Dogs love nothing more than coming for a ride in the car, but when that excitement turns to sickness it’s not pleasant for anyone. Dog and cat motion sickness are real things, and just like us humans, they can get quite an upset stomach from traveling in the car.
If your cat or dog gets car sick, you might feel a little lost. You don’t want them to miss out on the fun or you have a road trip planned and they’re coming along, so how do you make sure they’re not sick all over themselves and your car?
There are some simple tips you can follow to keep their stomachs calm and when all else fails there are even types of dog motion sickness medication you can use. With this helpful guide, you won’t feel anxious taking your pets for a ride anymore and will make the journey more enjoyable for everyone involved.
The concept of dog motion sickness may sound a little out there, but it’s certainly a real thing. When kittens or puppies travel as they’re younger, their ear structures aren’t yet fully developed and can cause the feeling that we all know as motion sickness.
As they grow older, it’s normal that they equate this feeling with what happened when they were younger and the car becomes a place to feel sick. Other times, stress can play a huge role in whether your cat or dog gets motion sickness, and we know that some animals can’t stand riding in the car even on good days.
Sometimes, animals are able to grow out of motion sickness on their own and you might find one day they’re perfectly fine. If your animal doesn’t seem to be able to shake it though or you have a long car ride ahead of you, there are some things you can try to calm them.
Preventing motion sickness in dogs is quite similar to how we would help children, so keep that in mind. Here are some tips for making them feel better in the car, regardless of the length of your journey.
Some animals feel strange riding in the car and require a carrier to keep them in place. Cats especially don’t like to travel freely, and it’s quite dangerous for the driver, so invest in a quality carrier that will help them feel secure for the ride.
If you’ve ever ridden in a train or bus and been seated the opposite way to the direction of travel, you might have felt a little strange. This feeling can be intensified for your pets and is a major cause of sickness. If they’re in a carrier point them the right way or for dogs that are sitting on seats, make sure they’re in the right direction.
Without going overboard, you can schedule some stops for your pet to get outside and stretch their legs to break up the journey. You can look for dog-friendly parks and throw a ball around for five minutes before you get back on the road.
Having a pet water bottle on hand is a must have for cats and dogs. This will allow them to take small and frequent sips without going over the top and can easily calm down their stomachs.
Sometimes all your pet needs is to keep their mind off things. Games or talking to them might be a welcome distraction that can help them forget all about the journey they’re taking and their upset stomach.
We all know how much dogs love to stick their head out of the window and enjoy the breeze, so give it a try if yours is sick. Some fresh air could be really helpful but just make sure the incoming wind isn’t too intense and scaring them further. For cat car sickness, you may want to avoid opening the window too often.
Avoid giving your cat or dog a full meal when you’re about to travel. Rather, break them up into smaller snacks along the way so they’re less likely to throw it all up.
When all else fails, there are various types of motion sickness medication you can use for dogs and cats. You should only really rely on these when you've tried all other methods because you might find a simple fix with one of our other tips. These are a few of the types of medications your vet may suggest if their sickness isn’t easing:
Being aware of the signs of dog motion sickness is also important, so look for excessive yawning, drooling, or whining. If you see any of these, first try our tips for calming them down before you resort to any harsher medications.
There’s nothing fun about traveling when you’re feeling sick, so imagine how bad it must be for your pet. When you’re unable to prevent car rides and have somewhere to take them, you can usually make the journey a whole lot easier just by knowing how to manage their nausea.
Once your dog or cat learns that the car isn’t a scary or stressful place, you might find their motion sickness gradually goes away. As keeping our pets happy and comfortable is all part of being a responsible owner, it’s your job to ensure they’re coping alright with car rides and avoiding any unnecessary travel.