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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!).
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!
If your dog is suffering from car sickness, he will show signs such as:
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.
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 - Animal Essentials Tranquility Blend (Affiliate link).
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!)
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.
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.
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: