Motion Sickness in Dogs

Most people think dogs love to ride in cars, but this is not always the case. Just like some humans, some dogs get motion sickness whenever they go on a car ride, and this can be quite stressful for both the dog and the owner. The dog gets nervous about becoming sick, and the owner gets worried about the dog vomiting inside the car. Fortunately, for all involved, you can help to ease (and even eliminate) your dog’s motion sickness with both conditioning and medical treatment. 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to take this opportunity to tell you how you can get your dog to enjoy riding in the car.

Motion Sickness in Dogs Image - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospital

What kinds of dogs are prone to motion sickness?

While all breeds of dogs can suffer from motion sickness, it generally affects puppies and younger dogs rather than in older dogs. According to Vet Street, this is due to the ear structures that are used for balancing have not yet fully developed in puppies. However, if the first few car rides in your dog’s life involve nausea, your dog may always suffer from motion sickness, even once those ear structures have completely developed. This is why treating motion sickness as soon as possible is so important.

Are there other signs of motion sickness besides vomiting?

Of course, vomiting is a very obvious symptom of motion sickness, but there are other signs to look for as well. These symptoms include whining, excessive drooling, being inactive or listless, yawning or panting, displaying uneasiness, and being afraid of cars.

How can I treat my dog’s motion sickness?

While 5 Points Animal Hospital does have medication that can prevent vomiting when your dog is riding in a car, you should try a few conditioning techniques first. These include making your dog face forward by strapping him into the seat with a special seatbelt for dogs, positioning the seat as far back as possible, lowering the car windows a few inches to equalize air pressure, and keeping your car cool. You can also give your dog a treat every time he or she gets in the car as well as a special toy he or she can only play with in the car. To keep your car cleaner, limit your dog’s food and water consumption before riding in the car. You should also take your dog to fun places like the dog park so he or she will not associate the car with going to see the vet.

How can I build up my dog’s tolerance to car rides?

Vet Street suggests four steps to increase your dog’s tolerance to riding in a car. These steps may take a few days to a week and include the following

  • Get your dog used to approaching the car without getting inside.
  • Spend time with your dog inside the car while it is not running.
  • Take short trips around the block.
  • Take longer trips, and remember to reward your dog with praise and/or treats every time he or she behaves appropriately in the car.

If your dog suffers from motion sickness, 5 Points Animal Hospital is here to help. Contact us if the conditioning techniques do not help your dog get used to riding in the car.

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Motion Sickness in Dogs

Come See Us!

5 Points Animal Hospital | 1103 Woodland St., Nashville, TN 37206 | Click to Call Us Now