When it comes to traveling with your beloved French Bulldog, ensuring stress-free car rides is essential for their well-being and your peace of mind. In this article, we will provide you with seven expert tips to make car journeys a positive experience for your Frenchie. From gradual introduction to addressing motion sickness, these tips will help you and your furry companion enjoy safe and enjoyable rides together.
1. Gradually introduce your Frenchie to the car
Although most dogs really enjoy car rides, some others may get scared and anxious when traveling in a moving vehicle. If your Frenchie belongs to the second group, you’ll definitely need a bit of training and patience. To start off on the right paw, introduce your Frenchie to the car gradually with short, non-moving sessions inside the parked car. Allow your puppy to explore the space and get comfortable with the surroundings.
During these sessions, offer plenty of positive reinforcement and rewards, such as delicious treats and praise, to create positive associations with the car. Consider letting your Frenchie sit on your lap or on the passenger seat while you’re in the driver’s seat, as this can provide a sense of security and familiarity.
2. Go for longer car rides with your Frenchie
Once your Frenchie is comfortable with the car, it’s time to embark on short drives. Start with trips of just a few meters to help them acclimate to the sensation of movement. Gradually increase the distance as your Frenchie becomes more at ease. Before and after each ride, do some fun activities together like going for a walk or playing, reinforcing the idea that car rides lead to positive experiences. This will build your Frenchie’s confidence and make longer car rides more manageable.
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3. Bring along familiar items
To further alleviate any stress during car rides, create a comforting environment for your Frenchie. Bring along familiar items such as their favorite toys or a cozy blanket that carries their scent. These familiar objects will provide a sense of security and make the car feel like a safe and comforting space. Additionally, reinforce positive associations by offering treats and praise during the journey. By creating a reassuring atmosphere, you’ll help your Frenchie feel more relaxed and content during car rides.
4. Teach Your Frenchie to get out of the car safely
While it’s essential that your Frenchie feels relaxed in the car, there’s also a very important rule that they must learn: when the car door opens they cannot jump out and run off immediately! Instead, your puppy needs to stay in place and wait for you to say the command COME before getting out.
How can you achieve that? The first step is teaching your Frenchie the basic command STAY. The next step is opening the car door and if your puppy tries to escape, grab them immediately and put them back into the car using either the command word STAY or SIT. It’s very important to show how angry you are with them to get the message across.
Once that’s going well, you can add some distractions to the situation, like another dog or stepping away from the open car: take a couple of steps back while your puppy stays inside and then tell them to come.
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5. Bring the right travel gear for your Frenchie’s safety
When going on a car ride with your Frenchie, you should always buy the right travel gear ahead to ensure their safety and security. Invest in car safety equipment designed specifically for dogs, such as a harness or a crate, to keep them securely restrained during the journey. Our recommendation is to only use a crate if you have properly introduced your baby to it beforehand, read our article for a step-by-step guide.
Additionally, keep a well-stocked first aid kit in your car, including any necessary medications for your Frenchie. Having their medical records readily available is also important, especially if you encounter an emergency while traveling. Other essential items should also be on hand, including an extra leash and collar for emergencies, a water bowl and fresh water from home to keep your Frenchie hydrated.
6. Address motion sickness
Motion sickness can be a common concern for dogs during car rides, mostly affecting younger pups. To prevent it, it’s recommended to limit their food intake on the day of the trip or allow plenty of time for their food to settle before hitting the road. You should also aim to keep the car temperature cool and provide fresh air by lowering the windows. During longer trips, take regular breaks to allow your Frenchie to stretch their legs and take a breath of fresh air.
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7. Maintain a calm atmosphere and enjoy the ride
As the driver and the leader of the pack, it’s crucial to maintain a calm and relaxed atmosphere during car rides. Dogs are highly perceptive and can pick up on your emotions. If you’re stressed or anxious, it can easily transfer to your Frenchie and worsen their unease. Engage in light conversation or play some soothing music to create a pleasant atmosphere. By radiating a calm and positive energy, you can help your Frenchie feel at ease and enjoy the ride alongside you.
With these 7 tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to make every car ride a positive experience filled with joy and bonding moments. So, buckle up, hit the road, and embark on exciting adventures with your Frenchie by your side!
If you’d like to learn more about Frenchies, join our Facebook group called TomKings Frenchie Family to read our Frenchie parents’ experiences!
The article is based on the expert knowledge of the TomKings Puppies team who have been breeding French Bulldogs for 10 years on their farm. All the pictures in the post belong to them and their customers, and show puppies from their breed. Check their available French Bulldog puppies, or if you have any questions or comments let us know below the article.