Written by Joanne Bardsley - Canine Comprehension Dog Trainer and Tutor.
Did you know that an estimated that 1 in 4 dogs suffer from motion or travel sickness? Just as children are more prone to motion sickness than adults, puppies and adolescent dogs are more likely to be affected than more senior dogs. It is thought that this is due to immaturity of the inner ear structures that control their balance.
If you notice your dog is hypersalivating (excessive drooling), anxious, whining, or vomiting during travel, chances are they are suffering from motion sickness.
If the first few car rides of a dog’s life result in nausea, the dog may associate travel with an unpleasant experience, even after his/her balance system matures. Therefore, a dog who suffers motion sickness should be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Along with medication prescribed by your veterinarian, there are simple steps you can take to minimise the chances of motion sickness in your furry friend:
- Avoid feeding your dog less than an hour prior to traveling
- Allow fresh air into the car
- Ensure your dog is facing forward
- Lower car windows slightly to equalise the air pressure inside and outside the car
- Keep the vehicle cool
If your dog has had issues with motion sickness, your dog may become reluctant to travel in the car. To overcome this fear, you could try:
- Spending time in the car with the engine off
- Giving your dog his favourite toy when he gets in the car
- Cuddling and praising your dog when he is sitting calmly in the car
- Take short car rides to places the dog enjoys (e.g. parks)
Good luck. It is often something they grow out of. If you are concerned please speak to your Vet, as they are always the best point of call for any health related issues.
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