Dog Car Sickness & Motion Sickness: Warning Signs & Prevention Tips

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April 21, 2013
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You did it! The pet-friendly hotels are booked, the trip is planned, and your car has been packed with enough supplies to keep your pet happy, fed, and feel like it’s a home away from home. Hooray! A trip with your pet and you’re both excited.

Everything has been taken care of except maybe one thing, what if Max gets sick while on the road? What will you do? Can you prevent this?

If you’ve ever been motion sick, you know it feels terrible and can take a while to feel better. Dogs don’t have a way to let us know they are starting to feel funky and they don’t turn that fine, fine shade of olive green that we do. It’s also not easy to keep an eye on him and the road. There are some precautions you can take to help cut down on the occurence of your dog being sick and also some signs to watch for. There is hope. We know how gross it can be and cleaning a car is not easy.

Signs Of Motion Sickness in Dogs

  • Inactivity but not quite the same as “settling down”
  • Listlessness and seeming “down”
  • Uneasiness and nervous
  • Yawning
  • Whining
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting

It’s not easy to distinguish some of these signs from your dog just being a little nervous, tired, or uneasy. Especially if your dog associates the car with trips to vet, nervousness can appear in the form of yawning and whining without sickness following. Some dogs may not show any of these symptoms and may simply vomit without any signs and then lay down and whine.

What Can You Do?

If you’re in the middle of driving and you notice your dog starting to fidget and seem “weird” it could be a good idea to pull over and let him take a small walk for a few minutes. The fresh air and lack of motion can help stop a problem before it starts. Also, make sure the air flow in the car is fresh, keep a window cracked, keep the vents open, and do not smoke in the car.

Other Tips to Help Prevent Motion Sickness

  • Invest in a dog seat belt or carrier and face your dog forward
  • Limit your dog’s food and water before travel and during pit stops
  • Keep air flow going in the car to regulate the pressure from outside the car and inside
  • Try giving your dog a jellybean, as the sugar can limit the nausea
  • Talk to your vet about medications that might help alleviate motion sickness

Don’t forget the first aid kit and other doggie supplies in case your dog gets injured while away. Also, it is a great idea to do some research of the places you are going and find the local 24 Hour Emergency Vet, local pet stores, and other info.

Happy travels!

Image from The Dog Training Secret

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