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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16729
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Can a dog with motion sickness get over it? not afraid of

Customer Question

can a dog with motion sickness get over it? not afraid of car - jumps rght in, tail wagging. sick even in short trips.have Dramamine for long trips.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear about your pup's motion sickness.

Dogs are prone to car sickness as their sense of balance is much better than ours and as such they are easily affected by the motion of cars or boats. Some dogs do outgrow it, but if she is 2 years of age she likely isn't one of those.

Even though she doesn't seem anxious now we don't want her to associate the car with negative things so try to keep trips short and as positive as possible. Some dogs get stressed if the only places they go are negative, such as a veterinary clinic. By making the destination enjoyable she may feel less stressed/excited, so less likely to move around. Dogs that lay quietly are less likely to get sick.

You can give Gravol also known as Dramamine (dimenhydranate) for carsickness. The dose is 4mg to 8mg per pound of body weight. Give it an hour two before travel. It will last about 8 hours. Side effects are mild sleepiness and dry mouth. I see this is something that you are already doing. I would continue to do so to try to lessen the chances of her associating the car with nausea and developing anxiety.

Or you can try Benadryl (diphenhydramine) at 1mg per pound of body weight orally. Side effects are sedation and dry mouth as well. It should be given an hour or two before travel

I do recommend that she not eat for 8 hours before travel if the car-ride will be long. Ice cubes can help to quell nausea too and keep her hydrated.

I also recommend keeping a window cracked as fresh air seems to help too.

Some dogs do better if they cannot see out of the car, the moving landscape seems to make them dizzier and thus more nauseous. Try and get her to lay down in the car.

If this doesn't work discuss a medication called Cerenia (maropitant) with your veterinarian. It works very well and lasts at least 8 to 12 hours.

If you believe any of this is all anxiety related, although it doesn't seem likely with her, you can try products such DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) which is a synthetic version of a calming pheromone nursing bitches produce. It comes in a spray as well as impregnated collars. Another option is a calming homeopathic remedy called Bach's Rescue Remedy. It can be used along with DAP. See this link for further information:

If she is young, less than two then she may indeed outgrow this, so continue to keep things positive and see what happens.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
BACHFLOWER SITE is closed or not accessible - any other suggestions?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

My apologies about the link, please try this one instead:

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you. interesting. have heard about this. don't understand how 2 drops in a water bowl that he may or may not drink out of helps on a spontantrip to the park.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
helps on a spontaneous trip to a park in the morning
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

It's something that you could mix with a little broth to get him to drink an hour or so before the trip.

Rescue Remedy drops are used more for consistent issues, or before a planned event, not spontaneous activities.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry I cannot help with a phone call. The states/province I am licensed in do not allow me to communicate via phone calls, unless I have previously physically examined a pet. I could lose my license for doing so. I would be happy to answer any further questions you have via our chat conversation or you can request a phone call from another expert.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
have decided to do a few short trips several times a week with a stop half way to walk/explore (like spca dog park). have yorkie who is thrilled and excited and delirious to go in the car. hoping it rubs off.. am afraid thisis my last dog - will be 90 when he is 15. really want a daily companion. I am a large dog person: irish wolfhounds, Dobermans, std poodles, rescue greyhoiunds. Can no long lift a possibly injured older big dog. so downsized ( yorkie is a rehome, 8 yrs). really want to fix/solve this. This havanese is smart, outgoing, happy, independent, with kind of a terrior edge. I use interactive toys and tricks to keep him occupied and exercised. he jumps on the table to help me teach my guitar students. good with visiting dogs. oppps sorry if this is too long.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry I missed your follow up.

I think that short trips to fun places are always a good idea. Even if this is purely physical keeping things positive is never a bad idea. Having a buddy that loves the car is a good idea too. Distraction is a powerful tool, and may just work to at least help him forget he doesn't feel so great.

I am glad that you were open to a small dog adoption. I too am a big dog person for the most part, but I realize that some day both my physical abilities and the place I live may dictate that I have a small dog. Some small dogs have "big dog" personalities so I will try not to discriminate.

Best of luck to you and your pup, please let me know how things go for him, thanks, ***** *****