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How to help your dog’s motion sickness

 by lucy on 11 Jul 2018 |
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Motion sickness doesn’t just affect people—it also impacts some of our furry friends. Fortunately, there are several techniques you can try to help your dog.
 
Just like their human counterparts, our four-legged friends sometimes get car sick. When Fido’s feeling woozy, it can make even a short trip an ordeal for both you and your pet. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can help curb his carsickness:
 
  1. Make the vehicle comfortable: Motion sickness is caused when the motion you sense with your inner ear differs from the motion you see. The first step in helping your pet with carsickness, then, is to make his ride more comfortable. Face your dog forward in the vehicle and minimize his view out the window. You even may want to put your pet in a travel crate to prevent him from looking outside. Because the back seat of larger vehicles can be bumpy, keep your dog close to the front of the car. You can open windows, too, to increase ventilation and comfort.
 
  1. Provide distractions: Some dogs get excited in the car and working himself up will only make your pet’s motion sickness worse. Take your pet for a walk or play with him before hopping in the car. Provide toys to distract energetic pets and stop frequently to give your companion a bathroom break and some fresh air.
 
  1. Break the cycle: For some dogs, motion sickness becomes a conditioned response to riding in a vehicle. In these cases, you’ll need to recondition your pet so he no longer associates car rides with feeling sick. Try taking your dog on trips in a different vehicle or go on only short trips to spots your dog likes. You can also use treats to help Fido form positive associations with the car or buy a special toy that he only has access to in the vehicle. If these tactics don’t work, you may want to try simply sitting in the car with your dog with the engine off. Over several days, slowly work up to trips around the block, and eventually, the neighborhood.
 
Turn to medication: Many puppies outgrow motion sickness, as do some adult dogs with patience and the training above. Some pets, however, will always experience some car sickness. If you try various treatments to no avail, you may want to ask your veterinarian about mild sedatives to help Fido find some peace in the car.

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