cannabinoid receptors throughout the central nervous system. Your dog’s body releases endocannabinoid chemicals on its own. These connect with the receptors that stimulate her natural ability to create serotonin. Serotonin is a natural mood stabilizer.

    Research shows that CBD increases this ability. It interacts with the nervous system to soothe and calm anxiety.

    CBD is great for situational anxiety because it works fairly quickly. For example, if a storm is coming or you’re heading out in the car, give her CBD oil 30-60 minutes before. This will help calm her down and keep her relaxed.

    To give it to your dog, follow the dosing instructions on the bottle. You can add it to your dog’s food or place it straight in her mouth.

    [RELATED: Choosing The Best CBD Oil For Dogs]

    #2 Herbs
    There are several herbs that can help soothe your dog’s anxiousness.

    • Chamomile – this gentle herb is a powerful sedative – there’s a reason people drink it before bed. It can help your dog relax and soothe her stomach when she’s nervous.
    Use it if your dog gets nervous in the car and gets car sick.

    • Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – this is the most widely recognized herbal sedative. It’s safe and gentle and calms the nerves. It also promotes physical relaxation.
    Use it for stressful events or if your dog gets hysterical or overexcitable.

    • St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) – a safe, effective alternative to anti-depressant drugs.
    Use it for separation or fear-based anxiety (thunderstorms or fireworks).

    All three of these herbs can be made into a tea, used as a tincture, or as a capsule.

    If giving a tea, pour over food or into your dog’s water. If giving a tincture, add to water or food or put directly in her mouth.

    Here are the general rules for dosing:


    • Tea – 1/4 cup, 1-3 times per day
    • Capsules – 1/2 – 1 capsule, 1-3 times daily
    • Tincture – 1-4 drops, 2-3 times daily

    • Tea – 1/4 – 1/2 cup, 1-3 times per day
    • Capsules – 1 or 2 capsules, 2-3 times daily
    • Tincture – 5-10 drops, 2-3 times daily

    • Tea – 1/2 – 1 cup, 1-3 times per day
    • Capsules – 1 or 2 capsules, 3-4 times daily
    • Tincture – 10-20 drops, 2-3 times daily
    [Related] Herbs aren’t just for anxiety. Find out more ways to heal your dog with herbs here.


    #3 Homeopathic Remedies

    Homeopathic remedies are effective because many are very specific. They’re also very safe.

    Pinpoint what’s causing the fear and use one of these remedies for fast relief.

    • Aconite 30C – a good remedy to start with. It’s good for fear in general and can be given every fifteen minutes during a storm. Continue only until you see improvement. If you don’t see improvement, try another remedy.
    • Phosphorus 30C – good for all noise phobias. It can be given once or twice a day.
    • Pulsatilla nigicans 6C or 30C – a good remedy for separation anxiety.
    • Borax 6C – this remedy is specific for fears of thunderstorms and can be given twice a day.
    • Gelsemium 6C or 30C – this remedy is often used for separation anxiety. There may even be diarrhea or involuntary urination when under extreme stress with this dog.
    To give these remedies, mix 3 of the little pellets in a glass of filtered water (try your best not to touch them with your hands). Mix them with a spoon and give your dog a few spoonfuls (or use a clean dropper to put some on her gums). If she’s really resistant to the spoon or dropper idea, you can also just put the pellets in her water bowl.

    Start by giving three doses, 12 hours apart, then stop and wait for changes before dosing again.


    #4 Bach Flower Essences

    About 75 years ago, English physician Edward Bach made an exciting discovery. He found that the essence of certain flowers helps restore emotional balance.

    And that makes them perfect for relieving stress and calming down an anxious dog. (It’s also good for your own stress too).

    These remedies are gentle, non-toxic and can’t be overdosed.

    You can use individual essences that fit your dog’s specific fears or you can use Rescue Remedy, a pre-made blend. It’s available at most health stores.

    The Bach Flower Rescue Remedy contains five Bach Flower Remedies:

    • Star of Bethlehem
    • Rock Rose
    • Cherry Plum
    • Impatiens
    • Clematis
    It can help in all kinds of stressful situations. Use it to relieve stress before going to the vet or the groomer. It’s also good for separation anxiety or for situations you know will cause fear.

    The version that’s made for pets is preserved in glycerin, rather than brandy.

    #5 Essential Oils

    Essential oils like lavender and violet leaf are great for calming anxiety.

    Grab your diffuser and try these blends from aromatherapist Joy Musacchio:

    1. Separation Anxiety: Neroli, Violet Leaf, Vetiver, Lavender, Rose hydrosol.
    2. Fear of Thunder and Fireworks: Frankincense, Rose Otto, Hops, and Cornflower hydrosol.
    3. General Anxiety: Frankincense, Violet Leaf, Linden Blossom, Roman Chamomile, Hemp.
    For each recipe, combine 5 drops of each oil for a stock blend. When the recipe calls for a hydrosol, mix 5 drops of each oil into 2 oz of the hydrosol.

    Note: When you diffuse essential oils, make sure your dog has a way to leave the room if the oils make her uncomfortable.

    Caution: Don’t use essential oils directly on your dog’s skin or fur. Never allow your dog to ingest oils in any way. Don’t ever use undiluted essential oils on your dog.

    [Related] Want to know more about using essential oils safely? Here are 5 steps.

    #6 Hydrosols

    Essential oils are very powerful for dogs so hydrosols can be a much gentler option. Hydrosols are left over from the essential oil making process. They’re far less concentrated than the essential oils and considered safer for dogs.

    Hydrosol Calming Spray
    This calming spray from canine herbalist Rita Hogan is great for general anxiety. The chamomile and lavender hydrosols in it will soothe and calm your dog.


    • ½ oz neroli (Citrus aurantium) hydrosol
    • ½ oz blue chamomile (Matricaria recutita) hydrosol
    • 5 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil
    Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle. Shake before using and mist your dog. Refrigerate for up to six months.

    Dog anxiety is common, and if your dog suffers, no matter the cause, it can impact her quality of life (and your own). Thanks to these natural solutions, you can help her get some relief.

    Emily Vey

    Emily Vey is a content aficionado on the Dogs Naturally team. She’s constantly looking for the most up-to-date news and information to share with DNM readers and to help her own dogs live the healthiest lives possible. She lives in Ontario with her partner-in-crime Ryan, their husky Inuk and German shepherd Indi. Together they enjoy hiking, swimming and all things outdoors!
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