A car ride is the ultimate joy for a dog but for some of them especially puppies, travelling is extremely stressful. Puppies are more prone to motion sickness than older dogs because of their ear structures that aren’t fully developed. As they grow up, puppies usually outgrow travel sickness, though some may still have it.
A dog owner must ensure that their puppy does not start to associate a car ride with a negative action, more so if the car ride leads to a vet. If your puppy or mature dog showcases any of symptoms like – excessive panting, excessive drooling, whining, uneasiness, yawning, lethargy, vomiting during the car ride, it is important to find a solution that would work for them during their travel.
Once motion sickness has been diagnosed, it is fairly easy to manage. The best way to handle the issue of motion sickness is to make the car ride as comfortable as possible for your pooch. Try and make your dog familiar with car rides. You can keep the following tricks in mind when travelling with your dog to help them experience fewer nauseating moments:
Face forward: Make sure your dog faces the front window screen rather than the side ones (if they travel in the passenger seat). Now-a-days, there are many specially designed seat belts available in the market that can help you safely fasten your dog to the seat and contain their movement. A crate is also a great way to ensure safe travel and also contain the spread of vomit, should your pet become ill.
Keep the windows low: Lowering your car window a couple of inches will ensure circulation of fresh air in the vehicle. A lowered window also ensures that the air pressure outside the vehicle is same as inside the vehicle, which may help reduce the feeling of discomfort. Do ensure that the vehicle is cool and well-ventilated.
Limit the food intake before travel: If your dog is uneasy while travelling, it is important not to stuff them before the ride. Feeding a dog just before the ride can prove disastrous as your canine child can end up vomiting and soiling the vehicle. However, you may want to use some specific treats to divert their attention and make the car ride a pleasant experience.
Take regular breaks: If you are on a long car journey with your dog, make sure to take regular breaks. A 10-15 minute break which includes a walk is a must for your dog to help them get fresh and also to ensure they are comfortable getting back in the car.
Talk to your dog: One age-old trick (I use it when travelling with pups) is to talk to your dog when they seem uneasy or queasy. Speak to them in a soft tone to get their attention and deviate their mind. Stop the car and take a quick walk to provide temporary relief. Playing soft music also helps.
Use ginger: Ginger is a holistic comfort food for dogs. It calms the stomach and the nervous system. However like any food, it is important to consult your vet before feeding ginger to your dog to ensure that there are no side-effects.
Use medication: In worse case scenarios, it may help to get your vet to prescribe some medication for your dog. There are many medications that can help lower your dog’s motion sickness but never medicate a dog without a vet’s supervision as that can prove to be fatal for your pooch.
Most dogs outgrow travel sickness by the age they are around one year old. All that needs to be done is to ensure that during their puppy-phase they are conditioned to the moving vehicle.
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