Helping a Carsick Furbaby
WAHOO! You just added a four-legged family member to your home! You’ve purchased a bed, food, toys, collar, and crate. You even have the perfect name – everything has been considered, and you are ready.
What happens, though, as you start the drive towards home and your newest addition starts salivating at nerve-wrecking amounts? Not only is it gross and hard to clean, but it typically means that vomit is coming next.
The sad reality is that many (many, many) dogs and cats suffer from motion sickness and car anxiety or get sick with over-excitement. The key is to figure out the root of your furbaby’s car troubles so you can enjoy a simple ride together.
Most young animals outgrow their tummy issues, but if anxiety is involved, you may need to consider medical intervention through your veterinarian.
For those with true motion sickness, you will notice the same symptoms appearing within the same timeframe every time you are in the car. It generally takes 15-30 minutes for an animal to react to the motion.
The following are all car sickness signs:
- Salivation/Excess Drooling
- Shaking/Won’t Settle
True motion sickness is triggered by the car’s movement unbalancing fluid in the ear, causing it to throw the animal’s sense of stability way off. This disorientation causes dizziness and ends in vomiting.
Ease the Anxiety of Car Trips
Take short, frequent rides together.
If your furbaby reacts at a certain time point of a drive, keep your practice rides well under that. Even a 3 minute drive around the neighborhood is a good starting point.
Restrain, Elevate, and Crack Windows.
Keep your dog harnessed and in a booster seat to see out of the window. By allowing fresh air to roll through the vehicle as you drive, your furbaby is more likely to find a balance and fight the conflicting sensory signals.
Keep an Empty Stomach
A furbaby with nothing in their stomach has nothing but bile to throw up. Do not feed your pet anything (even treats) at least an hour before a car ride.
If carsickness continues even after the transitional steps, you may want to consider adding one or more of the following into your routine:
Ginger has wonderful powers against nausea. As a natural remedy, you can find dosing online, but puppies 15lnbs and under typically do well with about 250 miligrams or less and puppies over 15lbs take up to 500 miligrams. You can easily make your own ginger treats or supplement with capsules.
CBD or Hemp Oil may not have scientific studies backing its success towards animals and motion sickness, but pet owners everywhere are swearing by it. (You can even find specific blends made for animals.)
Just as it works for humans, Dramamine should easily handle your pet’s motion issues.
After working with your veterinarian, if your pet still gets queasy, there may be larger problems at hand. Give the doc a call back and discuss what happens next.