Dear Daisy Dog
Maggie, my nine-month-old mixed breed dog, barks and jumps around in the car. She has improved considerably since I started using your step-by-step car-calm program to accustom her to riding in the car.
However, I am planning a 120-mile drive in a few weeks, and Maggie hasn’t worked up to that distance yet. I don’t want to give her drugs. How can I minimize her hyperactivity during the long trip?
If you don’t have time to gradually acclimate Maggie to long drives, consider aromatherapy.
In a recently published study, 32 dogs with travel-induced excitement relaxed when lavender scent filled the car.
To mimic the technique used in the study, spray a teaspoon of lavender oil on each of two cloths, and drape them over the car seats 30 minutes before Maggie enters the car.
Keep the windows closed to concentrate the fragrance.
Maggie should be much calmer during the drive, so you should be less distracted.
Before you head home, re-spray the lavender oil on the cloths.
I am quite relaxed when I ride in the car. I hope the lavender aromatherapy helps Maggie feel serene, too.