If the thought of putting your pet into the car makes one or both of you nauseated, we can help!
Motion sickness can affect dogs as well as people. In dogs it usually begins with nausea and drooling and can quickly progress to vomiting. When this happens it can make the car ride unpleasant for everyone.
To solve this problem you must desensitize your pet to the motion of the car. Some dogs will start to drool if even near the car because they have come to associate the car with feeling sick.
The first step is to simply put your dog in the car (do not start the engine initially) and have them learn it is a safe place. Use the kennel or seatbelt harness as you normally would and just let them relax – take a book and read a few pages while you wait. Once they have settled you can give a treat or play with a toy to make the experience even more positive. Repeat this until they are comfortable, then progress to starting the engine and waiting a few minutes for them to relax, again give a treat or play a game.
From here you can progess to backing the car down the driveway and returning. When they are comfortable with this, you should be able to progress to a short trip around the block. Try to do the training on an empty stomach to increase your success. Gradually as your dog gets used to the movement he or she should start to enjoy the rides and even look forward to them.
If your pet still struggles with nausea after trying this desensitization program talk to your veterinarian and we can decide if a product like gravol might be suitable or if the anti-nausea medication Cerenia might be a better choice for your four legged friend. Cerenia lasts for 24 hours, so it might be a good choice if you are planning a long road trip.