How to deal with motion sickness in dogs - Petpal

How to deal with motion sickness in dogs

There is no better joy than hitting the road with your dog by your side. It’s not only exciting for your little furry pal to see and smell new sights, but also a good way for you to bond with them, and watch their happiness when they stick their heads out of the window.

However, much like humans, dogs are also prone to motion sickness. This is applicable even for short car rides, because some dogs are extremely susceptible to canine car sickness, which might sometimes even lead to a detour to the nearest vet.

Why do dogs have motion sickness?

While the exact mechanism of motion sickness is not well understood, but according to experts, it is most likely linked to the centers of the brain that control balance and process motion. Car sickness can also be related to fear and anxiety about car rides. Also, much like how human children are more affected by motion sickness than adults, younger pups

and dogs also experience more motion sickness because the ear structure responsible for balance is not fully developed. Moreover, while some dogs do eventually overcome motion sickness, others don’t.

Another reason for your dog to feel car sick could be associated to memory; if your dog was sick during the first car ride, then vomiting may become associated with travel.

What are the signs of canine carsickness?

Some of the major symptoms include –

-Listlessness

-Constant yawning

-Vomiting

-Uneasiness and whining

-Too much drooling

-Inactivity

How to prevent canine carsickness

The best way to avoid canine carsickness is to change your dog’s associations with travel. Try choosing a relaxing, peaceful place for your dog that is not too far from home. Take them there in a park and play with them to make their visit as enjoyable as you can. During the ride home, see if you can calm your dog. And then when you arrive home, play with your dog as nicely as you did at the park. Feed your dog some treats. When you do this often, they’ll realize that car travel is not a bad thing.

Also make sure your dog always has an empty stomach before the ride. Most dogs don’t get carsick when their stomachs are empty. It’s best if you don’t give them any food, approximately six to eight hours before the ride. Give them water though. But remember, this may not work on all dogs, so do what’s best suited for them.

Remember to make frequent stops. While some dogs will ably handle long car rides, others might not. Stop the car after every hour and a half. Walk them around or give them bathroom time. You can even give them some water during this time.

If you are travelling in a group, have someone distract your dog at all times. Get them to play and grab their attention. Remember to bring the dog’s favourite toys along as well.

Sometimes focusing on scenery also works very well for dogs. Roll down the windows so your dog can see it and get distracted. Turn off the AC, and let fresh air in, as it helps prevent carsickness.

If none of these methods work, ask your vet about motion sickness medication. Vets usually

prescribe Dramamine (Dimenhydrinate). Talk to your vet about the right dosage as well.

Follow these tips and make sure that joyride is joyful for both you and your canine buddy.

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