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7 Ways To Prevent Motion Sickness in Dogs

For memorable and fun pet-friendly trips

motion sickness in dogs

If you are lucky enough to have a dog in your life and you are planning to take them with you wherever you go, before leaving on your next trip, make sure your pet does not suffer from motion sickness also known as Kinetosis.

Here some tips and tricks to help you identify and prevent this condition so traveling can be fun for the whole family.



How can I tell if my dog has motion sickness?

Whether you are going on vacation or on a short road trip, your pet is entitled to share in the fun when you bring him along. So, if you notice that your companion appears to be restless, nauseous, or insists on hanging his head out the car window while traveling, then your dog might be suffering from motion sickness.

This condition is quite common in dogs and can easily be managed. 

Here are some signs to help you spot it:

Prevention Tips

These simple tips can help your pet avoid triggers for motion sickness.

Face forward

Try to have your dog face forward and look out through the front window at the horizon rather than through the side ones, since this will help him avoid focusing his vision on moving objects which will reduce the chances of dizziness and nausea.

Keep ventilated and cool

Some dogs may want to hang their heads out of the window, however this can make dirt, sand, or any flying particles end up in his eyes which could lead to eye damage of infections. Therefore, try prevent your dog from doing this, especially at higher speeds. In such cases, opt for lowering the window slightly so as to allow fresh air to flow throughout the car which will keep your car cool and ventilated and thus reduce nausea.

Stop frequently

Taking short breaks during your trip so as to allow your dog to walk on stable land, do his business, move his legs, regain his sense of balance, and breathe fresh air and take in natural scents. This can help mitigate the symptoms of motion sickness.

Feed appropriately

Another helpful nausea-reducing trick is to limit your dog’s food consumption before your trip. You can take an extra step by combining food intake reduction with small healthy treats right before the trip. In the case of a long trip, offering your dog a treat along the way can allow them to have a more positive experience, however, do so in moderation.

Following The Trail To Happiness

Ensure their comfort

Bringing your dog’s blanket, toys and favorite snacks can help make your dog more comfortable during the trip by appealing to his senses and it could help him associate travel with a pleasing, comforting and familiar experience.

If you are able to make traveling a joyful event, you will undoubtedly help reduce the factors that cause stress or anxiety in your dog and thus avoid the symptoms of motion sickness. A good trick is to buy him a special toy in advance that he can only play with during trips. You can also make pit stops at dog parks, dog beaches or at locations you know he would enjoy, like places with lots of nature and scents to explore. This can help make the trip more fun and enjoyable for your pup.

Build their tolerance

Your dog will always be one of your best adventure companions, but it is important that you take the time to ease him into travel and familiarize him with the car or vehicle you usually travel in so as to train him and thus prevent and reduce the symptoms of motion sickness. If you will be using your car, you can start by just sitting in it with the engine off so your dog gets used to being inside it. If you are planning to buy a toy exclusively for travel, as mentioned above, this is a good time to introduce it to your dog. You can then continue with short trips, around to block or to a park he enjoys so he associates travel with fun. You can then slowly progress onto longer trips.

If at first the training doesn’t go as you wished, remember to be patient and try to take a break of a few weeks between trips. This process is not only applicable to puppies but also to older dogs that may have had negative experiences when traveling.

Medication

If all else fails, and your dogs symptoms do not ease, there are some medicinal options that could help. There are many natural, over-the-counter, and prescription medication that you can keep in your pet first aid kit. Make sure you consult your vet to know which options and dosages are right for your dog.

How To Stay Away From The Pet Emergency Room When Traveling With Your Dog

In most cases, by getting your dog used to traveling and by using these tricks, you can help reduce the symptoms of motion sickness in your dog, which will in turn help your trips be more enjoyable for all family members.

If ever your dog’s constitution continues to disagree with travel, you can always consider a boarding kennel, where he may have fun and meet other dogs while you are away. However, with planning, patience, and the help of your vet, it’s very likely that if your dog suffers from motion sickness, you find a way to control his symptoms and get the chance to have a memorable and fun pet-friendly family vacation!

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1 Comment on 7 Ways To Prevent Motion Sickness in Dogs

  1. Build their tolerance … this is the the most important thing. Responsible breeders should start with car training long before their puppies leave their home.

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