Just like us humans, K-9’s can get car sick. For pet owners who love to travel, this motion sickness can be debilitating. The fact that car sickness can be prevented for most K-9’s is good news. Let’s take a look at ways you can diminish or counteract car sickness for dogs.
- Ease them into car rides. When they’re young, dogs are more susceptible to car sickness. Particularly susceptible are puppies. Car travel should be presented gradually, just as you would socialize your puppy gradually and present them to new situations. Give them a view out the front window in the front passenger seat, if possible, and make sure they have plenty of fresh air. Take short trips for the first time or two to help your puppy get used to traveling in a car.
- Anxiety should be alleviated. Fear or being nervous about the trip is one reason dogs can suffer from car sickness. It’s no wonder they are troubled if their first couple of trips in the car are to the veterinarian. Instead, take them to entertaining places, like a dog park or on a hike, for their first couple of trips in a car.
- You might also want to think about obtaining a car seat or car carrier. Motion is one of the causes of car sickness, so a car carrier or car set helps your dog stay put while the car is in motion. Plus, you should drive carefully instead of taking corners like Kyle Busch on a NASCAR track.
- Limit food right before the trip. Prior to the trip, let your dog have a decent meal a few hours before, but don’t let them eat just right before the car ride. This allows them time to sufficiently digest any food they’ve eaten. Make sure they have had a decent meal a few hours before since an empty stomach from being too famished can also make them sick.
- Make sure your pooch has lots of fresh air in the car. By this, a couple of things are actually being accomplished. The fresh air distracts them and helps calm their stomach. The new scents from the fresh air pouring into the car will keep your dog busy identifying them.
- Ensure your dog is hydrated. It’s important for dogs to have enough water in their system before, during and after a car ride. A dehydrated dog can suffer from car sickness much worse than a hydrated dog.
- Make regular stops. If you plan on being on the road for more than an hour, be sure you schedule regular pit stops so your dogs can relieve themselves and exercise their legs. This decreases their uneasiness and helps improve overall comfort, which makes it easier to control dog car sickness.
- Lastly, think about using herbal remedies such as Bach’s Flower Essences or ginger, in the form of ginger snaps or ginger treats, to diminish car sickness in dogs. Natural remedies like this can be great for many things from preventing car sickness from controlling shedding.
It is not a given that your pooch has to suffer from car sickness. You will help guarantee your dog has a safe and enjoyable journey from careful planning, preparation, and a few simple steps whenever you hit the road.