Dog Travel Sickness

Dog travel sickness often occurs in certain dogs due to the changes in the pressure in the inner ear, and the fact that the dog is not able to see the horizon. Some dogs may get used to travel sickness, while others may need tranquilizers to be able to travel without problems.

Causes of Travel Sickness in Canines

Travel sickness occurs in certain dogs that travel by car, boat or plane. Dogs may get carsick or airsick just like humans. Some possible causes of travel sickness may include:

  • Changes in the inner ear pressure
  • The dog cannot see the horizon
  • The dog may be stressed due to the trip (which may be due to the fact that you have made preparations and the dog feels the agitation)
  • The fact that the dog is not familiar with the new scenery

There are dogs that may not suffer from travel sickness, while others may be affected by any type of trip. Some dogs may feel at ease when traveling by car, but may not be comfortable with plane travel.

Symptoms of Travel Sickness

When a dog is affected by travel sickness, he will display a few symptoms such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Whining
  • The dog may be stressed and may start to chew on various items or bark
  • Lethargy

The symptoms are sometimes too subtle and difficult to distinguish, because not all dogs that suffer from travel sickness will vomit or display behavior changes.

Treating Travel Sickness

Travel sickness in dogs can be treated in most cases, and it's important to get the dog used to traveling as much as possible.

Vets will recommend having the dog in the car for short periods of time (5 to 10 minutes) and allow him to get comfortable. Some vets recommend keeping the dog in his crate during the trip, while others will say that allowing the dog to move in the car will make him more relaxed. Try to increase the time spent in the car every time you take your dog, so that in time, he will be comfortable with longer drives. Meanwhile, try to comfort your pet with kind words or a chew toy and treats, which will make the trip more enjoyable for him. He will also feel rewarded if he behaves properly.

In some cases, the dog will have to get tranquilizers to be calm during a trip. These are prescribed by the vet and shouldn't be given if the dog has a heart condition.

Preventing Travel Sickness

It is recommended not to feed your dog just before taking him on a trip. Your dog can eat two to four hours prior to the trip.

You should also make sure that there is enough fresh air in the car. Either open a window or turn on the air conditioning, because the fresh air will reduce the chances of your dog being travel sick.