Motion sickness in dogs can ruin your travel plans. This post shares how you can deal with this problem in seven easy ways.
Do you know someone who dreads traveling because it causes illness and discomfort? I have a couple of friends who are like that. Similar to us humans, dogs are also susceptible to travel or motion sickness.
In fact, some dogs may vomit excessively even during a short trip. It’s not only stressful for our canine friends but also exhausting for dog owners. But the good news is that there are several ways to eliminate motion sickness in dogs.
Motion sickness in dogs
Puppies and young dogs are more likely to suffer from motion sickness compared to older dogs. The often-cited reason is that the ear structures of puppies aren’t as developed as their older counterparts. The said ear structures are essential for maintaining the balance and equilibrium of dogs.
But this is not to say that older dogs won’t suffer from travel sickness. However, motion sickness in older dogs is usually due to a bad travel experience they had early in their life.
For instance, a dog that has associated car travel with trips to the veterinarian may feel ill whenever he gets in the car. Should your dog continue to exhibit signs of motion sickness even after multiple car rides, then I suggest you see a vet for possible treatment.
Signs and symptoms
A dog who is suffering from motion sickness will exhibit uneasiness or discomfort in several ways. For instance, he may constantly lick his lips. He may also excessively drool. It is also not uncommon for dogs suffering from motion sickness to yawn, whine or cry out.
Some dogs may become immobile or show hesitation to move whenever they get near a car. Others may vomit especially after they eat dog food. The worst scenario is that a dog urinates or defecates in the vehicle.
How to address dog travel sickness
Your dog may be stressed riding in the car although it is still possible to turn things around, so to speak. How can you help your dog cope with travel sickness?
Here are seven ways to do so:
1. Start by getting her acquainted with the vehicle. Sit in the back seat, open the door, and invite your dog to come with you. Give her a treat so that she would give in.
2. Once she has learned to sit beside you in the car, try to switch the engine. Most dogs would bark at the sound of the engine, so try to calm her by gently stroking her.
3. Give it a few more days for her to get used to sitting in the car and hearing the sound of the engine. You can then proceed to the next step which is to move the car and make a short trip.
Try to drive around the block. Give her something to look forward to at the end of the trip like a food or toy. Or maybe you can bring her to the park afterward.
In case she exhibits signs of distress again, stop and go back to the most recent happy stage.
4. Dogs are more likely to calm down when they are with another pet. Do you have a dog who is accustomed to traveling? Then bring him along. This should give your car – sick dog confidence and companionship.
5. Dogs are more prone to nausea when they look out of the car. I suggest you cover the crate with a blanket so he won’t be able to look outside.
The placement of the crate is also important. I would rather place it in the backseat instead of the boot, where the movement can be too much for your dog. Having her stay in the backseat can also ensure that she won’t get dizzy and stressed. You should also secure his crate with a seat belt.
6. Seek professional help if your dog continues to suffer from severe motion sickness. It is possible that there’s a physical cause for it. Your vet may prescribe an Adaptil collar or spray that can help in reducing stress and calm down your dog.
You can also try to stuff fresh lavender in a pillow and then place it near your dog.
7. You should bring some useful items that can help you deal with his car sickness. Some of these are towels, puppy training pads, fresh blankets and disposable gloves. I suggest that you bring baby wipes and antibacterial handwash as well.
For many dog lovers, bringing their dogs for a summer road trip is a must. They can’t simply leave their dogs behind. But it can be tough for anyone to have a dog who’s sick and stressed in the backseat.
Fortunately, motion sickness in dogs can be reversed. Try to follow the seven tips I shared with you and your dog should be more comfortable riding your car in the next few months.
Guest Post By: Linda Butts