Car sickness is something that most of us are familiar with. Did you know that your dog can suffer from this temporary ailment too? It is much more common in puppies than adult dogs, and it's something that is often outgrown as the pup ages. Either way, you'll need to know a few home remedies for dog car sickness in case you ever need them.
The most common reason for dog's to feel car sick is the same as it is for humans. A moving vehicle will affect a dog's inner ear and disrupt their sense of stability. The inner ear sends different messages to the brain than the messages that it is receiving from the eyes.
This confusion in the brain leads to motion sickness.
The parts of a dog's ear which are in charge of balance are not completely developed in young dogs, so they will be more sensitive when riding in cars. Motion sickness in dogs is similar to that of humans. They may feel dizzy and/or nauseous.
Car anxiety can make motion sickness worse. You may notice that your dog seems dizzy or unstable on his feet. Excessive drooling is one of the most common signs of motion sickness, and don't be surprised if your pooch ends up vomiting in the back seat.
Home Remedies for Dog Car Sickness
Before I jump into home remedies for dog car sickness, there are a few tips that I want to share that will help to prevent car sickness from happening. First, be sure that you don't feed your dog before the ride. Your dog shouldn't have any food within 2 hours of riding in a vehicle.
Second, restraining your dog in the car will help to stop him from moving around any more than necessary. Not only is restraining your dog a good safety measure in case of an accident, it will keep him from pacing back and forth.
Finally, if you notice that your dog is suffering from car sickness, DO NOT stop taking him for rides. This is a common mistake. If you stop giving him rides, he'll never get used to it. Instead, gradually get him used to it by taking him for very short rides and working your way up to longer adventures.
Home Remedies for Dog Car Sickness
1. CBD Oil
Cannabidiol, or CBD, has been shown to have some remarkable health benefits for pets. CBD oil is derived from the Cannabis plant. It’s not psychotropic and has no THC, so your dog won’t “get high” from taking it.
CBD can help dogs suffering with nausea. Dogs with anxiety and stress issues have also responded very well to CBD. You can purchase CBD in oil or capsule form. You can also purchase dog treats that contain CBD. Follow the dosage instructions that come with whichever product you purchase.
The root of the ginger plant has been used by humans for centuries for holistic medicine purposes. Ginger ale (made with ginger root) is commonly used to settle an upset stomach. Fed in appropriate amounts, ginger is a great home remedy for dog car sickness and other ailments including arthritis and certain types of cancer.
One study compared ginger to dimenhydrinate, the active ingredient in Dramamine (a well-known motion sickness medication). It was just as effective and had fewer side effects! Ginger also acts as anti-inflammatory, so it also soothes the digestive tract.
If your dog gets car sick, give him ginger at least 30 minutes before going for a ride. Peel the skin off of the ginger root and mince the internal yellow “meat” of the root. Dosage instructions are:
- 10 lbs. or less – 1/4 tsp. up to 3 times daily
- 10-35 lbs. – 1/2 tsp. up to 3 times daily
- 35 lbs.+ – 3/4 tsp. up to 3 times daily
3. Essential Oils
Essential oils can be as beneficial to dogs as they are to people. When used correctly, essential oils can be an indispensable part of your dog's medical care. They will aid in his overall health and well-being, and they'll save you hundreds of dollars in veterinary bills.
For these home remedies for dog car sickness, you'll use aromatherapy to soothe your dog's nausea. Ginger and peppermint oils have been shown to be effective at treating motion sickness. To use them, mix 4 drops of a carrier oil with 4 drops of peppermint essential oil and 3 drops of ginger essential oil.
Dip 2-3 cotton balls in the solution and place them around your vehicle. The aromatherapy will help to calm your pet's upset stomach and reduce his motion sickness symptoms.
Make sure that you take short trips at first – maybe just a few miles. Take frequent breaks during longer rides and make sure you crack the windows to ensure your pup can get fresh air. Test these home remedies to see which works the best for your dog, and be patient. In time, hopefully your dog will get used to going for rides in the car.
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