car sickness in dogDoes the sound of your car’s wheels drive your pet crazy? Carsickness is a world of trouble for many dogs, cats, their owners – and their vehicles.

A car ride that runs too long can confuse a delicate sense of balance, upset young tummies and set up a pattern of negative association and sickness. Puppies and younger dogs are especially prone to carsickness due to the fact that their ears are not yet fully developed.

A little thoughtful prevention can help your pet ride contentedly and make your life easier. Before you start running down the road to loosen your load, keep these 7 tips on your mind:

1. Take it easy. A short ride gently introduces your pet to the open road. When the car goes to fun destinations like a dog park more often that it goes to the vet’s office, your pet’s a happy traveler.

2. Lighten up for the signs of nausea. While you may easily identify an off color for a person who’s queasy, you might not recognize these symptoms in your dog or cat:
a. Yawning
b. Inactivity
c. Excessive drooling
d. Whining
e. Uneasiness
f. Licking lips

3. Facin’ your pet forward.
You can position the kennel accordingly, and rest assured that should she become ill, the clean-up chore will be simpler. Or you can use a seat belt specially designed to keep your dog facing forward. If you allow your dog to sit in the front, remember that an air bag presents the same dangers for your pet that it does for a small child.

4. Rollin’ down the windows. Not only does fresh air feel great blowing in your pet’s fur, his ears will appreciate the difference in air pressure.

5. Slowin’ down. If you’re taking a long trip, your pet will appreciate a stop every hour– to stretch legs, sip a little water and better enjoy the journey. (It won’t hurt you either.)

6. Just standin’ on the corner.
If your furry friend only associates a car with sickness, you can help establish new thought patterns. Start small – let him sit in your back seat a short while with the doors open. In another week, you two can take a ride around the block and eventually you can travel to a nearby park or other happy place. Laozi was right: the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

7. Gettin’ help from a friend of mine. If your best efforts still leave you cleaning up your car, talk to us about a prescription medication to help your pet. Cerenia® is an option for those with motion sickness. AdaptilTM works well for many of our patients. Fortiflora®, is a pro-biotic that can prevent travel induced stress colitis.

AND if your pet doesn’t even try to understand. Remember, your dog or cat’s idea of taking it easy may not involve the open road at all. Talk to us about boarding your pet with us for your next vacation. You can enjoy your trip, and our staff members will be happy to spend some quality time with your pet.
So whether you’re going to Winslow, Arizona, or just heading over to see us, we hope these sweet tips will save you – not to mention the upholstery on your flat bed Ford!