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Car Sickness in Dogs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Unhappy Car Sickness in Dogs

    Here's some suggestions if your dog gets car sick.

    Article By David The Dogman

    The first thing to realize when dealing with car sickness is that in 95
    percent of cases it is stress related and not motion related.

    The most
    powerful memory imprint of any dogís brain is probably the car ride when it
    was taken away from all it ever new to be safe and secure, its litter mates
    and its mother. The most traumatic memory a young dog has is in relation to
    a ride in a car. So itís not surprising that subsequent rides in a car
    should evoke very strong mental and subsequent physical trauma.

    The solution is very simple. If the dog has been sick in a car then estimate
    how long it was in the car before it was sick, say 20 minutes? Find a park
    about 5-10 minutes from home, preferably one just around the corner, even
    one within walking distance that the dog has been to beforeÖ. but this
    time drive there.

    Ideally have someone else in the car too, to soothe the
    dog and distract him from the ride. Keep him happy all the way to the park.
    When at the park do all the enjoyable things that the dog loves, fetch the
    ball, chase the Frisbee, frolic with dad, etc. The stay at the park doesnít
    need to be that longÖ. just as enjoyable as possible. Then drive the dog
    home soothing him all the way again and when home make just as much fuss of
    the dog as you did at the park. Finish the session with his meal or a treat
    if time and conditions permit.

    This exercise is repeated several times a day or daily if time is limited.
    Once the dog is enthusiastic to go in the car then the length of the trip is
    lengthened slightly to 10-15 minutes etc. Once you can drive with the dog
    for 30 minutes with no signs of stress or anxiety then you have the problem
    pretty much licked. Some dogs may take a little longer than others.

    The idea
    is for as many happy repetitions as possible to overwrite the initial mental
    imprint the dog has from its youth (or whatever other event caused the
    initial trauma).

    I have had a (clientís) dog that suffered from chronic carsickness totally
    Ďcuredí (if that is the right term) in 3 days. That was with five car trips
    per day over the three-day period. The owners were impressed (even if I say
    so myself) and I am still getting referrals from them as a result.

    This method has always worked, but I have heard of one dog that was sick due
    to some kind of balance problems and this method didnít work for it. A trip
    to the vet after the method failed brought the problem to the surface. But
    if it only works for 95 percent of the dogs itís used on then I think itís
    quite successful!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Thanks for this informative post! I had never considered that dogs might suffer from carsickness because everyone I know seems to drive their dogs around without any problems. I love seeing dogs in people's cars, especially when they get to stick their head out the window and let their ears and tongue hang out in the wind. It's fun for people too

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