Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tips to Help a Dog With Motion Sickness


Photo via AMagill
Many dogs experience motion sickness when riding in the car. This can prove to be a problem for people who want to take their dog with them to events, vacations, or even just the vet's office. Motion sickness in dogs is just like motion sickness for people. Their stomachs get queasy when they travel in moving objects like cars, planes, or boats.

Young dogs may experience motion sickness when riding in cars because their equilibrium isn't fully developed yet. As the puppy matures, motion sickness usually goes away. Older dogs who experience motion sickness might have had a traumatic experience involving riding in a car in the past that has left them emotionally scarred.

Symptoms of motion sickness in dogs includes excessive salivation, licking of the lips, whining, trembling, refusal to get in the car, vomiting, urination, and defecation. Some of the symptoms may only be seen in very extreme cases.

So what can you do to help a dog that suffers from motion sickness? You've got your canine friend all ready to go for a ride, but when you get to the car they refuse to jump in. Here are some tips to help your car sick dog.

  • Time and Training - Taking your dog on car rides more often could help them overcome their fear and get used to going on trips. It could take time, however. It isn't something that will happen overnight.
  • Antihistamines - Drugs like Benadryl have a mild sedation effect in most dogs. Diphenhydramine is a very safe drug and it could help your dog feel more calm when they ride in the car.
  • Meclizine - This is another OTC drug. It's used to help ease a dog's nausea and relieve vomiting. It won't sedate the dog, but it might make them feel a little better.
  • Ginger - Ginger is a holistic treatment that has been said to ease upset stomachs.
  • Roll Down the Windows - If weather permits, rolling down the windows might help the dog feel better and give them some fresh air. It will also reduce the pressure inside of the car.
  • Withhold Food - Don't feed a dog that is known to have motion sickness before riding in the car.
  • Toys - Give your dog some toys to chew on while they ride in the car to help take their mind off of the trip.
  • Get comfortable - Prepare a spot in your car for your dog to ride that is comfortable. You could place one of their favorite dog beds or blankets in the spot that they are going to ride.

Of course, never give any medications or supplements to your dog without consulting with your veterinarian first. You will need to make sure of the proper dosages of drugs and supplements before giving them.

If all else fails, a vet can prescribe stronger medications for when you travel with your dog. Drugs like acepromazine, which is a prescription sedative, can help extremely nervous dogs with motion sickness. It is commonly prescribed to pets who are traveling.
 

Photo via nechbi


Do you have a dog with motion sickness? What tips would you recommend for other dog parents?

Disclaimer: This is a post sponsored by Dogscorner.co.uk, an online dog supply store that offers a great range of top quality products. I was compensated to write and  publish this article.

26 comments:

  1. Thank goodness for both me and Domeek, I have never experienced motion sickness! Phew!! That would be very sad! BUT...my (kitty) brothers Ginger and Otter both suffer from it! Luckily the cats rarely go in the car, except for the V-E-T or when we've moved! They both barf and/or go potty in the car, so we make sure that we cover their crates in a couple of pee pee pads and make sure to carry cleaning supplies! Interesting solutions though, we might have to talk to their vets next time! :-D Thanks for the info!

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    1. Cats do seem to be afflicted a lot... I've had to clean up after many a kitty who went potty in their crate on the way to the vet. Poor kitties.

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  2. I actually get carsick on long car trips. I'm okay with short ones, though.

    We used to roll down the windows for our dog in the car when we went on trips. He seemed to like that a lot :)

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  3. poor pet who suffer with that not fun

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  4. Great information Ann. I will tell Lady with Phod to def pop over and have a read. I am not so bad now but really suffered as a puppy and in my youth. Have a terrific Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. Phod's lady did pop into my mind when I wrote this. Poor lil' Phod.

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  5. Oh Hailey and Phod's blog needs this..Her Phod is always sick in the car, will tell her to pop over xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

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  6. Cupcake was 3 when I got her. She was VERY afraid of the car and got carsick all the time. I practiced sitting in the car with her, when it was not moving. Like you said, I didn't feed her, but gave her lots of treats, starting with throwing one in to get her into the car in the first place. I also found out by accident that she did a lot better in the back seat than the front seat. I started with short rides to the park or pet store, so she would associate the car with happy things. Now she is a wonderful little traveler, loves the car, wears her seatbelt, and comes with me everywhere possible.

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    1. I'm so glad Cupckae was able to recover from being scared of the car. It seems like my dog gets more and more scared to ride in the car as she gets older :/

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  7. Great tips Ann! Titan usually whines on the ride TO wherever we are going but not on the return trip. I almost think he's afraid of being left somewhere (baggage from the past). But he's always excited to get in the Jeep! Definitely going to pass this along!

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    1. Thanks Bren - Shiner will start trembling in the car sometimes, but I think it's because she thinks we are going to the vet. Probably from me taking her to work with me every now and then.

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  8. Those are great tips, but I'm just glad I don't spend much time in the car!

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  9. Thanks for this tips - Thanks. I'm always totally over the top if we use the car. We will try it ;o)

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  10. We give homeopathic remedies against motion sickness. It depends on the symptoms of the dog, which remedy we give :)

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    1. I don't know many homeopathic remedies. The ginger one seems like a good idea though.

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  11. My dog does not get car sick, she just gets very nervous and always has. I started her as a young puppy and she still does it. She drools and shakes the whole time. I took her to obedience school and it helped some but she just gets nervous. She is also nervous around the house too and she is a border collie.

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  12. Great tips! Cerenia (maropitant citrate) is also effective for motion sickness, but you do need a prescription.

    Susan and Wrigs

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    1. Cerenia is a great anti-emetic drug too.

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  13. We have a very motion sick dog, who when we try to get him to go int e car, gets more scared. We are looking for the answer, and hope we will find it soon!

    Hailey and Zaphod's Lady

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    1. I hope you do too guys, I know you've tried a lot of stuff.

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  14. Great tips; we're happily out of the car sickness phase for our dogs. What worked for us was childrens dramamine, ginger cookies as a treat on the road (just 1), and frozen yogurt (for dogs) at the end of the trip.

    Rodrigo would get sick. We also got him used to being in the car; we started by just sitting in the car, then driving around the drive way, then for a block and so on.

    I can't remember how long it took to resolve, but it did go away :)

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    1. Glad they grew out of it. Also, interesting to find someone that the ginger cookies worked for. That was a remedy I was less familiar with. Dramamine is the same thing as meclizine, but is just the brand name version of it.

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  15. Great tips. We usually crack the window and withhold food. I also have had good luck with Rescue Remedy for dogs, which seems to help make them a little sleepy. Doesn't really help the tummy, but seems to keep the pups calm for long car rides.

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  16. Great information and thank you!

    Loveys Sasha

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  17. Great tips - my cat gets upset in the car and wonder if he also has motion sickness. I know I can get dizzy and nauseous myself in the back seat. I have found ginger to be a help. Not sure if the cat will like that flavor :)

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