Pets

Car Sickness Remedies

Cady, who is now 5 months old, gets horribly car sick every single time we get in the car. We've tried the back seat, we've tried putting her in the crate, tried covering her up so she couldn't see, gave her benedryl etc. and nothing seems to work. Do you guys have any quick tips for alleviating car sickness? I'm praying she grows out of it but so far it's not looking good.
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Re: Car Sickness Remedies

  • Some of the things I have tried that have worked are:

    Let the dog out before you go for a ride, also no food or water when there is a car ride coming up (less to vomit)

    Go for several car rides - even around the block and slowly build up your pup's comfort

    Make them fun - drive to a park that would be fun walk around, interact

    If you still have issues talk to your vet...but I had a foster that did anything she could in the car and her new family was told, they said they would drive her to the dog park once vomitting stopped they then would drive her to get a special dog treat, etc.  She no longer vomits, pees, poops, or drools in the car.

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  • My puppy got car sick at that age too.  He was fine before he started teething but then was bad for several months as he was teething and maturing.

    There are several things you can try.  Some need something in their stomachs, some do better with an empty stomach (although that's difficult with a puppy).  Neither helped my puppy.  Sometimes keeping it cooler can help or having a fan or the window open.

    Make sure that you keep riding in the car a positive experience too.  Our puppy's issue was only car sickness, not nervousness as he still loved going and I made sure that we kept taking him places and kept it fun (you don't want to stop exposing him to new places just because of getting car sick).

    The homeopathic remedies that my vet recommended were nux vomica and cocculus indicus.  I get them at the vitamin shoppe.  They are supposed to be dissolved under the tongue but that isn't really possible with a dog.  I would crush the pills instead.  I scaled down dosage from human based on weight.  She also recommended concentrated ginger - not ginger snaps, but you can get a ginger supplement if you prefer to the homeopathic remedies.  

    There is also a prescription you can get from your vet if these don't work.  I know one person in our puppy class used that and my vet said that it is usually very effective but I preferred to use these options first.
    My sweet boy
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  • Thanks for the tips! So far, I've figured out she does better on an empty stomach. She has never really been a big eater and we usually go places early in the morning so it hasn't really been a big deal to withold as of yet. As of late, we've been going over to a friend's house for play time that's about ~ 20 minutes away. She's been doing better as last weekend we took three trips out there and all I had to combat was the excessive drool, but she still tries to run away when I go to put her in the car and tenses up immediately once the car is started. Also, when it's parked she's fine so I really am leaning towards motion sickness.

    Thanks for the herbal remedies, I'll have to run to the store and grab some to try for our adventures this weekend. It sucks not being able to really take her anywhere without her getting worked up about it.

    ETA: We've only really gone to my friend's house and I usually feed her once we get there, I don't withold all day.
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  • If she is drooling and not wanting to go in the car, do you think it could be from anxiety about the car?

    My dog situation was purely motion sickness.  For anxiety, you can try making the car a positive place just like you would slowly introduce a crate.  You could also try Rescue Remedy.

    My sweet boy
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  • I thought that at first but the only time she's visibly tense is when the car is actually moving. At red lights and stuff she generally relaxes. I thought she just equated it with vomitting because up until we started witholding food, she vomitted every.single.time. You could be right though.
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  • It's difficult to say.  She may not feel well and that could be causing her to be anxious.  I would definitely try some remedies to see if she feels better, then maybe she will continue to relax.  Rescue Remedy is pretty easy to find too if you need to try that as well, just get the one without alcohol.
    My sweet boy
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  • If you think she might have some anxiety about the car, one thing to try is to not go anywhere at first, but just to open the doors and walk her around it and treat and praise her, then get her inside (w/o starting the car) and treat and praise, then start the car and then go down the driveway...you get the idea - build really slowly. 

    Another thing that helped us was to stop frequently. We knew he was good in the car for about 20 minutes at first, so we would go 15, then stop and let him out. Sometimes he would go to the bathroom, but not always. The next time, we went 20 minutes without stopping. You can build on it over time, but I'm super happy to say we were in the car with him for over 4 hours a few weeks ago without having to stop. 

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  • Milhouse gets extremely carsick.  To the point where we have considered not taking him on weekend trips he would otherwise love.

    We have found that giving regular human Dramamine helps some, but not 100%.  On our 3 hour drive last weekend, on the way down, we were out of Dramamine, and he barfed violently six times and drooled all over.  On the way back home, we gave him one tablet and he only barfed a little bit, once, which is definitely a big improvement.  (Of course, check with your vet first and make sure you have the right dosage--our vet actually recommended this to us.)

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  • Ask your vet about Cerenia. I have several clients that give this to their pets w/ motion sickness and all of them are very happy w/ the results.

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