Getting sick due to movement especially in cars, bitas, flights are all very common. For dogs, the effect may be a tad bit stronger than it is for humans. They get motion sickness as well. Especially as puppies. Motion sickness in dogs is a common problem. Motion or car sickness is more common in younger dogs than adults.
The main reason for motion sickness is that part of the inner ear involved in balance for dogs is not yet fully developed. However, the good news is that puppies will normally outgrow these things as they fully develop. With adult dogs, however, they tend to become anxious and nervous, which may cause that same sickness.
Reasons for motion sickness in dogs
- For a dog, heightened anxiety and stress, and may result in vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Puppies that experience traumatic or frightening first rides may also associate future travel with that stressful event.
- Some dogs may have medical conditions such as middle or inner ear infections or vestibular disease (disease of the vestibular apparatus, located in the inner ear) that predispose them to nausea.
- Another dog may be taking medications that can cause vomiting or diarrhoea.
- Dogs that travel only once or twice a year (typically when visiting the veterinarian) are not used to car rides and often associate the car ride with the stressful experience that follows.
How to tell if my dog is getting motion sickness
For humans, it’s easy to tell because they look pale and there is gagging as well. With dogs, the signs may be a bit different in certain situations. So if it’s your first time taking your dog out for a driver, check for the following signs:
- whining and pacing
- excessive drooling
- smacking or licking lips
- lethargy or inactivity
Also note that once you see these signs and you think your dog is going to vomit, stopping the car and taking him for a walk may help temporarily relieve his stress.
Preventing Motion Sickness
The best way to prevent dog travel sickness is to make the car ride as comfortable as possible for your dog. There are dog seats for cars that are sold in many pet stores, a simple blanket or just letting the dog sleep in your lap while driving.
Your dog will experience fewer nauseating visual cues if he faces forward while you’re travelling, rather than looking out the side windows. One way to guarantee this is by using a specially designed dog seat belt.
Another thing that may help your dog’s motion sickness is to lower your car windows a couple of inches while the car is moving. This helps balance the air pressure inside the car with the air pressure outside, which may help reduce your dog’s nausea and discomfort.
Be sure to limit your dog’s food consumption prior to travel. Then, right before the trip, give your dog a small piece of sugary candy, which seems to reduce the sensations of nausea. Never give your dog chocolate candy or treats made with xylitol, however, because these are toxic to dogs.
There are also a variety of medications that may help as well. Then again, you’d have to consult your Vet first before anything else. Either way, motion sickness can eventually go away once your dog gets used to the idea of car rides.