Much like humans, dogs and puppies can also experience a feeling of illness while on car trips. This car sickness can make pet travel, whether short or long, quite an ordeal for dogs and their families.
Find following common reasons for car sickness in puppies and dogs.
The ear structures used for balance aren’t fully developed in puppies, which may cause motion sickness. Many dogs outgrow car sickness. Stress can also add to travel sickness. For example, if your dog has only been in the car to go to the vet, he may make himself sick from worry and apprehension. If your dog was nauseous the first few times traveling in the car as a puppy, he may have conditioned himself to see car travel as a time when he will get sick. Look for common signs of car sickness in your pet, such as: inactivity, restlessness, excessive yawning, whining, hyper salivation (drooling), and vomiting.
Typically symptoms will go away shortly after the vehicle stops.
There are treatment options available to help prevent doggie car sickness.Physical comfort in the car, reconditioning, medication and holistic treatments can all help.
Physical Comfort in Car: Face your dog forward in the vehicle so he sees less movement. Looking out side windows causes objects to blur, and that can cause or compound motion sickness. Avoid letting your pet travel in the farthest backseat where there is more motion, crack the window to reduce air pressure and allow for better ventilation. Withhold food for a few hours before loading up. Try a travel crate. Keep it cool in the vehicle. Toys may distract and entertain a high-strung dog. Take frequent potty breaks, and exercise before traveling.
Reconditioning: Reconditioning is needed if your dog associates riding in the car with something bad, like getting sick or going to the vet. Try a different vehicle. Take short car trips to places your dog enjoys. Gradually build your dog’s tolerance. Start by sitting in the car with your dog with the engine off. Do this a few days. Then, when he seems comfortable, sit in the car with the car idling. After this, take a ride around the block. Now you can try a longer trip. Do this slowly over a period of time. Use treats to make the car a fun place. Buy a special toy they only play with in the car.
Medication: Anti-nausea drugs reduce vomiting and antihistamines are used to lessen motion sickness, reduce drooling, and promote calmness. Phenothiazine and related drugs reduce vomiting and help sedation.
Holistic: Holistic treatments are another option. Ginger can be used for nausea. Give ginger snap cookies or ginger pills 30 minutes before travel. Peppermint, chamomile and horehound naturally help calm the stomach. Massage helps to relax your pet before you travel. Always discuss medicine and holistic remedies with your veterinarian before using.
Patience and training will hopefully have you travling happily!
TripsWithPets.com, founded by Kim Salerno, is an online resource for pet travel.