Car sickness can make road trips with your pet difficult to manage. Linda Butts from Pawsome Talk gives us some tips that helped her pet and many of these may help your pet too…
Motion sickness is more common in puppies than the older ones. Have you ever thought why? Puppies do not have fully developed ears that help them in balancing motions, as older dogs do. Stress can also result in motion sickness. Avoid feeding your pet just before the car trip. If your dog continues to be sick after few car rides, then consult a vet.
Symptoms of Motion Sickness in Dogs
- Excessive salivation
- Uneasiness and laziness
- Frequent licking of lips
- Difficulty in moving
- Fear of cars
Canines can be prone to motion sickness in both short and long car trips. There are many ways that you can eliminate your pet’s car sickness. After years of experience with my puppies, I have found that the following steps can give your dog relief from motion sickness.
1. Transform your dog’s perception of a car ride (I did that!)
- Take your dog to an open space like park or ground.
You can drive your car to the park and let other people calm your dog by playing with him for 10-15 minutes. Give your canine a mix workout; play with them for a while and then let them rest for some time.
- Treat your dog! Feed them their favourite food
- Sit with your dog in the car with engine off. Repeat this practice for few days.
Repeat this often, and you will see that your puppy isn’t sick of car rides anymore.
2. Use specially designed seat belt for dogs
- Specially designed dog seat belts help dogs with their motion sickness; your puppy may not feel sick while traveling after wearing one.
- If allowed, have your dog sit with you in the front passenger’s seat. (Keeping them a little away from the dashboard and disable the airbag.)
3. Don’t feed too much before the ride
An empty stomach can do wonders against car sickness! My dog does not get sick in motion when his stomach is empty (for about 4-6 hours).
- Take care that your dog hasn’t munched before the ride.
- You can give them some water to drink; don’t keep them thirsty.
4. Make frequent stopovers when you are taking your dog for long drives
- The golden rule is to stop the car after an hour or two during a long drive.
- This will give both your dog and you an opportunity to relax and play.
- Do not feed foods during the car ride.
- Enjoy drinking water together.
5. Get your dog engaged with their favorite toys, games, songs, and movies
It is amazing to watch your dog sitting still, watching his favorite cartoon!
- Allow others to play with your dog.
- Keep them busy with their favorite game or toy.
- Play their favorite music.
- Let them watch a movies on your laptop. My dog really loves watching television.
6. Encourage them to look out of the window
- If you are passing through a beautiful landscape, then allow him to enjoy the beauty outside.
- This will keep him busy and reduce his stress levels. Thereby, he will not suffer motion sickness.
- Adjust the seat of your puppy so that he can enjoy the scenic beauty.
7. Turn off the AC in your car
If you are going on a long ride, then let switch off the air condition of your car. The fresh air will come in from the open window. Enjoy the fresh air.
- This will maintain the balance of air pressure inside and outside the car.
- It will result in the reduction of dog’s discomfort and nausea.
- Wear goggles to protect your eye from dust particles.
I know, it sounds pathetic choosing not turn the AC on when driving in summer; well, if it is too hot, skip this step. We don’t want you and your dog to suffer heat stroke.
8. Make it a comfortable ride for your puppy
- I ensure that my puppy is comfortable during car travels by opting for a longer car during traveling.
- This gives him more space to play and sit comfortably.
- When you have a stopover, give him a bath; use his favorite puppy shampoo for him during the car ride.
9. Make it smell good for your dog!
- To distract the attention of your dog, you can spray ginger or peppermint.
- You can keep a bunch of flowers in the car.
- With the sweet aroma, your dog will not feel motion sickness.
- Make sure that the car is fully ventilated.
This trick has helped my dog. By keeping my car ventilated his motion sickness has reduced to a great extent.
10. If nothing helps, Medications may!
- If nothing of the above works for your little one, then take your pet to a vet.
- Your vet may prescribe anti-nausea drugsfor dogs to heal motion sickness.
- Anti–histamines are also prescribed to reduce the drooling.They calm the dog by allowing them to sleep.
- If your vet allows, you can give your dog ginger to eat. It must be given 30 minutes before the car ride.
- Keep the prescribed medicines handy and give them to your dog if his condition worsens during the drive.
Don’t try given medications yourself; consultation with your vet is imperative.
11. Reward your dog with the trip
- You must give him his favorite food to eat after every trip.
- This is important to encourage him to travel more often in the car.
- Your dog will eventually surpass the fear of getting sick while traveling in the car.
My patience and training have yielded me positive results.My dog has overcome the car sickness. I recommend you to follow these measures to make your dog overcome motion sickness. Reward him with something he loves. With the time and little effort, you can also enjoy the car ride with your dog and puppies.
How does your pet travel in your car? With ease or do they get car sick?