Road trips with our dogs are a summertime favorite – music blasting, windows rolled down, your dog breathing in the fresh air and their ears flapping in the wind. Sometimes, that perfect afternoon can be ruined if your poor dog suffers from car sickness. Usually, younger dogs grow out of car sickness, just like young children. But if your adult dog still feels nauseous in the car, there are several things you can do to help.
Here are a few tips to help your dog with car sickness.
Encourage looking towards the front
If your dog looks out the window as objects pass by quickly, it can make them feel a bit nauseated. Dog seat belts help with this, but you can also house them in a kennel during car rides. This eliminates their ability to look out the windows. Being housed in a kennel during travel can also be a safer alternative to allowing your dog to jump all over the car.
Take short rides to favorite spots
Build up your dog’s tolerance to car sickness by taking them somewhere they love to go, such as a dog park or tagging along on a Lowes run. Their brains will turn to excitement about a fun activity instead of feeling nauseous. When they know they are going somewhere fun, they will be more inclined to want to go for car rides and associate car rides with something good.
Use treats in moderation
A good way to keep your dog’s attention is with treats. This will help them associate a car ride with their favorite cookie, but be sure to use them in moderation. Too much food can cause them to vomit. Instead of treats, give your dog their favorite toy.
Keep the windows cracked
Keeping the windows slightly down can help with the pressure changes that can affect your dog’s sensitive ears. Just like humans, fresh air can help fight car sickness and general nausea.
Try pheromone therapy
Products such as Adaptil release pheromones into the air, called Dog Appeasing Pheromones, that encourage calming and relaxation. This can be helpful for more anxious car riders. It can also help with nausea. Adaptil is affordable and comes in many forms such as spray, collars, and infusers. Use the spray on a bandanna prior to loading your dog into the car.
Ask your vet about Cerenia
Cerenia is a medication that you can have prescribed by your veterinarian. Cerenia is sort of like Dramamine for dogs, but it works in both the brain and stomach to help relieve nausea symptoms. The great thing about this medication is that it is only a once-a-day medication. If you have tried all other ways to help with car sickness and failed, talk with your veterinarian about Cerenia.
Car rides with your pup are always fun, it may just be a favorite summertime road trip. Help your dog enjoy it just as much as you do.