How to prevent dogs from travel sickness
We regularly hear about dog owners having to deal with their dogs getting car sick with every journey they go on. After having personally gone through the experience of having a travel sick dog I can sympathise with all dog owners having this issue.
Dogs tend to get car sick for a few reasons, the main reason being anxiety. Dogs don’t understand where they are being taken and why. They could be going for a great day out at a park however they won’t understand if they are about to visit a park for the day or the vets/groomers so could get anxious about that. Dogs also get anxious in cars because they simply can’t see and as a result of this they don’t feel in control. When a dog usually lives their life in their home feeling safe or on walks getting to walk and sniff whatever they please, being sit in the car or in the foot well can be very unnerving for them. It can also be a case of motion sickness and like humans if they can focus on something else, this will tend to ease their nausea.
They best way to cure travel sickness is to prevent it by taking away the anxiety from the dog. The best way to do this would be to get them a raised dog booster seat and add a blanket or toy that they are used to inside it. This will mean that they are lifted up and can see outside easily when they choose to and allow them to get their bearings as to where they are and what is going on around them. The dog booster seat will also act as a dog bed for your dog which whilst being comfortable and practical for journeys is also a very reassuring place to be for your dog.
It is always advisable to not feed your dog too close to when they are going to be in the car as this will help reduce the chance of them being unwell. Teaching your dog to enjoy car journeys takes a lot of time however once completed it will make your life a lot easier and you can enjoy taking your dog with you more often.
Training your dog inside your car will work best if you start with very short journeys; drive for 2-3 minutes then get your dog out of their booster seat and give them praise and take them for a short walk. Gradually increase the car journeys time each time and ensure at the end of each journey they are getting praise and other things they enjoy such as a walk or a game to play. This will help to reassure them that car journeys are a positive thing.