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New Study Finds the Least Stressful Seat for Your Dog During Car Rides

Pets News
by Olivia Harden Feb 14, 2022

Suppose you want to take your dog on a long road trip. Knowing your dog is comfortable is an essential part of the journey — and the same is true even if it’s just a short car ride to the dog park. It turns out that one way to minimize your pet’s discomfort is as simple as figuring out where your dog should be seated.

The company Compare the Market conducted a small study to find where your pet is most comfortable going for a ride. The study used four different breeds of different sizes — a Jack Russell, Poochon, Cocker Spaniel, and Red Fox Labrador — and used heart rate monitors to measure their average heart rate versus their heart rate in four different areas of the car: the front seat, the back seat directly behind the owner, the back seat with a view of the owner, and the trunk.

The study found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that pets were most comfortable with a view of their owner. Heart rates spiked when the animals were in the trunk with an average 20.4 percent increase in heart rate, and the second most uncomfortable area was directly behind the owner. In the right part of the car, however, the dogs actually had a lower heart rate than the average taken as a base. Animals felt more comfortable in the front seat with an average decreased heart rate of 6.8 percent from the baseline, but felt the most comfortable in the backseat with a clear view of their human friend, where the dogs had a reduced heart rate of 9.5 percent.

While the study was small with limited data, clinical animal behaviorist Rachel Rodgers explained in study that seating your dog away from your line of sight takes away from the comfort that animals need to feel safe traveling. Keep in mind that some breeds are more likely to take to an adventurous lifestyle more easily when choosing your travel companion. Ensure other comforts like picking your dog up or getting a ramp rather than having them jump into the vehicle and provide some blankets to snuggle up to, and hopefully, you’ll both enjoy some happy dog rides.

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