Traveling With Pets: How To Prevent Motion Sickness in Dogs

For some time, we were wondering whether our dogs are becoming more like us, humans. They are
already a big part of our lives, important family member, that guy (or a girl) to get us out of our own
bed…
So, just with many humans, many dogs get sick when we travel. What causes this, did we simply “break”
them? And are they becoming more sensitive or suffering from a modern living imposed by their human
owners?
It looks like motion sickness in dogs is a common problem, more common with younger dogs than
adults. The main reason for this is that parts of the inner ear that regulate balance aren’t yet fully
developed. It is considered that motion sickness is completely reduced by the time they’re about 1 year
old.
So as with humans, it’s unknown why some dogs get car sickness and others don’t. Maybe it has
something to do with genetics or physiological differences between dogs. What’s more interesting, we
can be completely unaware that the pet is motion-sick until those heavy symptoms of severe drooling,
restlessness, nausea, and vomiting.
What a ride – and it can turn a potentially great road trip into a miserable one.
How To Prevent It?
Take some small steps; take short test drives before planning some long journeys. So if it occurs, you’ll
have the time to work with a veterinarian, get all necessary info, strategize, and get some nausea
medications ready.

Sometimes, motion sickness and vomiting are anxiety-related. So, you should help him feel positive
about car rides, just like he’s “positive” about a walk to the doggie park. Also, gear up and bring your
pup's favorite toy or other “thingy” like blanket or else, to make the car feel more familiar and
comfortable. Anxiety is unfortunately common discomfort for humans, but it can attack dogs too.
Lately, we’ve seen much cannabis related treatments show effective results at treating anxiety in dogs.
Cannabis can help calm nausea and stimulate appetite, as it’s already been used in treating human
chemo side-effects.

Changes in feeding
Try to feed the dog(s) at least two hours prior to driving. That way the food will be digested, and you’ll
be more relaxed. Motion sickness is more frequent on a full stomach and it may result in vomiting.
And if you plan a long road trip, you will  have to feed them at some point, but be wise and make pit-stops
and keep the portions of dog food small. The best thing will be to take their usual food with you. You
want to keep them on a normal routine. Make sure you have enough food and dog snacks with you or
that you’ve found places that sell it along the way. And water – keep a bottle of fresh water with you.

You should give them water whenever you pit stop. This is the key to successful potty breaks and happy
tummies.

Get Some Fresh Air
Open the window for some fresh air because fresh smells from outside will distract the dog and save his
tummy. And if he gets too excited, try to stop and let the dog walk out for a potty break. He will be more
than thankful, as dogs just love to experience new places with their sense of smell. A break can help
your puppy feel the car in the new environment and make him want to explore more.

Try Prescription Medication

If something more than a good strategy is needed to help your dog stay calm during travel, talk to your
veterinarian to use the following remedies:

Calming herbs – Natural remedies, valerian, passionflower, ginger… they have been used for
decades to ease anxiety and could help fighting motion sickness.
 Medical cannabis for dogs – this is by far more effective, and also natural and organic anti-
nausea medication. Cannabis is already helping human cancer patients with chemo-related
problems. Working similarly with dogs, it helps in reducing nausea, stomach and appetite
problems. But you’ll have to use it before their nausea kicks in!
 You should also ask for dimenhydrinate (Dramamine or Gravol).

These medications can prevent vomiting in a stressed pet, but it’s important to say you should check
with your vet on the dose and timing, to avoid side effects and drug interactions.
Be aware that some prescription medications need a couple of days to up to a couple of weeks before
travel to “kick in”. So, start the therapy on time and follow instructions. It could (and should )be quite a
ride!

Previous

Next

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This