Did you know that like us humans, your dog can suffer from motion sickness? It can happen in a car, boat or plane and may cause your dog to feel dizzy and nauseous.
You might notice them looking listless or uneasy, licking their lips or drooling, whining, or it can even develop into vomiting or diarrhoea…and a sick pooch does not make for a happy traveling companion.
Fortunately motion sickness tends to stop when the vehicle stops moving and there are some ways to help prepare your dog for travelling on their family vacation.
It’s important to condition your dog by taking slow, short and frequent trips in the vehicle and gradually increasing length of the ride. Particularly, if they have negative associations with the car, like frequent trips to the vet. Try to break this up with other fun outings and adventures in your car to help develop more positive associations with car travel.
If they do have a bad association with the car it helps to give them a special toy that they like just for car trips.
Make them comfortable and facing forward – a suitable car harness will help keep them safe and secure in this position.
Give them some fresh air with a window lowered to help balance the air pressure and keep the car airy and cool.
Don’t feed them too much before the trip, ensure they have plenty of water and stops to stretch the legs and go to the toilet.
If you have a small dog (like Darcy) then using a dog car booster seat to help them sit up and see the road ahead, and also getting them up high and closer to some fresh air from an opened window, could also assist.
Don’t forget to check on the car travel regulations in the state you will be travelling in and our other car safety travel tips for dogs.
Now that you have some advice on preparing your dog for a family holiday car trip, you can book your dog-friendly accommodation with Take Your Pet.
About the Author: Lara Shannon is co-Host of Pooches at Play and has completed a Certificate III in Dog Behaviour & Training with the National Dog Trainers Federation. Lara also runs her own dog walking, dog minding and dog training business in Melbourne’s Bayside area.