This page looks at the causes of dog motion sickness and how to use natural remedies such as herbs and aromatherapy to treat dogs suffering from this problem. It also shows you how to use positive conditioning to train your dog.
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!).
But 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!
Luckily, some simple herbal remedies or essential oils can be used to relieve the symptoms of dog motion sickness, so that your car-ride with your four-legged friend can be a pleasant one for both of you!
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.
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:
Aromatherapy 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 this essential oil spray:
This spray contains the essential oils of valerian and lavender, both of which have calming effects. Handy for car trips and other situations that can cause anxiety and nervousness to dogs, such as fireworks, thunderstorms, etc.
(If you are interested in using essential oils with your dog, here is a useful eBook for you!)
Here are a couple of natural products that are effective in alleviating symptoms (e.g. drooling, nausea, anxiety, etc.) associated with motion sickness. Click on the links to find out more:
This homeopathic remedy also seems to be effective in providing relief from motion sickness. It takes care of sickness, nervousness, drooling and pacing while your dog is traveling in a vehicle.
Many people have used Bach's Rescue Remedy (a flower essence) to calm a nervous dog with good results.
My dog, Hana, loves going for a ride but she will get very nervous when she somehow figures out that we are going to visit the vet! She will start panting, hyperventilating, and of course whining.
A few drops of the Rescue Remedy on her tongue before getting on the car will, however, make her calm and quiet. It's like magic! Try it on your dog next time you go for a drive with her.
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: