You start the car, turn out of your driveway and before long you can hear those unrelenting groans from the back seat, your dog is nauseating.
You start the car, turn out of your driveway and before long you can hear those unrelenting groans from the back seat, your dog is nauseating, the car ride has become intolerable for your furry friend.
Car sickness in dogs occurs for the same reason as it does in humans: the movement of the vehicle over-stimulates the inner ear, which controls balance. It affects younger dogs more than older ones, as their balance has not fully developed. Young puppies often outgrow this condition.
Car problems (anxiety and stress) can start with your puppy’s first car trip. Leaving his litter mates can be traumatic enough, this can be the first negative car trip. The next car experience being a visit to the vet for a vaccination, all of this can leave a powerful imprint in your young puppy’s mind. He associates the car with all things negative.
Stress can be a major contributor of motion sickness, even for an adult dog, as the only time he travels in the car, is to visit the vet, his anxiety and stress makes him physically sick! Take him to the vet weekly for a weight check, have his weight recorded, reward him lavishly with a yummy food treat.
Motion sickness could be the result of a traumatic experience in the past for an older dog, The car trip could have left him emotionally scarred. Take him for a short ride to the park, make it a fun time while you’re there, this way the car experience is positive.
Symptoms of motion sickness in dogs
The symptoms of car sickness vary from dog to dog, however, they are mostly characterised by:
- Refusing to get in the car
- Rapid panting
- Extreme cases, diarrhoea
Recommendations to overcome car sickness in dogs:
- A vet check, on treating car sickness could be your first option.
- Preventing car sickness could be managed by not feeding, before he is to travel in the car.
- A canine buddy for support.
- Long car trips could be broken down with more stops to recover, stretch, toilet and take in the fresh air.
- Leaving the car window slightly down to catch the breeze will assist.
- One of our clients young Kelpie/Koolie who was experiencing motion sickness. One, Bickmores all natural ginger tablet was given approximately half hour before the trip, no more car sickness( thanks for sharing Lyn).
- Desensiting can also be a solution, this does take time and patience.
written by Lee Hettiger