Car Anxiety- We've tried desensitization and it is helping, but need a solution for tomorrow.

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Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 4:27pm PST 
My family has an emergency and we have to travel by car tomorrow, 5 hours. We don't want to leave our pup for a variety of reasons and aren't going to.
Background: Our dog has exhibited car anxiety since we got her a year ago. We used to have to carry her to the car (as she was back pedal, pull, lay down to avoid it) and literally hold her in to get the door closed.

After doing the many short trips and having more positive car experiences (and failed attempts at Thundershirts and Rescue Remedy), we've progressed to her willing to walk to the car and get in on her own (yay for us!!)

She then proceeds to stand the whole time (she completely panics if harnessed in) and drool like crazy. She doesn't get car sick, but we also make it a point not to feed her around car time).

With a longer ride, I hate to see her so stressed. We will take breaks, but I know she will slowly progress to not wanting to be near the car, as we won't get to our "fun" destination for several hours.

A friend suggested benadryl or dramamine. I've given her benadryl before for hives and it did make her groggy. I haven't done dramamine.

Anyone tried these? Or think it would be better to just tough it out?
I would consult my vet (who had no suggestions except only short car trips when asked before) if I had more time, but we have to go in the morning and they aren't open Sundays.

Member Since
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '13 10:15pm PST 
At least you can get her inside the car right now, though. That's progress. Anyway, is there any possibility that you can pull over in the middle of your trip so that your dog wouldn't be that stressed out? 5 hours is a very long drive, and you did mention that you hate seeing her so stressed out. It might help.