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Dog Car Sickness: How to Prevent & Cure It

While you might think that motion sickness and car sickness is a problem only humans encounter, sadly, this isn’t the case. That’s right, even our furry companions can get car sick from time to time, which can make us feel even more guilty because they probably didn’t want to take the trip in the first place.

If you’ve noticed that your dog has been experiencing motion sickness in car journeys recently, or you’re worried that she might, we have compiled everything you need to know right here.

How do I know if my puppy is feeling car sick?

When humans start to feel car sick, the signs are usually pretty obvious. While you might not see a dog going pale, there will be some tell-tale signs that you can pick up on to ensure you can act swiftly.

Some of these include:

  • Whining and pacing around the vehicle
  • Drooling excessively
  • Constant licking of lips
  • Periods of lethargy or inactivity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

You’ll notice that some of these signs contradict each other, for example, lethargy and pacing around. It’s important to remember that every dog will behave differently, so keep in mind what “normal” behaviour is for your pooch in particular, and if they start acting differently, then you’ll know something is up.

Puppy dog with nose between it's paws

How can I prevent my puppy from being sick?

Part of what can cause car sickness in dogs is travel-related anxiety. So if you can help your pooch overcome their issues, you might be able to prevent them from being sick at all.
In order to help your dog overcome her anxiety, we would first recommend that, before any long haul trip, you first take her out on a series of short trips to get her used to being in the car.

Start by simply placing your dog in the car, starting the engine and staying put for a few minutes. This will give her time to transition into travel mode without actually moving first.
Once you’ve done that, you can try driving around your local area. If your dog starts to look unwell, it’s best to be on the safe side and return home immediately.
Then, when you think she’s good and ready, you can start to prepare for a longer journey the following day. By this time, your companion should feel better acquainted with the car, which will help minimise some of that anxiety.

How can I treat my puppy’s car sickness?

If your dog starts to look like they’re experiencing motion sickness, the best thing to do is find the first safe place to pull over and let them rest for a little while. Ideally, if you were near a service station, you could park up there and take your pooch for some fresh air. This would be a surefire way to get them feeling better quickly.
Another tip would be to wind the windows down ever so slightly whilst travelling. This should help balance the air pressure in the car with the air pressure outside and help to reduce some of your travel buddy’s discomfort.

Brown puppy looking sad

My puppy has been sick, what is the best way to clean my car?

If your dog has vomited in the car, it’s important that you don’t punish them for it. While it can be unpleasant and frustrating to deal with, this isn’t something they wanted to happen, so try and be mindful of this when handling the situation.

When it comes to actually cleaning the sick, like any sort of stain, the quicker you act, the more effective your cleaning will be. We would recommend carrying some resealable plastic bags in your car, this means that you can quickly scoop up and seal the more solid bits with some paper towels or napkins, and the rest you can handle by blotting with a disinfectant wipe.

Tyres Northampton is the region’s biggest supplier of tyres and exhausts. We deal with both performance and everyday vehicles, so no matter what you need, just give us a call and a member of our team will be able to offer assistance.

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