One of the best things about owning a dog is that dogs make great companions. And because your dog is a great companion, you naturally want to take the dog out of the house with you. Many dog-lovers take their pets to the park, to run errands, and even on vacation. However, if your dog gets carsick, that can really put a crimp in your plans. Take a look at some tips that can help you prevent canine carsickness so that you and your dog can enjoy your travels.
Let the Fresh Air In
You definitely don't want to let a dog that's prone to carsickness ride in an uncomfortably hot and stuffy car—that could make anyone feel sick. But rolling up the windows and running the air conditioner may not be the right answer either. Try turning the AC off and lowering your window a bit.
When the window is lowered, the air pressure inside the car will balance with the air pressure outside the car. It's possible that the imbalance was throwing off your dog's equilibrium and making them feel sick. Also, opening the window improves the ventilation in the car, which can also help head off motion sickness.
Take Frequent Breaks
If you're taking a long trip, it's important to take plenty of breaks from the road. Some dogs are fine with short trips but experience motion sickness when riding in the car for hours. Breaking up the trip can help head off the stomach troubles.
Your dog needs regular bathroom breaks anyway, so just make a point of stopping every hour or so. Make sure your dog drinks some water at each stop as well as uses the bathroom—your pet will feel better if they're well hydrated.
If you've ever experienced carsickness yourself, you know that it can often come on when looking out the side windows or when facing backwards, the way you might on a train or subway. Keep your dog facing forward, and you may help prevent them from feeling sick.
There are specially-designed dog seatbelts that can keep your pet strapped in and facing forward in the car. Or, you can try putting your dog into a travel crate, which could help keep them facing front.
Try Soothing Scents
Certain scents, like peppermint and ginger, can help settle the stomach. Spraying these scents around can help humans feel less sick. Your dog's nose is even more sensitive than yours, so it's very possible that spraying one of these scents in your car could help alleviate motion sickness. You can mix essential oil and water to make a light, fragrant spray for your car. Just don't overdo it—too much scent can be worse than too little.
If your dog's motion sickness isn't helped by home remedies, it's worth bringing up the subject with your veterinarian. If you don't currently have a veterinarian, look around at clinics in your area. For example, South Central Veterinary Clinic does pet care. Your vet can prescribe motion-sickness medication for dogs whose motion sickness is interfering with their ability to travel.