One of the most common and frustrating problems for canine guardians is when pets have difficulty traveling in the car. While many pets may enjoy and look forward to rides in the car, others become extremely anxious, which may lead to nausea and vomiting. There are several tips that I can recommend to canine guardians to help with this frustrating issue.
First, it is very important to make sure that pets are secure during rides in the car. For smaller pets that may mean a carrier, while in other pets it is helpful to use special car seats. Many nervous dogs also respond to cracking the window open to allow access to the open air, which can be very calming in some canines. Finally there are several medical options that may reduce anxiety and/or nausea/vomiting associated with car trips.
In some cases, over the counter Benadryl or Dramamine/meclizine can help sedate the dog, as well as having an anti-vomiting effect. In recent years, the drug Cerenia has proven quite effective in minimizing vomiting in many pets. Finally there are several holistic options to help with this problem naturally. The combination flower essence known as Be Serene, as well as the amino acid L-Theanine, may have wonderful effects in calming an overactive nervous system. The homeopathic remedy Cocculus, which is readily available from health food stores, also has worked wonders in both people and animals with motion sickness, vertigo, and/or anxiety associated with travel.
Whenever utilizing any of these natural or traditional treatment options, it is probably best to give them 30-60 minutes before estimated time of travel in the vehicle. Taking pets on brief car rides to get them used to traveling in the car can also get them desensitized to stress-induced nausea, and thus making travel easier and more pleasant for both animal guardian and pet.