People are not the only ones who “lose their cookies” in the car. Many dogs suffer from motion sickness, too. By following these simple tips, you can help your pooch avoid getting sick or at least help him feel better if he does succumb.
1. Make sure you dog proof your car before you set out. Place a plastic tablecloth on the back seat to protect your vehicle’s interior. The cloth underside will stick to the seat, while the plastic part will be easy to wipe clean should Pooch get sick on it. The best way to dog proof your car is to keep your dog in a crate or dog carrier while traveling. If she doesn’t have her own crate, get Princess used to one about a month before traveling. Lure her into the crate with food so she begins to associate being in the crate with one of her favorite pastimes—eating!!
2. Anxiety can also cause car sickness. Many dogs vomit in the car simply because they are nervous. Things are whizzing by in an alarming way. Your pup may be hearing new sounds he’s not used to. It’s important, then, to make sure your dog is comfortable riding in the car. First, spend a little time introducing your dog to your vehicle. Let him sniff around the interior and get relaxed. Give him a dog treat, pat him on the head, then take him out of the car. Once his comfort level is high, take Pooch on a quick cruise around the neighborhood. Extend this to riding to the store, across town, then anywhere you want without your dog throwing up.
3. Don’t feed Pooch for at least eight hours before the trip if he is prone to motion sickness. A dog with an empty stomach might still get sick, but at least there’s nothing to throw up. Your dog shouldn’t drink anything for the two hours before you take off. Once on the road, give Pooch small, frequent sips of water or ice cubes. Don’t let him get dry or dehydrated, but be careful—a belly full of water can quickly become a backseat full of water. If these strategies don’t work, you can always ask your vet to prescribe medication.
4. Despite your best efforts your dog might get sick while on the road. You can make her feel better by stopping for a walk. Try opening the window if it’s cool out, making sure not to let your dog hang his head out. If it’s hot in the car, turn on the air conditioner and point it at Pooch. Some dogs find chewing on ice cubes makes them feel better. A final option is distracting your dog. Try giving him some of his favorite toys to play with on the trip. You can squeak a favorite toy at him to get his mind off his sick tummy.
A sick dog could turn a much anticipated car trip into a disaster in the making. If you know your pup is prone to motion sickness try some of the suggestions discussed before throwing in the towel and leaving Pooch behind.
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