Q. We have a 12 year old bichon frise and my parents take him away to their caravan every weekend. The journey takes about 2 and a half hours but he pants and whines the entire time. Is there anything that can calm him down? I’ve read about Adaptil spray but it’s expensive for it to possibly not work.
You can train your dog to be calm in the car, starting from an unmoving car and rewarding any moment that they’re not fretting or vocalizing with treats, then progress it to a slowly moving car.
The other thing is making sure your dog feels secure and isn’t sliding around while the car moves as that can make them more worried.
Calming tools can supplement the training but they can’t replace it and if you use them before your dog is fully comfortable in the car, they can soon start associating the effect of that tool with the stress they feel from the car ride.