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Motion Sickness in Dogs



Dogs, like humans, can experience motion sickness because of the conflict between their inner ear (which senses motion) and their eyes (which do not see the motion they are experiencing). The inner ear is responsible for maintaining balance and spatial orientation, and when it senses motion that the eyes do not see, it can cause confusion in the brain and lead to symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. Additionally, the dog's inner ear also senses rotation and acceleration, that's why dogs can experience motion sickness while riding in a car, boat, or plane.




Twelve (12) ways to help a dog overcome car sickness:


  • Gradual exposure: Start by taking your dog on short car rides, gradually increasing the duration and distance over time.


  • Provide fresh air: Keep the windows cracked open to allow fresh air to circulate in the car.


  • Avoid feeding before travel: Don't feed your dog for several hours before a car ride, to reduce the chances of them getting sick.


  • Keep the dog entertained: Distracting your dog with toys or games can help keep their mind off the motion of the car.


  • Medication: Your vet may recommend an over-the-counter or prescription medication to help reduce motion sickness symptoms.


  • Car conditioning: Using a synthetic pheromone spray or plug-in diffuser in the car to help calm your dog before, during and after the ride.


  • Training: Teaching your dog to associate car rides with positive experiences, like going to the park or getting treats, can help reduce their anxiety and motion sickness symptoms.


  • Seat belt harness: Using a seat belt harness to secure your dog in the car can help them feel more stable and secure during the ride.


  • Special beds: Providing your dog with a comfortable, elevated bed in the car can help them feel more secure and reduce motion sickness symptoms.


  • Calming music: Playing calming music in the car can help to soothe your dog and reduce their anxiety.


  • Essential oils: Some essential oils, such as ginger, peppermint, and lavender, are thought to help reduce nausea and motion sickness symptoms. You can use a diffuser or put a few drops of oil on a bandana for your dog to smell.


  • Get your dog to the vet: Your dog may have an underlying health condition that is causing the motion sickness, your vet can help to rule out any underlying medical issues and provide additional recommendations.


It's important to note that what works for one dog may not work for another. It may take some trial and error to find the best solution for your dog. Be sure to consult with your vet to determine the best course of action for your dog. And some dogs may be more prone to motion sickness than others, and in some cases, the best solution may be to avoid car rides altogether. Consult with your vet to determine the best course of action for your dog.



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