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Posted on Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Helping Your Dog Deal with Car Sickness

car sick

Just like humans, dogs can get pretty bad car sickness. A result of motion sickness, car sickness occurs when a dog’s (or person’s) various senses receive crossed signals. For instance, when we sit in the back seat of a car, we’re consciously aware of the fact that the car is moving and our inner ears register movement, but our eyes may be sending different signals – especially if we’re wrapped up in a book on our lap. One of the best ways to handle motion sickness is to look at a point on the horizon and do your best to register the car’s movement with all your senses.

Obviously, we can’t ask our dogs to do the same! So you can imagine how harrowing car sickness can be for them. But with a little help from you and perhaps your vet, you can be on the road to happier travels in no time. Consider this advice.

Recognize the symptoms. Since your dog can’t tell you when he or she is feeling car sick, you’ll have to be vigilant for the symptoms – some of which are more obvious than others. Vomiting is a major indicator, but you’ll also notice that your dog is panting more than usual, drooling excessively, lethargic or even shaking.

Take preventative steps. If your dog is exhibiting signs of car sickness, the first thing you’ll want to do is take some preventative measures to find out if you can curb the habit. You should also – and this is great advice for any newly adopted dog – allow your pet to get used to the car with short trips. Drive him or her around the neighborhood, and then slowly increase the length of travel. For longer trips, stop and take breaks often to give your dog a chance to breathe fresh air and relax – open windows are also important. It might also help to take your dog for rides while he or she has an empty stomach. Like humans, sometimes indigestion can worsen car sickness.

Talk to your vet about treatment options. While Dog Channel notes that there are all-natural remedies for car sickness in dogs, you may want to talk to your vet before trying anything out. If herbal solutions don’t work, there are always conventional medicine solutions. Anti-nausea and anti-anxiety medications are two options your veterinarian might prescribe.

This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.