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Ugly Truth About Car Sickness By Dogs

How To Recognize Dog Car Sickness?

Does my dog suffer from car sickness when travelling? Motion sickness or car sickness by dogs is a common problem. Car sickness can get worse over the years and it is important how to recognise the signals. 


Motion sickness in pets is believed to occur for the same reasons it does in humans. Which is to say, while nobody is entirely sure why some dogs get sick and others don't, the cause is linked to inner-ear confusion, or what the experts call "unintentional movement". If your pooch is chasing a stick, for example (or their own tail), the eyes, brain and ears are working together, and so your dog's body expects the movement, and prepares accordingly.


This blog will educate you about the most common problem: Dog car sickness

What Causes Dog Motion Sickness?

You and your dog are in your car headed to the dog park, when suddenly they are not looking so good. Before you know it, those biscuits you gave them when they hopped into the car have reappeared -- in the mess they vomited all over your leather seats.


Dog motion sickness is more commonly seen in puppies and young dogs than in older dogs, just as carsickness afflicts more children than adults. The reason for this is because the ear structures used for balance aren’t fully developed in puppies. Puppies will often “outgrow” motion sickness by the time they are about one year old. To be perfectly prepared you have to make sure to recognise some signals or body language your dog could have. 


If the first few car rides of your dog’s life left them nauseated, they may have been conditioned to equate travel with vomiting, even after their ears have fully matured. Stress can also add to travel sickness, so if your dog has only ever ridden in the car to go to the vet, they may literally worry themselves sick on the road.


Signals Of Dog Car Sickness 

When you travel with your dog it can happen that the dog gets sick. Good preparation is half the work, and this prevents the dog from getting car sick. Good preparation is important because about 58% of dog owners with a travel-sick dog still travel with the dog. This can also happen with small car trips to the forest or the beach.


Dogs don’t turn the unflattering shade of green that people do when they’re experiencing motion sickness, but there are some signs of dog travel sickness you can learn to identify. These include:

  • Nausea;
  • Gagging or vomiting;
  • Smacking, panting or drooling;
  • Restless, trembling, excitement;
  • Inactivity, listlessness or uneasiness


Can It Get Worse Over The Years? 

The moment you let the dog get used to driving, it can happen that the dogs associate this stress or car anxiety. This fear and tension is transformed into the above symptoms. Some dogs already gag when the car is started. It is therefore important to tackle this right from the start. Otherwise, motion sickness can get worse over the years.

How To Prevent Dog Car Sickness?

  • Provide the best comfort: The best way to prevent dog travel sickness is to make the car ride as comfortable as possible for your dog. Invest in a good dog car seat that will keep the dog comfortable and safe throughout the car ride;
  • Booster car seat: Your dog will experience fewer nauseating visual cues if they can't look outside the window. One way to guarantee this is by using a specially designed dog seat booster seat;

  • Relieve stress: Dogs associate sick feelings with what they anticipate will happen at the end of the ride. To change the dog's mindset, turn the car into a puppy palace of toys and treats the dog only gets near or while inside the car. In a very gradual way, teach your dog that the car offers lots of benefits. Treats and good-dog praise and admiration can go a long way. Anxiety wraps and dog appeasing pheromones can be purchased in pet stores and can help decrease feelings of anxiety;
  • Fresh air: Crack open the window for some fresh air for your puppy’s sniffing pleasure. All those fresh smells carried on the wind will distract the dog from any queasy tummy action. A narrow opening lets it sniff without risking eye injury from flying objects. Also, you will want to stop and let the puppy stroll around for potty breaks during long car rides. Most dogs love to experience new places with their sense of smell. A potty or sniff break can help your puppy associate the car with fun new places and things to explore;

  • Time meals: If the puppy has nothing in its tummy to vomit, it will be less likely to feel sick. Be sure to feed the dog several hours before you hit the road. Offer water, though, because that can help settle an iffy tummy;

  • Checklist: Make sure to to be prepared on the road and to check out the must-follow checklist


Tips Car Sickness

  • Bring water and treats;
  • Use a booster car seat for your dog;
  • Drive carefully and do not accelerate too fast;
  • Take your young puppy in the car as soon as possible for short rides;
  • Make sure you create fresh air into the car; 
  • Make sure you now the travel requirements
  • Let the dog drink water and do not give food 2 hours before travelling;
  • Bring a familiar toy or cuddly toy for the dog;
  • Associate car trips with something fun like: a walk in the woods or a day at the beach;
  • Regular breaks for the dog to get some fresh air outside and for stretching;
  • Provide a good climate in the car, dogs cannot dissipate their heat, much worse than we humans;
  • Overheating is a serious risk, which can be recognized by a lot of drooling, slow behavior and heavy panting;
  • Read here the 29 must-follow tips when travelling with your dog.


The Soluction of A Dog Car Seat

These are common problems that many dogs experience from unfamiliar situations in the car and locations. L'élianne dog car seats will provide a more pleasant and safe trip during short and long car rides. When using an elevated dog car seat such problems can be eliminated. L'élianne ® dog car beds are designed for your home, car or in-between. A house-on-the-go will bring the comforts of your home into the car and that will keep him comfortable on any adventure. 


This travel bed has a booster seat that allows the dog to look out of the window and keep an eye on his surroundings while being secured with two safety belts. When bringing your travel bed along, travelling with your dog will no longer mean aggravation and stress but it will lead to a successful trip. 



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