Car rides are an activity that the whole family, including our dogs, can enjoy. Whether you're taking a scenic drive up the coast or simply driving across town to run some errands, many pet parents enjoy bringing their dogs along for the ride. But for those who suffer from motion sickness, car rides are anything but pleasant, dogs included. Veterinarians can't exactly pinpoint why some dogs get car sick while others don't. However, this article will explore some possible reasons why your dog gets woozy in the car, how to treat or prevent it, and more.
WHY DOES MY DOG GET CAR SICK?
MOTION SICKNESS SYMPTOMS:
Observe if your dog shows these symptoms every time you take road trips.
It's important to note here that some dogs show no symptoms of car sickness at all.
HOW DO I TREAT MY DOG FOR MOTION SICKNESS?
1. Desensitization: If motion sickness is fear or anxiety based, a desensitization program or training may help. This program involves gradually introducing stronger stimuli to a dog until he becomes accustomed to its full effect. Help your dog get used to the car and alleviate any car-related anxieties by putting him in the car with your for a few minutes each day. Don't turn the car on or drive anywhere, at first. As your dog gets used to the car, gradually start the car and go somewhere close by or simply take a short drive around the block. Bring a toy, their favorite blanket, or anything comforting that'll help him calm down and make the car feel more familiar.
Do this until he shows more enthusiasm or comfort in relation to the car. The trick here is to progress slowly during the first few days. Every time he does not get sick, increase the amount of travel he takes. If he does get sick, then move the process backwards until he is not ill again. Show your dog that car rides can be enjoyable and trouble-free. Make sure he associates car rides with positive things, like a hike or visiting a dog park.
2. Natural Remedies: Natural remedies are the easiest to get ahold of. However, always consult a vet beforehand. Your dog may have allergies or sensitivities to some natural remedies that can cause effects in dogs with comorbidities, such as bleeding disorders, or in dogs taking anticoagulants or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
3. Calming Supplements: You can give your dog calming oral supplements like Solliquin, Composure, or Rescue Remedy to calm them during car rides. Some may need to be taken daily for a few days or even a few weeks for maximum benefit. These products are generally safe for most dogs since they have few adverse side effects. As always, consult your vet before administering any supplements.
MOTION SICKNESS MEDICATIONS FOR DOGS
As a last resort, your vet can recommend medications.
PREVENTING MOTION SICKNESS IN DOGS
Bringing our dogs along for the ride is always fun for the entire family. However, when dog's get car sick, it can no longer be enjoyable. Puppies are known to experience more car sickness than older dogs because their inner ears are not yet fully developed. However, as your puppy grows the chances your car sickness lowers. Yet, some dogs never grow out of getting car sick. To help reduce motion sickness in older dogs, there are anxiety medications, over-the-counter medications, and calming supplements. As always, consult your vet before introducing any new medications to your dog.