Dog & car sickness go together like treats &wags. Young dogs often get upset tummies during car rides. Dog car sickness happens when the motion of the car stimulates the area of the brain that stimulates vomiting. Stress and excitement also impact how well a dog tolerates car rides.
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I’m sharing this entry about DOG CAR SICKNESS, an excerpt from Dog Facts, The Series 3 (Chapter C). This big chapter covers a lot of ground, and here’s the topic list:
Callus, Cancer, Canine Coronavirus (CCV), Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), Canine Herpes Virus (CHV), Canine Influenza Virus (CIV), Canine Parvovirus (CPV), Canine Scabies (Sarcoptic Mange), Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Carnivore, Car Sickness, Cataract, Cesarean, Chasing Animals/Vehicles, Cherry Eye, Chewing, Cheyletiellosis, Chiropractic, Chocolate Toxicity, Coccidiosis, Cognitive Dysfunction, Colitis, Collapsed Trachea, Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), Communication, Constipation, Copper Poisoning, Coprophagia, Cropping, Cryptorchid, Cushing’s Disease, Cuterebra, Cyst, Cystitis, and Cytology.
I’ve broken the massive book into discounted treat-size alpha-chapter sections available ONLY to subscribers of my PETS PEEVES NEWSLETTER. Folks can choose which ones they most need. Each chapter will release every other week. Of course, you can still get the entire DOG FACTS book either in Kindle or 630+ pages of print.
Why Dog Car Sickness Happens
Young dogs may not have fully developed equilibrium and suffer from motion sickness as youngsters, but later outgrow the problem. Stress makes it more likely your dog will become sick, and when the dog remembers feeling bad and associates that with the car ride, this can become a vicious cycle.
Dog Car Sickness Symptoms: He’s Gonna Hurl!
- Excessive salivation
How to Prevent Dog Car Sickness & Upset Tummies
Acclimate dogs slowly to car rides by making the experiences very short and pleasant. While he’s still young, drive with him around the block, and end the ride with a special treat or favorite game so he associates the car with good things. If he shows signs of vomiting (salivation, excessive swallowing), stop the car and let him walk on leash for a moment or two to allow his stomach to settle.
Some dogs have less problems when allowed to watch the view, while others do better traveling blind; place a towel or blanket over the dog carrier or crate. Your veterinarian may prescribe a mild sedative to calm your pet’s nerves, or a drug like Dramamine to soothe an upset tummy. A newer treatment, called Cerenia, is made specifically for carsick dogs.
Natural Remedies For Dog Car Sickness
Holistic veterinarians suggest using acupressure on the PC6 point to relieve nausea. This spot is located in the small depression on the underside of the front legs, just above the pad on the wrists. Press this point for one minute before you get into the car, and as often as needed during the trip, to help calm the tummy. A homeopathic remedy, Tabacum 30C also calms nausea. Put a couple of pellets on the cat’s tongue two hours before traveling.
Ginger is another natural remedy that can relieve car sickness. The easiest way to give ginger is to sprinkle the contents of a capsule (available from health food stores) in a tablespoon of baby food, and give your dog about 20 minutes before the car ride. Dogs over 15 pounds can take 500 milligrams of ginger (smaller dogs half that amount). Some dog show professionals offer their dogs ginger snap cookies, which may also work, but do tend to stain white fur if the dog slobbers.
Dogs travel best on an empty stomach. Withhold food for at least six to eight hours prior to a long car ride, and give any veterinary-prescribed medication one hour before you leave. Never give your dog anything for car sickness without first consulting with your veterinarian. Most young dogs outgrow the problem.
Does your dog suffer from car sickness? Are car rides a nightmare, or do you hit the road with tails wagging? How do manage an iffy stomach? Please share your tips and tricks so others can help make car rides less stressful for their furry wonders.
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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!