Similar to humans, dogs can suffer from car or motion sickness during rides while traveling. Even a quick trip to the shopping mall can make some dogs sick and this makes everyone uncomfortable. Pups and young dogs mostly develop car sickness due to excitement, motion, or stress. Car sickness makes a dog become drowsy, drool, and eventually puke all over the rear seat. Symptoms of car sickness in dogs may include panting, drooling of saliva, lethargy or inactivity, whining, lip licking, pacing, nausea, vomiting, depression, etc. Luckily, most dogs overcome this situation over time and get used to car riding after a few traveling.
Fortunately, you can easily prevent this common problem by following some strategies. This article will focus on problems of car sickness and its prevention in dogs.
Causes of Car Sickness in Dogs
Two major causes of car sickness in dogs include psychological or physical causes. Similar to humans, it’s mostly related to the sense of balance and is commonly seen in pups or young dogs. This occurs due to the underdevelopment of the inner ear due to young age. Car-related fear or anxiety can be a cause of car sickness in dogs. Therefore, if a dog experienced few car trips, this problem will be gone eventually and dogs become familiar with car rides. Although, if the problem persists for a longer time, you need to talk with your veterinarian immediately.
How to Prevent Car Sickness in Dogs?
Before reducing the problems of car sickness, it’s essential to identify the cause of it and remove the stressors. Also, some preventive measures can help you to avoid these problems with your dog. These are given below:
1. Provide timely meals
You need to feed your dogs at least 12 hours before the journey. When your puppy has nothing in their tummy, they are less likely to vomit during the trip. Although you can offer water before and during the trip to settle the tummy.
2. Dog socialization with the car riding
This is the most effective way to battle car sickness. Early socialization of dogs with car riding can make your travel fun and safe. It’s natural to have car sickness for the first few car rides for your pups, but after a few car rides, they become easily adapted and comfortable with this motion.
3. Reduce stress and anxiety with therapy
Anti-anxiety or anti-stress therapy can help to calm your dog’s mind and modify their behavior for safe travel. After consultation with the veterinarian, you can provide anti-anxiety medications to decrease the feelings of anxiety. Our veterinarians suggest providing candied ginger almost 1 hour before car ride to decrease the stimuli.
Dog owners can choose a variety of medications for the car sickness of their dogs. These are specifically useful to avoid nausea and act as sedatives such as over-the-counter antihistamines, anti-anxiety options like trazodone, alprazolam, etc. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving such drugs to your dogs.
To conclude, as a responsible dog owner, it’s essential to make your dog’s ride comfortable. Therefore, you can lower the car window to allow fresh air and maintain the air balance inside of your car. Veterinarians recommend bringing the dog’s favourite toys, or blanket to keep him active and sound. Some dogs get fear and restlessness while car riding, that’s why you need to talk to them and keep them calm by using a seat belt or safety harness. That’s how you can avoid problems associated with car sickness of your dog and enjoy traveling with more fun.