Motion sickness in dogs is a regular occurrence. Younger dogs are more prone to car sickness, as their ears are not fully developed. Ears help maintain balance in the body. Some pups will grow out of this with age, some may need to explore other options. Ear infections or high levels of anxiety and stress can cause temporary motion sickness. Opening a car window slightly can balance the outside air pressure with the inside of the car air pressure, which can reduce nausea. Keeping the temperature of the car at a mid-range, comfortable temperature helps as well. Special dog seatbelts not only keep your pup safer, but also keep them facing forward and their bodies at more of an equilibrium. Limiting food intake or skipping a meal until after the trip is also effective.
Desensitization to cars can begin with short intervals where the car may not even be moving. High value foods like peanut butter, cheese, etc. can help entice dogs into or near the car. Short sessions with
positive experiences are the best way
to increase comfort around and inside
vehicle. Patience and willingness to go
slow helps allow dogs to get comfortable.
Once they get comfortable inside the car,
starting out with short car rides to positive
places is a good start.
In some cases, anti-nausea medications
prescribed by a veterinarian may be a
necessity. Anti-anxiety meds may also
lower anxiety level enough to reduce
nausea. In lieu of prescription drugs,
there are supplements and herbs also
used to help.
Some familiar items will help dogs in cars.
Toys, blankets, bones, and kongs, bring
home comforts to the vehicle. These will
keep it a little more comfortable and make
the dogs seem like they are in a familiar
environment. A crate can also help a dog
seen safe, secure, and less carsick.
Making frequent stops allows tour dog to
get up, stretch its gets, and breathe some
fresh air. We all need breeks to stretch our
legs and get back on solid ground, and dogs are no different. A short walk and a little water can help your pup feel; revigorated. Your equilibrium improves when on steady ground.
While there are no cure-alls for dog-motion sickness there are certainly plenty of possible solutions to try out if your pup is struggling. Restricting meals, practicing short card rides, bringing comfort items like blanket or toys, or exploring anti-anxiety medications or supplements are all great options. Car rides are meant to be a positive experience for both dogs and humans involved, and the more comfortable dogs are the more enjoyable
for all invited.