9 Best Remedies for Dog Travel Sickness: How to Keep Your Pooch Feeling Better on the Road
Puppies and young dogs frequently become car sick as a result of motion, stress, and excitement. They may seem drowsy, whine, drool, cry, and, eventually, vomit all over the back seat. Fortunately, most dogs outgrow this when they become accustomed to traveling in a car.
I was fortunate that Alzu, even as a puppy, never got car sick (just as well, as our first car trip together was a two-hour drive to a waterfall in Jabalpur). However, if your dog suffers from dog motion sickness, it’s important to understand what causes this and how can you make the dog comfortable. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled this list of cures after consulting with other dog owners and experts.
What Causes Car Sickness in Dogs?
Car sickness occurs when a vehicle’s motion interacts with the neurological system. There is a disconnect between what your dog sees and what he feels.
Dogs detect motion with their inner ears, see it with their eyes, and feel it with their body. Intentional motions generate distinct inputs that enable coordinated reactions. Motion sickness can occur when movement occurs without intent.
Younger dogs are more prone to acquire car sickness because their systems haven’t completely matured, just as children are more likely to have motion sickness than adults.
What can you do?
- Hope they’ll grow out of it.
People who have struggled with a car-sick dog in the past frequently say that their dog just grew out of it. This was usually at 12 months of age when their dog ceased being a puppy.
If this is the case, you might simply limit your dog’s excursions until they reach this stage, or until they grow out of their puppy car sickness. However, you don’t know if this will happen ahead of time, and it may not be enough for certain dogs. It’s best to attempt some extra efforts to help your dog avoid motion sickness and hope that with support, they’ll grow out of it.
2. Relieve Stress
Dogs, like people, can vomit in response to stressful situations. Rides are frequently connected with inconvenient thermometers and needle pricks at the vet. This can make your terrified puppy fearful of everything involving a car, even whether it is a vacation trip or a fun car ride around the city.
Turn the car into a puppy paradise with toys and treats that the dog only gets near or while inside the car to change the dog’s thinking. Teach your dog that the car has many advantages in a progressive manner. Good-dog praise and appreciation, as well as treats, may go a long way.
This may include a lengthy period of desensitization and counter-conditioning to help your dog overcome fear and anxiety linked with car journeys.
Begin by simply sitting in your car with your dog for a few minutes without driving anywhere. When your dog has learned that, consider going for a 5-minute ride and progressively increasing the length of the journey as your dog becomes accustomed to the idea of vehicle rides being safe and even enjoyable.
3. Make sure they are at ease.
Why would you want to drive by car if you weren’t comfortable sitting in it? It’s the same with your dog. A relaxed dog is more likely to enjoy the experience of a road trip and escape motion sickness.
Put your dog’s bed in the back seat of your car (make sure to use a dog seat cover). Throw in their favorite blanket. Give them a toy to keep them occupied.
Try a dog seat belt- Loose pets in the car are more likely to be injured or killed if an airbag deploys- it also keeps your dog out of your lap and prevents you from becoming a distracted driver, and
4. Open Up a Window
Hot, stuffy conditions inside the car are another cause of dog travel sickness. Consider opening the window next to your dog to provide a steady stream of fresh air. All of the new scents delivered by the wind will distract the dog from any belly ache. I swear by allowing dogs stick their heads out the window, but for safety concerns, it’s preferable not to open the window all the way (Alzu loves it).
During long car rides, you should also stop and let the puppy walk around for bathroom breaks. Most dogs like exploring new surroundings using their sense of scent. A potty or sniff break might help your dog associate the car with exciting new places and activities.
5. Don’t Feed Your Dog Before a Car trip
If you’re driving with your dog first thing in the morning, try delaying your dog’s breakfast until after your car ride.
Alternatively, get up really early to feed your dog so they haven’t eaten for an hour or two before getting in the car. For some dogs, you may need to leave for an even longer amount of time. Some dogs, in particular, are stimulated by wet food, so stick to kibble.
6. Try natural remedies for prevention
Ginger is a natural nausea reliever that you may give to your dog. It can be given one hour before the journey in the form of ginger capsules or ginger cookies. You may also grate some raw ginger into their food.
The amount is determined on the size of your dog. (With small dogs, use caution.)
Caution: Do not give ginger to dogs who are undergoing surgery, using blood thinners, or going into labour. Consult your veterinarian first if your dog is pregnant or has diabetes or heart disease.
7. Try medication as a last resort
Another viable cure is an anti-anxiety medicine if their car sickness is caused by them being anxious about travelling in the car.
The same medication used to treat motion sickness in humans also works in dogs. Dramamine is thought to be safe for the majority of healthy adult dogs. Homeopathic medicines can also be quite effective. Always follow the directions, including the suggested dose size.
Consider speaking with your vet as well. They may be able to provide your dog anti-nausea medication.
Often, travel sickness medicine is only required for a limited amount of time, not for life, to assist your dog in growing out of their travel sickness.
A ride should be fun. With these natural remedies for dog car sickness, you can ensure that everyone has a good time on the road!
So here are my tips. Do you have any to add? Share your remedies in the comment section below! Bon voyage!
Happy travels! Woof Woof!
Shivani & Alzu ❤️