Do dogs prefer shotgun? Here’s what new findings reveal!
For dog parents and their pooches, a car journey can either be a pleasant experience or one they would rather not embark on. To determine which locations within cars dogs feel the safest and most settled, comparethemarket.com.au carried out a study on four different dog breeds of varying sizes. Using heart rate monitors, they tracked which areas of a vehicle had the dogs’ tails wagging and which areas raised their heart rates the most.
Results showed that the dogs felt the most comfortable when their pet parents were in view, with their heart rates decreasing by 6.8% in the front seat and 9.5% in the back seat, when compared to their average heart rates.
In contrast, the dogs were the most uncomfortable when secured in the very back of the vehicle (the “trunk” of SUVs) with their guardians out of sight (a 20.4% increase from their average). Behind the driver’s seat should also be avoided, as this saw a 10.6% increase in heart rate.
For dogs, their humans are often the main social connection, so being separated from them for a car journey can be really isolating and may result in feelings of anxiety.
How music can help
If your dog tends to be uncomfortable in vehicles, research suggests that music with either 50 or 60 beats per minute is best to keep him feeling relaxed. Songs such as “Green Light”s by John Legend and Andre 3000, “Ronan” by Taylor Swift and “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen are examples of how to help your dog feel at ease on your next journey.
Karen Elizabeth Baril is a freelance writer, author, and part-time writer’s coach (karenbaril.naiwe.com). She also writes short stories and creative non-fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous publications. She lives with three horses, two dogs, and whatever wild animals trundle through the hills near her home during the night.