What Can You Do If Your Dog Gets Car Sick?
Most dog owners love taking their dog on outings in the car with them, and most dogs get pretty excited when they are invited into the vehicle. For the greatest majority of dogs, rides in the car is not a problem, but for about 1 out of every 5 dogs, it means car sickness. This is no fun for dog or dog owner, because it usually means vomiting.
It is also very inconvenient when you need to take your pup to the vet, the groomer, dog day care or to the trainer. And, it means no dog park outings, family weekend outings or just trips to the store. What it does mean is Fido gets to stay home, in his kennel, by himself – no fun! Isn’t one of the main reasons you wanted a dog in your home is to enjoy him/her and have fun with him?
What is car (motion) sickness?
There are 2 common thoughts; 1) that motion sickness is caused by an inner ear balance problem, or 2) that the dog is experiencing a car related anxiety. There are more symptoms to car sickness than vomiting…
- Excessive drooling or lip licking
- Excessive panting or yawning
- Vomiting or dry heaving
Some people are tempted to give Dramamine® or Benadryl® to their dog in an effort to curb the car sickness. While these are good for humans, they are not recommended for dogs…these medications
- Have not been approved or safety tested for animals.
- The correct dosage is unknown.
- Could have unwanted side effects.
There are safe treatments you can try:
The timing of when you feed your dog is critical – Avoid feeding him while traveling, just before traveling, or while the trip is ongoing (such as at a rest stop). The best time to feed Fido is about 3 hours before the trip begins, and then it should be a light meal only.
**The smart dog owner will have washable car seat covers on the seat that Fido is restrained in, making sure he is face forward.
Lower a car window that is next to your dog, but keep his head in the car. If having your head outside the window isn’t good for your kids, it certainly isn’t any better for your dog…Cold air being forced into his body is not good for his lungs and health, and he could get hit in the face by flying objects such as rocks or debris from the road.
Keep the temperature in your car cool and well ventilated.
Bring one of your dog’s favorite toys, not only as a distraction, but also as a comfort.
Have someone who your dog loves, sit with him for his feeling of security.
Stopping frequently on long road trips will be helpful for the dog who doesn’t do well during rides in the car for hours. It’s a great opportunity for a potty break or maybe a small drink of water.
There are motion sickness medicines you can give Fido, but consult with your veterinarian before purchasing or administering.
Some dogs get car sick from the anxiety or stress of merely getting into the car, so you need to build up his feelings of security in the car, by:
- Letting him get in and out of the car without actually going anywhere.
- Beginning with short trips…for the first few, just go around the block, then slowly increase the distance.
- Rewarding your dog with a treat and praise after each short trip.
- Giving him a special toy to act as a distraction or to bring security.
At BowWow Fun Towne, we are experts in dog day care. We are dedicated to assisting you and providing the best care for your dog while you’re away.