Treat Dog Motion Sickness Naturally

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Dog Motion Sickness


Motion sickness is a feeling of being ill and disoriented that is associated with motion, such as in a car, a boat or an airplane.

Most dogs would die for a car ride, but for those unfortunate ones who suffer from dog motion sickness, a car ride can be a stressful event (both for the dogs and the owners!).

What Causes Motion Sickness in Dogs?

For some puppies, they may have motion sickness because their inner ears are still developing, and so they may be particularly sensitive to motion.

For some other dogs, it may be due to anxiety or nervousness, especially when it is a first-time ride for them. Some dogs are anxious because they may have had a bad previous experience, or they just dislike the idea of being confined in a small space.

No matter what the causes are, it is no fun to share a car with a dog that is constantly whining, panting, and vomiting, especially if the ride is going to be 4 hours long!

What are Signs of a Dog Having Car Sickness?

If your dog is suffering from car sickness, he will show signs such as:

What Can You Give Your Dog for Motion Sickness?

You can ask your vet for some conventional medication for motion sickness, or if you want to go natural, you may want to try using natural remedies, such as herbs, essential oils, homeopathic remedies, and Rescue Remedy.

Herbs For Dog Motion Sickness

  • CBD Hemp Oil: Hemp oil has soothing and calming properties, and can greatly relax an anxious dog. Also, hemp oil has been found to help lessen nausea and vomiting. Definitely worth a try!
  • Ginger: Ginger has long been used in Asia to treat motion sickness symptoms such as nausea and upset stomach.

    Dog Motion Sickness Natural Remedies If your dog suffers from car sickness, keep some ginger cookies in the car and feed her some when she gets on the car.

    If your dog loves cookies (who doesn't?), she will even come to associate going for a car-ride with yummy ginger cookies. She may eventually think that, "Hey! Getting on the car is not such a bad thing after all!"

    Alternatively, give your dog a ginger capsule (500mg) around 30 minutes before she gets in the car.

  • Peppermint: Another herb that is effective is peppermint. Prepare some peppermint tea and if your dog starts getting sick in the car, give her some of the tea.
  • Valerian: Valerian has excellent calming and soothing effects.

    Other herbs with calming effects include oatstraw, passion flower and chamomile.

    Here is a great herbal blend of Valerian, Oat, Passion flower and Skullcap, all of which are nerve calming - Animal Essentials Tranquility Blend (Affiliate link).

Try Essential Oils

Essential oils can also be used to settle an anxious stomach or nausea caused by car sickness.

If your dog's motion sickness is caused by nervousness, try making a calming spray using essential oils with calming properties, such as chamomile, valerian and lavender.

(Want to learn more about aromatherapy for dogs, get this ebook!)

Homeopathic Remedies Work Well Too!

The most popular homeopathic remedy for motion sickness, especially from riding in a car, is Cocculus Indicus (Indian cockle).

Another remedy to try is Argentum Nitricum. This is indicated for dogs who show symptoms of nausea and vomiting, especially if the dog is anxious or excitable.

Alternatively, use HomeoPet Travel Anxiety (Affiliate link).

This homeopathic remedy formula is especially made for dogs with car sickness. It contains Cocculus as well as Passiflora (Passion flower) and Valeriana (Valerian) and is effective in providing relief to sickness, nervousness, drooling and pacing while your dog is traveling in a vehicle.

Rescue Remedy to the Rescue

Many people have used Bach Rescue Remedy Natural Stress Relief for Pets (Affiliate link) to calm a nervous dog with good results.

My dog, Hana, loved going for a ride but she would get very nervous when she somehow figured out that we were going to visit the vet! She would start panting, hyperventilating, and of course whining.

A few drops of the Rescue Remedy on her tongue before getting on the car would, however, make her calm and quiet. Just like magic! Try it on your dog next time you go for a drive with her.

Conditioning Your Dog for Car Rides

Besides using natural remedies to alleviate symptoms of motion sickness in dogs, conditioning is useful in helping your dog to overcome motion sickness.

The basic idea is to condition your dog so that she can associate good and happy things with getting on the car and finally be relaxed and comfortable during car rides.

Here is what you can do:

  • Get in the car yourself enthusiastically and encourage your dog to jump in. Give her a lot of praise and maybe a treat when she does.
  • Sit with your dog inside the car (with the engine off), and play with her in the car. Don't forget to continue to give her praise and positive attention.
  • Repeat several times over the next few days and let your dog get used to these new surroundings.
  • Next, repeat the same thing for the next few days, but this time, run the engine. Give your dog a treat and praise her when she does not panic.
  • When your dog is totally comfortable in the car with the engine running, try backing out of the driveway and then pulling up to the house again. Remember to praise, praise, and praise!
  • Finally, try going around the block and keep going a bit further at a time until your dog is able to ride without getting sick.
  • DO NOT punish your dog for getting sick and ruining your car's upholstery!

Dog Motion Sickness Natural Remedies

C.J. Puotinen, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats (Keats Publishing, 1999).
M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Herbs for Pets (Bowtie Press, 1999).
R.H. Pitcairn, The Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats (Rodale, 2005).
D. Hamilton, Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs (North Atlantic Books, 1999).

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