Car sickness is more commonly seen in puppies and young dogs. Often, as their bodies mature puppies will grow out of motion sickness. Some dogs however will never outgrow the nausea and sickness.
Motion sickness occurs when the body, the inner ear, and the eyes send conflicting signals to the brain.
The most obvious symptom of car sickness of course is vomiting. Other symptoms your dog may display just before vomiting are:
Keep an eye out for these symptoms and you may be able to stop the car at an appropriate place before vomiting actually occurs. Give your dog a break from the car before continuing the journey. Make frequent stops if possible. The length of time a dog can travel before nausea sets in varies greatly from dog to dog. Get to know your dog's pattern. If you know your dog vomits after about twenty minutes in the car stop before twenty minutes and let your dog out and let him have a walk around.
Ginger - A Natural Remedy for Car Sickness in dogs
Ginger has long been a remedy that humans use to combat car sickness. Ginger comes in capsule form and also crystalline form. Dogs seem to like ginger so there shouldn't be a problem getting your dog to eat it.
Many dog owners report that giving their dog ginger cookies or ginger snaps prior to a car journey works well in controlling car sickness. Two plain ginger cookies or ginger snaps should work well for a medium-sized dog. Your dog may even be receptive to accepting a small piece of the ginger plant root.
Medicine for Car Sickness in Dogs
More Tips to Prevent Car Sickness in Dogs
Car sickness becomes worse with frequent stopping, turns and bends. Try to drive smoothly.
A simple method for relieving car sickness in humans is chewing. Give your dog a bone or a dog treat to chew on during the journey.
Fresh air always helps with car sickness. Partly open a window so that your dog can benefit from the breeze.
To help prevent vomiting do not feed your dog for several hours before travelling.
Seeing the landscape whiz past out of side windows only makes car sickness much worse. By allowing your dog to see the road ahead by any means you can devise is beneficial. Consider a harness in the middle of the back seat where your dog can see ahead of him. For small dogs a booster seat is an option.
If you have to put your dog in a crate make sure the dog is forward facing. Place a cover over the crate in a fashion that the dog can only see forwards.
A friend reports she uses static discharge strips on the bottom of her car to prevent her dog from being sick. She says it works perfectly. I am including this tip only as a suggestion as I have no
Take your dog on frequent short trips that always end in fun. For example, drive to a park that is fifteen minutes away. Ideally have someone else in the car too, to soothe the dog and distract him from the drive. Keep him happy all the way to the park. Once arriving at the park have plenty of fun time, playing ball, running around etc. The drive home should also be made to be enjoyable with a reward at the home destination.
Repeat this process as often as possible slowly increasing the length of the journey.
Protecting your car from dog vomit
If the above advice for prevention of car sickness fails you can at least protect your car's upholstery from dog vomit. Consider placing a plastic tarpaulin over your car seats.
Place towels over the tarpaulin to soak up the vomit and carry extra towels to replace soiled ones. Carry with you plastic garbage bags in which to store the soiled towels.