How To Stop Dog Motion Sickness

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Taking your dog for a drive in the car is great fun, except if they suffer from motion sickness! If your dog gets car sick it can be a very unpleasant and messy experience, not to mention stressful for your pup. 

Unfortunately lots of dogs experience nausea, especially puppies. Car sickness is more commonly seen in younger dogs because their ears aren’t yet fully developed. It’s the same reason that children are more prone to motion sickness than adults.

Luckily there are natural remedies and training ideas that can help!

POSITIVE CONDITIONING

The best way to avoid car sickness is to teach your dog to travel well. Start by giving your dog a break from the car. After a week or two, begin making short trips (less than 5 minutes) with a reward at the end - like to the local park for a walk or play. If the motion sickness is sever bring a friend to be a calming and distracting influence.

After a short period of time your dog will hopefully start to associate the car with the pleasurable experience of going for a walk with you. Once this happens gradually increase the length of trip, but make sure that immediately after stopping your dog gets a positive experience.

If this doesn’t work, try the whole process again in a different car, preferably a bigger one if possible. This can help remove any negative association with your car, which could be a contributing factor. 

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SOME OTHER TIPS:

  • Put down the windows on both sides of the car to equalise the air pressure.
  • Face your dog forward, not looking out the side window.
  • Keep the car cool and well ventilated.
  • Limit food consumption at least 2 hours before travel. 
  • Some people have success by placing a small amount of lavender oil on their dog's collar.
  • Frequent stops on long trips can also provide some relief. 

OTHER OPTIONS

If these approaches aren’t helping, there are herbal and pharmaceutical options to explore. We recommend using herbal approaches wherever possible because they generally have less side effects than drugs, which minimises the harm to your dog. 

Ginger can be great for treating nausea in dogs and people alike. Try grating a small amount of ginger and carrot, and mix it with yogurt and a little peanut butter if they need enticing. Give it to your dog 20 minutes before you get in the car.