Are you planning a weekend getaway? Or maybe some holidays for all family? Taking your dog with you can be a bit stressful if your furry friend gets dizzy every time he climbs in the car. How can we prevent a dog from getting dizzy in the car? And how can we help dizzy dogs to feel better? We have the answers.
Dizzy dogs: the reasons
Ok, it's obvious that dizzy dogs get sick in cars, but why? Motion sickness is a common problem, mostly in younger dogs than in adults.
In the case of puppies, the cause could be a not 100% developed balance. Remember that the balance depends on some parts of the inner ear and a puppy needs time to fully developed it. That's why a puppy with motion sickness usually outgrow this discomfort for the time he's around 1 year.
Another of the most common causes is that your dog is not used to getting into the car, and that lack of habit makes him dizzy every time he travels. Also, if you only take him "for a ride" in the car to go to the vet, he can associate the experience with a stressful situation.
But, of course, there are many other reasons. Eating just before leaving increases the chances that your dog will get dizzy in the car, the same as if he goes up in a state of alteration or nervousness.
How can I tell if my dog is getting motion sickness?
Unlike humans, dogs do not turn pale. However, you can tell that he is beginning to feel bad because he is starting to whining and pacing and there is a large presence of drooling.
Other common symptoms are licking lips, lethargy or inactivity, diarrhea, and vomiting.
8 ways to prevent that a dog to get dizzy in the car
There are different ways to prevent your four-legged friend from getting sick in the car. Let's look at some ideas.
1. Condition your car so that your dog travels comfortably and safely
Fixing your car so that your dog travels safely can take time and a significant outlay of money, but just as you buy car seats for children, every dog should have a safe space in the car to travel.
Opting for a carrier or a dog safety harness ensures that your dog travels safely, both for him and for you. Thus, if he becomes anxious he will not cause accidents or hurt himself.
2. Expose your dog to short walks
If your dog is not used to the car, do not go on a trip for hours. Start with short car rides of a couple of minutes and progressively increase the travel time as you see that he gets used to the situation.
3. Help your dog overcome anxiety
Your dog senses your nervousness. Therefore, you must maintain calm behavior at all times. Speak to him softly, pet him, and explain everything that is going to happen. If you see that your dog is overly anxious, start the process over again and do not begin the journey until he is in a relaxed state.
4. Avoid feeding him before traveling
An empty stomach can help keep your dog away from nausea. Therefore, the ideal is that your furry friend eats several hours before the trip. Of course, remember always to have fresh water for him.
5. The ideal temperature
Excessive heat can be the trigger for discomfort. Keep the car cool and quiet. Low volume classical music and a cool temperature can help prevent your dog to get dizzy in the car.
6. The smell of home
Another way to help your puppy relax is to place a blanket or t-shirt with the scent of home on his seat.
7. Positive associations
As we told you before, if your dog associates the car with vaccinations, likely, he will not enjoy a car ride. Offer him a toy on the go to make the car experience fun!
8. Consult with your trusted vet
Some substances on the market can help your dog relax as well as anti-nausea medications, but you should consult with your vet about the advisability of giving them to your companion.
Dizzy dogs: what to do when my dog is already dizzy?
If you notice one or more of the symptoms mentioned above in your dog, do not hesitate and stop the car as soon as you have the opportunity.
Let him get out of it and "step on solid ground." Let him breathe fresh air and drink water. Help him calm down, explain that you must continue the journey, and try again.
Dizzy dogs often need time to get used to traveling by car without feeling bad. With patience, they will succeed.