This allows your Tzu to get accustomed to his car seat, the sound of the motor and the general overall feeling of being in the confined space. Be sure to have your supply of toys (more ahead). Start off with 5 minutes and work your way up to 15. Do this for 7 to 10 days, at least once per day if able.
- With everything in place, this will be slow movement back and forth in the driveway. Take care when applying the brakes, making the transition as easy as possible. If you have a very short driveway, you can jump
to the next step. It is best to do this for 1 week, with 5 to 10 minute sessions.
- Short drives. This is a short drive of 15 minutes in a thinly settled district where you can safely drive 35 mph or under.
- Now you are ready to take longer rides in the car. It is best for you to make the destination be a fun one such as a visit with a doggie friend or a trip to the park. However, in any case, a reward when exiting should be given.
Even if your Shih Tzu appears to be doing fine, take a rest stop every 30 minutes. This is vital, as most owners keep driving if the dog seems to be okay. However, without a break, that can change very quickly. It is much easier to avoid upset stomach or restlessness than try to fix it once it happens.
Pull over somewhere safe and with your Shih Tzu on leash and harness, allow him to walk around, have a drink and a snack and 'find his legs' again.