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Motion sickness: What can you do.

January 16th, 2020

What implications could a car journey have for your dog?

Most dogs get excited when walking towards a car but for those who suffer from motion sickness, the brakes come on, the tail goes down and they’ll most probably crawl or try to escape. Just as a human knows, dogs like this know that even a short car journey means stress, a possible upset stomach, drooling or diarrhoea and for some, all of it.

I know how it feels. As a child, I suffered from motion sickness and even a short 20-minute drive to our cottage included a stop or two for me to get out of the car to get some fresh air. It got better with age and I’m fine now but I still can’t read or text while sitting in the car (panic not, I don’t mean while driving 😂).

Motion sickness is more common in puppies and youngsters than in older dogs.

We presume it’s because the ear structures used for balance aren’t fully developed in puppies. If the first car ride ends up with nausea the dog will begin to associate car travel with uncomfortable sensations, even after his balance system fully matures. Because of this, we have to try to make the first car journeys as relaxing as possible from an early age. Stress can also add to motion sickness (such as if a dog rides in a car only to go to the vets) and the negative sensations associated with a car journey will then be more pronounced.

Motion sickness doesn’t only mean vomiting. Other signs of motion sickness in dogs include:

🚙 Excessive Drooling
🚙 Listlessness
🚙 Uneasiness
🚙 Yawning or panting
🚙 Whining or barking
🚙 Vomiting (even on an empty stomach)
🚙 Fear of cars 

To help your puppy and prevent motion sickness in dogs, try the following approaches:

🚗 Help your dog face forward while traveling by strapping him or her into the seat with a specially designed canine seatbelt or put your dog in a crate so that he can see what’s going on around him.
🚗 Take short car rides to places your dog will enjoy, such as the park, beach or woods.
🚗 Lower car windows a few inches to equalize the inside and outside air pressure.
🚗 Keep your car cool.
🚗 Don’t feed your dog before traveling.
🚗 Give your dog a treat or two every time he or she gets into the car and be excited about it!
🚗 Give your dog a toy that he or she enjoys and can have only in the car.
🚗 Start with short rides (just a few minutes).
🚗 If necessary, spray your dog with Calming Floral Spray again.
🚗 Give your dog a one to two-week break from car rides.
🚗 If possible use a different vehicle to avoid triggering your dog’s negative response to your usual vehicle. 

You can also:

🚕 Walk your puppy/ dog towards and around the car without getting into it.
🚕 Spend some time with your pup in the car with the engine off. 


Please note: If a dog continues to appear ill even after several car rides you should consult a veterinarian about treatment for motion sickness!

Do you know what I’m going to do on my next car drive? I’m going to take Calming Floral Spray and a book, I’m then going to spray myself… AND READ (still not me driving 🤣)!!

I’ll keep you posted on the result!

Jitka xx

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