Car sickness

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Postby Stavenstumper » March 31st, 2011, 12:24 pm

Has anyone been successful with getting their dog to overcome car sickness? What did you do? I got my dog last July. At the time, the shelter said they thought he was about 1 year old. That summer I took him to my son's football prcatices(approx 3 miles) a couple times a week. He was fine for about 3 weeks. Then 1 day he got sick. From that day on, he gets sick every time he is in the car. He has no anxiety about the car. We walk by the car he starts wagging his tail and waiting by the back door for me to open it. Despite getting sick he loves going to obedience class, doggie daycare or a trip to Petco.
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Postby mnp13 » March 31st, 2011, 12:31 pm

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Postby BigDogBuford » March 31st, 2011, 12:35 pm



Hahahaha! Doggie is magical and always eats his (and other dogs) vomit. He's handy like that.

But seriously, have you changed vehicles? I have a dog that got sick in my RAV4 but doesn't ever get sick in my FIT. Also, if I know I have to put him in the car I make sure to not feed him for 8 hours before.
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Postby Pit♥bull » March 31st, 2011, 12:53 pm

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Postby amalie79 » March 31st, 2011, 2:29 pm

BigDogBuford wrote:But seriously, have you changed vehicles? I have a dog that got sick in my RAV4 but doesn't ever get sick in my FIT. Also, if I know I have to put him in the car I make sure to not feed him for 8 hours before.


We had to stop feeding Robin within a few hours before taking a ride, and I had to stop giving her treats in the car (which made the whole counter-conditioning thing more difficult). I crack a window so the air isn't too stale.

I know a lot of people think Rescue Remedy is insane, but I'd say we've had success with it (there was a double-blind study done with 2 groups of dogs, and they had good results, too, fwiw :| ). I gave Robin several drops of RR on a treat 15-20 minutes before we went anywhere. We only had to do this a few times, and between that and the no-food/fresh air conditions, we've been doing well. Seems like I may have used valerian once or twice (part of Richard's Pet Organics Calm tincture), but that's strong stuff, so you have to be careful with it.
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Postby iluvk9 » March 31st, 2011, 3:57 pm

I love that blog!

What seems like years ago, my Lab, Louie always puked in the car. Until he grew out of it at about 3 years old, I just kept a large plastic bag with a brown bag inside of it. He sort of learned to use it.
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Postby pocketpit » March 31st, 2011, 4:26 pm

No food for at least several hours prior to your trip and you can also speak to your vet about using medications like Dramamine or Meclizine to reduce the nausea.
It's often recommended that you start with very short trips until you are not seeing signs and then slowly build into longer trips.
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Postby TheRedQueen » March 31st, 2011, 5:33 pm

Agree with everyone else...

Also, just to add one more thing...we had a Service Dog in Training that puked EVERY time in the car, and the organization was thinking of washing her (what good is a carsick SD)...then another trainer took her. Dog was fine. The original trainer didn't like driving, and was always tense...dog was reading that behavior, and responding with getting sick. Went to a client that loved driving...never had a problem with carsickness again.
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Postby Malli » March 31st, 2011, 5:41 pm

wow Erin, thats quite the story! I know dogs are perceptive, but that one seems particularly so, and empathetic - guess thats why she's a SD!
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Postby TheRedQueen » March 31st, 2011, 5:46 pm

Malli wrote:wow Erin, thats quite the story! I know dogs are perceptive, but that one seems particularly so, and empathetic - guess thats why she's a SD!


Yup, I was glad with this one that the trainers stuck with her for so long...I was all..."eh, wash her, what could it be?"
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Postby Stavenstumper » March 31st, 2011, 10:51 pm

Wow. Good stuff. Here we go-
changing cars- started getting sick in 2002 Ford Focus and also in 1997 Dodge Intrepid (large smooth ride). He has also gotten sick in my wife's 2007 Camry. He has not been in my truck for obvious reasons.

Feeding- I have tried restricting food. He has eaten in the am, nothing all day then got sick at 7 pm on the trip to obedience class. Fresh air does seem to help the amount of time before he gets sick. Also easier to clean when he yacks outside the car.

Vet- suggested Dramamine and also starting small rides and increase gradualy. I started last summer but got discouraged when he got sick the 1st short ride. When I asked if it worked for his Dobermans, He said he never takes them in the car anymore.

Nervous driver- not the case. I love to drive. My moto is I will drive anywhere for anything.

I guess I will try the short rides again once the weather gets a little better. I was wondering if this has worked for anyone.
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Postby BigDogBuford » March 31st, 2011, 11:24 pm

Loose in car or in a crate or both?
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Postby TheRedQueen » April 1st, 2011, 8:03 am

BigDogBuford wrote:Loose in car or in a crate or both?


Another good question...:)

My old mixed breed used to have diarrhea if he was loose in the car...but put him in a crate, and he was fine. :|

Have you tried Ginger? It helps with motion sickness...you can find it in capsule form, or feed ginger snaps.
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Postby Stavenstumper » April 1st, 2011, 12:40 pm

He is loose in the car. I just bought a harness to go through the seatbelt but have not tried it yet. I don't think the crate I have will fit in the back seat.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 1st, 2011, 2:16 pm

If even riding to the end of the driveway makes him sick, start with just putting him in the car and taking him back out. Feed him his meals in the car (while it's sitting still). When he goes to the car eagerly, put him in, start the car, feed him some treats, turn the car off and call it a day. When that's good, go to the end of the driveway and back. BABY steps!
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Postby pocketpit » April 1st, 2011, 4:58 pm

Baby steps is right! With the motion sickness meds, and baby steps we did eventually get our dog mostly over it. I say mostly because he still had problems with rides that were more than an hour or so but he did get to the point where anything under that was vomit free. It took a long while (like a year of work) but there was a positive change.
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Postby PetieMarie22 » April 5th, 2011, 2:09 pm

It was suggested to me this weekend that I use Ginger Capsules on my foster pup. I just found out I can buy them at Vitamin World, so I'll let you know how that works.
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Postby amalie79 » April 6th, 2011, 10:01 am

I'm wondering now if a Thundershirt would be of benefit...? The trainer we're going to likes them a lot and told us all the ways she uses hers with her dogs-- one has epilepsy and general anxiety and another just has a lot of high-strung anxiety, and she has had wonderful success. We bought one last night (I think the company has a money back guarantee) and will be trying it on River. I'm hoping it will calm the constant whining in the car among other things...

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