My dog ​​is carsick. An annoying problem!

If your dog is carsick (also called motion sickness), it can severely limit your dog’s life and yours. A car full of slime and puke is not exactly nice to clean. Why is your dog carsick? And can you do something about it, so that your dog can still go on holiday, or a day out, or to a course for which he has to sit in the car for half an hour?

Symptoms of motion sickness

Symptoms of motion sickness in your dog may include; feeling restless, wheezing, drooling, vomiting, shaking, vomiting, urinating, or defecating. If your dog barks without a clear stimulus, for example at a dog that he sees from the car window, then that is of course not motion sickness.

Sometimes it starts with very subtle tension signals such as visibility of the whites of the eyes and in the males, his penis can hang out. Maybe your dog doesn’t like being in the car, but you don’t notice the symptoms much. That is why it is not always immediately clear whether your dog is carsick.

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Why does your dog get carsick?

This can be physical, psychological, or a combination of both. Usually, it ends up as a combination of physical and psychological causes.

If your dog gets sick with every car ride for some physical reason, he’s not going to like driving because he’s going to expect nausea every time. Due to the tension your dog experiences from the moment he thinks he has to get into the car, his body reacts physically again by producing drool, nausea, and sometimes by letting his urine flow. So your dog ends up in a vicious circle.

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A physical reason for motion sickness in your dog

Young dogs have a not yet fully developed vestibular system. The movements of the car make them nauseous. With some conditions, it is also quite normal for your dog to get carsick. For example, the vestibular syndrome is a syndrome that occurs more often in older dogs where their balance is affected.

Sometimes epilepsy is also something that plays into a dog, causing him to get carsick. And a very logical physical cause is a stomach full of food or a very empty stomach, which makes your dog nauseous in the car.

A visit to the vet is always recommended if your dog is not responding to training.

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Getting out of the nest and car sickness

Some breeders do not habituate their puppies to car rides and certainly not to go alone in the car. So if you think it is important that your puppy is well used to being able to go in the car, ask the breeder about this!

There are even breeders who go for a walk around the block with each puppy. Why is this important? Because when you pick up your puppy from a breeder, that in itself is a pretty exciting moment. Your puppy is taken away from its mother, from its familiar nest and its first experience is then… right, the car!

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Is your dog carsick due to trauma?

Sometimes motion sickness starts from a traumatic experience, such as a collision with another car or when a mountain of luggage falls on your dog during a holiday trip. This obviously causes stress and your dog has become afraid of another trauma as soon as he is in the car.

So always make sure your dog is safe in the car, transport your dog in a decent car kennel or travel crate! Nets, racks, seat belts, or your dog loses in the car, are not safe options.

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Other unpleasant experiences in the car

Suppose your dog only comes with you in the car when you go to the vet, or to Aunt Marie, who has four annoying children who chase your dog all the time. Then your car gets the status ‘something bad is going to happen.

Sometimes you have to take your dog to the vet, but if you drive 30 times to the forest or beach and once to the vet, your dog still makes the link with going to the vet and that is not fun.

Arguing with your partner in the car, children who scream, or an arguing brother and sister who are tight… all kinds of situations can cause your dog to experience stress in the car. And this can develop into a dog with motion sickness, he is then nauseous from the stress.

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How can you help a dog with motion sickness?

In all cases, training is part of the solution.

In addition to the training, there are also other options, such as:

– medication
– change the place in the car (for smaller dogs you can put the crate in the front of the car instead of the back)
– provide more fresh air in the car (so even if you are cold, open the window)
– limit the view or make sure you create more view
– choose a different type of travel bench (a smaller bench stabilizes the movements more)
– check the diet (maybe your dog’s stomach is too full or too empty)

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Let’s take a look at medication. Never experiment with medicines for humans yourself!

Over-the-counter products for your dog include:

– Adaptil (pheromones that give peace of mind)
– Adaptil Transport
– PUUR Tour (homeopathic remedy)
– Beaphar Reisfit tablets
– Pet Rescue spray (not to be confused with Bach Rescue Remedy, which is different).

Personally, I have had very good experiences with Pet Rescue Spray.

If this does not help in combination with training, you can have your vet prescribe pills for motion sickness.

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