Pet Carsickness - Does your pet suffer when traveling in the car?
The first thing to realize when dealing with car sickness or stress
related to airline travel
is that in 95% of cases it is stress related, and not motion
related. Your pet may relate to a car trip with being taken away from
its first home, or trips to the vet or even worse, the kennel. So,
it's not surprising that subsequent rides in a car should evoke very
strong mental and subsequent physical trauma. Instead of dramamine for
your dog, consider an all natural
pet calmer that will address
stress related sickness, visit the Pet Travel Store.
Reprogram your pet's attitude towards travel in a car
Find a park or open space about 5-10 minutes from home, ideally have someone else in the car too, to soothe the dog and distract them from the ride. Keep your pet happy all the way to the park. When at the park do all the enjoyable things that a dog loves, fetch the ball, and chase the Frisbee. The stay at the park doesn't need to be that long. It just needs to be as enjoyable as possible. Then soothe your pet all the way home again. When you reach home, make just as much fuss as you did at the park. Finish the session with his meal or a treat if time and conditions permit. Try doing this as frequently as you can. Pets are comfortable with habits and associate strongly with past experiences. Now your pet will now associate car travel with fun times.
Travel on empty
It's a good idea not to feed your pet six to eight hours before embarking on a road trip. Having an empty stomach will make your pet less likely to throw up, and if he does get sick, there's nothing solid to deal with. Giving your pet water, however, won't upset his stomach and may make him more comfortable. While some pets travel best on an empty stomach, others will feel more comfortable after eating a small meal. Some pets just need a little food in their stomach to help keep them from getting sick.
Take frequent rest breaks
While some pets can travel for hours without having problems, others start getting queasy after a few miles. Get to know your pet's pattern and stop at least every hour or two to take a quick walk to help your pet get his land-legs back. It's also a good idea to pour him a little water or give him a Waterbite, since he may not feel like drinking when he's in the car.
Try having a passenger distract your pet with a toy. A favorite pull toy or old sock may just take your pet's mind off its surroundings for a while. Certainly, added attention will accomplish this effectively.
Be up-front with your pet
There's not as much movement in the front of the car as in the back, so it might help your pet if you let him ride in the front seat, but make sure they are in a dog harness or a small kennel that buckles into the seat. Another consideration would be whether your car has dual airbags. This may cause your pet harm or great distress if these are released in the case of an accident. Regardless, try to position your pet so it is facing forward in the car.
Expand their horizons
Pets, like people, are less likely to get carsick when they can watch the passing scenery. There are pet car seats that will elevate smaller to medium pets to allow them to look out the window while still being harnessed.
Crank down the windows
Fresh air is good for anyone who's feeling a little carsick, including your dog or cat, but don't open the window enough so he can escape or get his head out the window. This can be especially damaging to a pet's eyes.
Try a different set of wheels
If other remedies suggested here fail, try a larger vehicle. Sometimes the added stability of a larger vehicle can help. Certainly worth a try.
A motion potion may do the trick
Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) -- the same drug people take to ward off car sickness -- also works for pets. Medium to large dogs should be given 25 to 50 milligrams of Dramamine at least an hour before traveling in a car, cats and small dogs should get about 12.5 milligrams. Be sure to check with your vet before giving your pet any medicinal product. We recommend an all natural pet calmer. You can also try a more holistic approach with ginger, chamomile or peppermint. Best to experiment on solid ground to be sure your pet can tolerate these herbs.
Prevent Pet Car Sickness - A few simple precautions can make travel in your car fun for both you and your pet.