How to deal with Car Sickness in Dogs

How to deal with Car Sickness in Dogs -

Each dog is different when traveling in a car. While some dogs are aiming for their music video moment by getting the wind in their hair, others are busy finding “that’s my spot.” But at some point, they might end up puking. One moment they are on a happy high & the next moment, you are looking for newspapers to wipe off the mess in your backseat.

Our vets constantly face this question on Wiggles Tribe all the time. So, here are a few solutions from us!

Our pets are an integral part of our lives. We can’t leave them behind on any trip. But what happens during the ride becomes a story for a lifetime. Car sickness is a real problem faced mostly by young pets. And just like with every other issue, it can also be resolved!

What is car sickness/motion sickness/travel sickness?

Car sickness is also referred to as motion sickness or travel sickness. The reason being the under-developed inner parts of the ears. It has a fluid that helps maintain a sense of balance. The fluid moves with the turns of the head & in return sends a signal to the brain. And since there is so much happening, the brain receives mixed signals hence causing sickness. 

What are the causes behind car sickness?

  1. Dogs in cars experience something for the first time. It causes them stress. Heightened anxiety & discomfort in an unknown situation like this leads to car sickness. 
  1. Lack of positive conditioning with the car overwhelms them leading to car sickness. They only travel in a car when they are visiting vets. Since the frequency of traveling is really low, it affects them deeply. 
  1. Dogs who have had a negative experience while traveling in cars will also experience motion sickness. Puppies who had a negative association with cars tend to carry that in the later years of their lives too. 
  1. Your pet might be suffering from a medical condition affecting the middle & inner parts of the ear leading to vomition during car rides. Some medications may also cause motion/car sickness. 

Symptoms of Car Sickness 

Look out for these symptoms as soon as your travel with dogs begins - 

  1. Whining, crying & uneasiness 
  2. Excessive drooling 
  3. Lethargy & inactivity 
  4. Continued smacking of lips 
  5. Vomition & diarrhea 

Keep an eye on your dogs in the car. The second you see any symptom mentioned above, stop & take them out for a short walk. 

Do cats also face car sickness? 

Yes. Just as with dogs, travel with cats is also equally strenuous. They also face an equal amount of car sickness. The symptoms are also similar to dogs.  

How to avoid car sickness? 

Car travel with dogs can become a positive experience for them as well as the pet parent. A few conscious steps like these will help - 

  1. Let your dog climb the back seat of the car at their convenience & comfort. You can make it positive by offering them a treat if they willingly get into the car. Repeat this process until it becomes a natural part of their behavior. 
  1. Then start with short trips. Don’t take them to the vet on the first ride! They will be left scarred with so many vivid & negative experiences. Take a ride around the block, street, or just the neighborhood. Repeat this as & when possible. Once done, don’t forget to reward them! 
  1. If you see your dog getting comfortable, increase the time limit. Don’t get angry if they experience stress. Remember, dogs pick up from our behavior. Stay calm even if they are panicking.

Tips from vets to keep motion sickness at bay 

  1. Say NO to food at least 2 to 3 hours before the car ride. Dogs traveling in cars should not be fed anything before the journey. This reduces the chances of car sickness tremendously.
  1. Potty & pee breaks should be taken before & during the journey depending upon the duration. 
  1. If you have a small breed dog, then you can opt for a carrier. Let them sit inside. You can additionally line it up with their favorite toys or your old shirt to keep them comfortable.
  1. If your dog or cat needs extra love & care, go for a few drops of Hemp Seed Oil. It will keep them calm! 
  1. If they are still unable to recover from it, visit your vet before any journey for a thorough consultation. Don’t give any medicines on your own. Identify the cause & take medicinal help if required. Go for anti-anxiety medicines only on your vet’s prescription.

We hope these tips help! You should also opt for a medical emergency kit for your furry bud to deal with any unwanted situation swiftly. Follow these & we are sure your next car ride will turn out to be the best! And for everything pets, we are here! Call us on +91 8431620000 & our in-house vets will assist you