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How to Remedy Dog Car Sickness for Summer Travel

July 2, 2019


Humans are not the only ones to experience motion sickness during car rides. However, nothing can ruin a trip quicker than having a sick dog inside your vehicle. That can quickly turn a fun trip to the park into a miserable one. Since veterinarians do not have a single reason, as to why your dog might get car sick, you observations are crucial to helping your furry friend learn how to enjoy their next road trip. Truth is unless there are obvious signs of motion sickness like drooling, restlessness, vomiting or panting it can be difficult to know how miserable your pet may be.

To start training your dog, take very short trips before embarking on any distant adventure. Since you can't force your pet to deal with their fears, it is important not to scold your dog, even if it begins to howl or cry. Some dogs do better with car rides in a carrier, which is great training for future trips of longer distances. It also helps to start taking daily trips to somewhere fun like a local dog park. Just be patient with your best friend and always offer them water in a collapsible bowl when you reload following a fun stop. Some dogs respond well to over-the-counter drugs like Dramamine. Ask your vet for dosing recommendations.

Typically, motion sickness is more common in younger dogs. In part, this could be due to a puppy's inner ear not being fully developed. This would help explain the fact that most dogs will naturally grow out of car sickness and learn to enjoy a ride. However, traveling inside a moving vehicle can provide unusual stimuli that can be overwhelming to an animal's senses. Moreover, many dogs have problems with heightened anxiety, which immediately turns into fear and stress. Vomiting and diarrhea would be common for frightening rides or traumatic events. Also, if your best friend is taking medications (even certain supplements), it can cause stomach upset and nausea.

In extremely stressed dogs, a prescription medication may be needed at first until your puppy or rescue dog learns to relax. Your veterinarian may actually start medication for an anxious traveler for several days before you embark on a trip. Unfortunately, some dogs never do get over motion sickness, but with a young puppy, being vigilant about his or her program is more than likely to produce success. If your dog struggles with motion sickness, schedule an appointment with a caring veterinarian at PrimeVET. We can provide a quick exam and discuss your best options for retraining your pet's dysfunctional behavior.

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