It’s that look … you know the one. It’s like he’s trying to say, “What? You’re leaving me?!” You can try explaining it to him again – for the millionth time – that he gets sick in the car and he’ll be miserable if you take him along. But your dog doesn’t understand what you’re saying. All he knows is that you’re going on vacation … and he’s not.
Having a dog who gets car sick certainly presents it’s challenges when you’re planning a trip, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t all enjoy this summer’s family vacation together! We’ve got the tips to make sure you never have to face that look again.
If you’re one of the dog owners who has a pup with motion sickness, you’re already familiar with it’s symptoms: excessive drooling, lip licking, panting, restlessness, shaking, vomiting, whining, and yawning. It’s enough to bring you to tears. And what makes it worse is that you know that your dog feels even more horrible than you do!
The good news is you can help relieve your dog’s discomfort in the car. Depending on the severity of your dog’s motion sickness, and the duration of any trips you’re considering with him, these tips may help him enjoy the ride:
Even if you’re able alleviate your dog’s car sickness, once he’s learned to associate feeling rotten with the car it may take a little effort on your part to convince him otherwise.
To show him road trips can be fun, start by giving him a break from going anywhere for a couple of weeks. When he starts to show some interest in the car, move to the next step. If it’s been a couple of weeks and your pup is still avoiding the car, see if you can get him interested in a friend’s car … one that smells like other dogs would be perfect!
You want to build your dog’s positive associations with the car, so begin slowly by having him hop inside to get a special treat. When you’re getting an enthusiastic response to your request to get in the car, it’s time to move to the next step.
Make sure the first few trips your dog takes in the car are short and end at places he loves … like the dog park, play dates with his dog buddies, or the dog bakery! During the ride give him a special toy or small treat that he only gets in the car. Remember, keep the treats small – you don’t want to make his nausea worse. Once you can see he expects every trip in the car to fun, you’ll be able to start building up to longer rides.
Once you’ve taken the bite out of your dog’s motion sickness symptoms and satisfied him that road trips can be fun, it’s time to make your vacation plans! Make sure your trip is a success for the whole family with this planning advice:
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