It’s not uncommon for an animal to become car sick. Just as humans sometimes suffer from motion sickness, sea sickness, or car sickness, these same afflictions can occur in our pets. When humans become car sick, the advice is typically to take medication, have the sick rider sit in the front seat, and have a cool breeze blowing in the vehicle. But, what do you do when your dog gets car sick?
First, consider how often your dog will be riding in the car. If you only plan to take your pet on very short car trips on few occasions, the easiest solution may be to simply give your pet a ginger snap cookie about thirty minutes before hopping in the car. Ginger is known to settle the stomach and can combat nausea.
If you’ll be traveling longer distances more frequently, you might consider attempting to desensitize your pet to the car. Start by simply strapping your pet into the car for a few moments and sit there. Wait a few moments, unstrap the dog, and get out. Do this a couple of times and then begin to give the dog a treat after he exits the car. Wait a few days. Repeat the process, only this time start the car and let the engine idle for a few moments. Repeat the same steps, giving the dog a treat upon his exit from the car. The next step in the process would be to move the vehicle a short distance, then a bit longer, and even longer the next trip. Eventually, the dog will associate the car ride with a treat and look forward to his trips. At the same time, he will lose his nervousness and may be less likely to get sick.
If you are unable to desensitize your pet to the vehicle, and long road trips are going to be required, talk to your veterinarian about the possibility of prescribing medications. And, always, even on short trips, keep your pets buckled up! Dogs should not be allowed to ride with their heads outside the windows.