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For some dogs, even the mention of a car ride is the best part of their day and they can't wait to go. On the flip side we have those dogs that a car ride is pure dread. Dogs that experience motion sickness can mean that even a short car ride becomes stressful for the dog — and owner. We here at Abbotsford Animal Hospital want to help decrease and possibly eliminate motion sickness for your pup to make car rides fun for all.
Symptoms of dog motion sickness
The most common sign of dog car sickness or dog motion sickness is usually vomiting. There are other more subtle signs that manifest themselves that you should watch for as well.
Causes of dog motion sickness
Motion sickness is more common in puppies and young dogs then older dogs. It may be due to the inner ear apparatus, that regulates balance and equilibrium, not being fully mature and developed. Many dogs will grow out of this problem however some may experience motion sickness throughout their lives. If the first few car rides of a dog’s life result in nausea, this may become a conditioned response- the dog learns to associate car travel with nausea even after his or her balance system fully matures. Therefore, a dog who suffers motion sickness should be treated as soon as possible.
If your pup develops a secondary fear of riding in cars, consult a veterinarian to help determine whether the cause is motion sickness or something else, such as anxiety unrelated to motion sickness or other issues.
Tips to help with dog motion sickness
Health-wise, motion sickness does not have long term affects to your dogs health. However it is a stressful situation to both pup and owner and usually a very messy one. To help decrease and treat dog motion sickness veterinarians would recommend one or more of the following.
Using the tips provided you should see a decrease in your dog's motion sickness. Hopefully making car rides a pleasant experience for your pup and you. In case your dog doesn’t grow out of motion sickness or respond to conditioning techniques, consult your veterinarian about medications to help your dog. There is a medication approved for preventing vomiting due to motion sickness in dogs. However, if other issues and anxiety are involved, additional therapies may be recommended.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can always visit or call us – we want to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
Abbotsford Animal Hospital - Caring for Pets for People in York Region, Aurora, Newmarket, King City, Richmond Hill and the GTA.