Not all dogs are great when it comes to traveling by car.
According to statistics, about 16 percent of dogs suffer from car sickness.
If you’re worried about your dog belonging to that small group, or if you’re already well-aware of your dog’s car sickness, don’t worry. We got you covered.
We have organized some tips and tricks to help you and your dog with car sickness problems.
There are numerous causes to a dog’s car sickness. One is the imbalance that is being felt by the body, particularly inside the dog’s ear; another is just a dog’s irrational fear of unusual things, like humming sounds of the car, or the smells that could come with it.
Motion sickness among dogs is very common among puppies; pretty much similar with most human kids. Kids and puppies’ ears, which houses a control balance mechanism, are not fully mature. This causes them to experience most symptoms of car sickness, which could be any of the following:
Although some dogs could easily get over their car sickness problems when they are all grown up, there are some dogs that really struggle with it, despite their ears having reached full maturity.
It’s mostly psychological, which could have stemmed from negative experiences, which include an uncomfortable experience of nausea and vomiting.
If your dog is the adult kind who is having problems with car sickness, don’t lose hope. Here are some of the simple things you can do for your dog during your travels together.
1. Limit your dog’s food and drink intake for a few hours before you travel by car. Also, never feed your dog treats or other kinds of food during travel.
2. When traveling, ensure that your dog faces the front side of the car so that he won’t be distracted by nauseating visual cues that could eventually cause him vertigo.
3. Ensure that your car is well-ventilated, and the temperature is cool enough for your dog. Open up the windows a little bit so that a bit of air could circulate inside the car. This could also help regulate the air pressure inside.
As for dogs who have developed fears associated with cars and traveling, you would have to make extra steps to help your dog break free from that negative impression.
Here are some of the things you may try, as per the advice of stress and nausea experts:
1. Leave some of his toys inside the car;
2. Don’t make subsequent travels with your dog. Give him a week or two to recover from the last travel you had; this will help him build a tolerance to cars and traveling by car.
3. If you have access to several vehicles, try using different kinds of vehicles in different travels. This is to prevent your dog from associating travel with bad experiences;
4. If the reconditioning techniques above don’t work on your dog, a trip to the nearest vet may be necessary. The vet might suggest to give your dog some OTC and/or some prescription medication to help alleviate your dog’s motion sickness and travel anxiety.