Have you ever wondered why your dog does what he does in your vehicle?

If you’re like many dog owners, you like to take your furry best friend with you many places or even everywhere.  That most likely means you will be taking them with you in your vehicle.  And you’ve probably noticed some interesting things they do while they’re there. Let’s take a look at some of the mysteries and why your dog acts the way they do.


Let’s start off with an easy one. Even if you are with your dog in the car with the windows down, they will often be panting. This generally means that they’re hot. While people will sweat and let the heat dissipate via evaporating sweat, dogs only have little sweat glands in their paws.

Dogs have three primary ways of cooling off. First is by panting, where they circulate air as a means of getting rid of the heat. Second, dogs can drink cool water or take a dip in a nearby body of water. Finally, as we said earlier, the only sweat glands they have is in their paws so they do sweat just a little via their paw pads. It’s just that painting is their primary means of cooling down.

Head Out the Window

There’s probably not just one reason why dogs stick their head out the window; studies conflict on why dogs enjoy doing this, and it’s most likely a combination of them.

  • It cools them down – Dogs may not have sweat glands all over, but they can certainly enjoy the breeze. While they don’t get to experience the joy of sweat evaporating from their bodies, the moving air is causing heat to blow off of them and lets the heat they pant out move away from their space.
  • It overwhelms them with scents – Dogs love to take in scents, and it’s one of their primary means of information gathering. A dog going for a ride is like us stepping through the front entrance of Disneyland or stepping out onto the beach after taking a long trip. It’s an overwhelming amount of changing information, and dogs probably just enjoy letting it wash over them. And oh the smells they smell!

Run Around the Cab

In general, we think it’s a good idea to have your dog restrained in some way, however accidents will happen, and you don’t want your dog flying through the cab like a missile should you have a  collision.

We know that people often do leave their dogs to move about the cab freely. So why is a dog so interested in being seemingly everywhere at once? Part of it is that they want to be near you, so they hop up in the front seat. If they head to the back and look out the window, it gives them a view that they’d never be able to get otherwise: things moving backward at 40 miles per hour! Moving in any direction so quickly is exciting for dogs. They try to take in as much of the strange experience as possible then express their excitement by running around the interior of the vehicle.

One last note. If the only time that you put your dog in the vehicle is to take them to the vet, that running around in the car might be a sign of fear. Your dog could be upset because they associate “being in a car” with “I might be getting a shot and I don’t want my teeth cleaned.” So be sure to take them with you on fun trips, such as to the dog park! Or on a hike.


Chew Things Up 

Yikes that’s your car’s upholstery! So why might a dog chew on your upholstery when you’ve left them in the car alone? (Of course, you only left them alone with the PuppComm!)

The first answer is boredom. When a dog is left alone in a vehicle, they don’t have anything to do. They can’t distract themselves with a smartphone or the radio, so they simply need something to occupy their time. Hey, chewing up the upholstery is something to do!

The second answer is separation anxiety or stress. Even if your dog has gotten used to being alone at home, putting them in a vehicle changes things up considerably. Since there are so many windows, they can actually watch you walk away. Yes, you know that you’ll only be away for 15 minutes, and you’re making sure they’re safe with a dog monitor. But to them, it might be “is this it? is this when they don’t come back? they’re still walking away and I can’t get out this window and they’re gone forever chew chew chew chew chew!”

If your dog is chewer, make sure they have something that they want to chew. A favorite toy or bone will go a long way toward protecting your car’s interior.


Put Their Nose On the Window

You can always find a dog owner by looking at the glass, can’t you? Most dogs figure out glass pretty quickly, and once they know it’s there then they have no problems. But even though they know the glass is there, they’re still just so excited about the trip you’re taking that they want to get out! It might also be a subtle way of telling you that they want the window down. Or the glass is simply in the way of the great smells we talked about earlier!


Relax or just Chill

Some dogs are perfectly happy to just relax in the vehicle. They’re not running around, barking, or sticking their head out the window. They’ll either just sit there quietly or even lay down and take a nap.

You might wonder why they’d be so bored, but then again it’s important to remember that certain dogs just have personalities that don’t make them over-excitable in the car. Maybe their brains just don’t respond to the overwhelming stimulation that a car ride provides. Who knows, maybe they get motion sick if they stare out the side windows and would rather just lie down. Nothing wrong with that!

Take Your Pup with You!

No matter what your dog does in your vehicle, we’re glad that you decided to spend more time with them and take them with you. While traveling with a dog can cause some problems, we’re proud to say that the PuppComm dog all environment temperature monitor can solve one of the big ones: how to take care of your dog when you have to leave them in the car for a short time. Check out the PuppComm here!





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