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sheltiesrule

Car Sick

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My 4 month old puppy still vomits every time she travels in the car.  Even on short drives and with the windows open and hours after she has eaten anything.  I realise it is mostly related to their inner ear not being fully developed.  But am wondering if there is anything I can do to make travelling in the car a more positive experience as I don't want her to get a phobia of travelling in cars. 

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Tassie   

It'll be a matter of trial and error, depending on why she's not comfortable.  Placement in the vehicle can make a difference .. some are more comfortable on the floor in the back, others do better if they can't see out.  My preference is to have the dogs in crates of some sort.  This would be worth a try with a small cheap soft crate from Kmart, or an airline crate .. making sure the crate is secured so it can't move around or roll.

You would probably also want to try some classical conditioning, so the pup gets used to good things happening in the car … so feeding meals or favourite treats in the car .. while it's stationary in a secure yard .. maybe with all doors open.  Same thing … playing with pup in stationary car.  Once pup seems more comfortable with getting in and out of the car and spending a bit of happy time in the stationary car, you would start closing a door at a time .. upping the value of the treats.   Then tiny trips .. just along the driveway.  Maybe with someone with the pup playing or giving treats .. then pup gets permission to get out .. rinse and repeat.  The progress to short trips to places the pup kikes to go .. maybe a pet store to be spoilt, or somewhere nice for a little walk .. then back home.

 

I personally don't really buy the inner ear explanation … although I guess it may be true for some dogs.   My two current dogs, and the two before them, have flown to get here at 8 or 10 weeks.  Only one was ever sick, and that was in the car going to the airport, and then in the checkout line (that was the go in those days)  Oddly the flight and the car trip home didn't bother him.  Both my current dogs flew interstate long haul with changes of plane on the way.  One had a 300km car trip to get to the airport ..and 2 flights.  Both arrived happily and clean.

 

Before it becomes too much of a habit for your pup, I would be inclined to find a really good vet behaviourist (vet with extra qualifications) and explore some possibilities.

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I like the lots of short trips to fun places training.  So you might only just go around the corner, open the door all excited with a little treat, hop out and romp at the local park to start off with.  Then maybe drive a little further and repeat.  Try to do a couple of trips every day, lengthening each time.

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tdierikx   

A drop of peppermint oil on the collar or harness can help with car sickness... worth a try...

 

T.

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On 6/27/2019 at 2:10 PM, sheltiesrule said:

My 4 month old puppy still vomits every time she travels in the car.  Even on short drives and with the windows open and hours after she has eaten anything.  I realise it is mostly related to their inner ear not being fully developed.  But am wondering if there is anything I can do to make travelling in the car a more positive experience as I don't want her to get a phobia of travelling in cars. 

My 10 mo old Springer vomits on 20 minute drives.  However she's crazy wild about wanting to come.  I worry that some day she'll sneak into the car and get locked in. I just put her on an old blanket and let her vomit. 

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Aww poor little mite. T2 would get car sick as a puppy and intimidated by the car itself. I tried to make it as quiet as possible for him. I borrowed a puppy sized enclose crate (like the ones for planes? Where they cannot see out so it's nice and dark?) and filled it with softest of blankets, one of the heated puppy minder toys and a toy he could lick peanut butter off. I also found he was less car sick with the crate in the middle of the car (strapped in to avoid movement of course!) than towards the back or the front of the car. I think it was the most stable area for him. Yours may prefer the front to the back, but I think the stable enclosed darkened environment really helped him.

 

After awhile he started just falling asleep in the car after he was done with his distraction toy which made his trips much easier. Even now as an adult, he has self conditioned himself. Once in the car starts he curls up in his spot and falls asleep. He has no desire to stand up or look out the window or anything while the car is in movement so I expect he still feels a bit poorly about vehicles but he is not throwing up, drooly or distressed. He just...curls up and takes a nap.

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JRG   

I have a bitch who is now 11 and all her life she has hated the car.  Cries, is sick etc.  I have tried everything and just given up!

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On 8/13/2019 at 7:21 PM, sandgrubber said:

My 10 mo old Springer vomits on 20 minute drives.  However she's crazy wild about wanting to come.  I worry that some day she'll sneak into the car and get locked in. I just put her on an old blanket and let her vomit. 

it's warm enough to leave the window cracked.  My little Springer kept her nose to the window the whole way and did 50km without puking :clap:

Edited by sandgrubber
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Dogsfevr   

A number of people use the NZ product sealegs for motion sickness with great success.
I too not a believer in the ear theory ,for some dogs it could be the smell of diesel,some cars have insanely loud exhausts,dog shoved in a squashed hatch area.
I don't get car sick but if sitting in the back of a car i don't travel as well as the front & i think thats due to the motion on the side instead of watching out of the front window.
Some dogs prefer seeing out ,others prefer the window covered to not have all that action going past .Some hate the stereo on full especially in the back as the speakers boom boom .
I would start more with going no where ,into the car good dog.sit in the driveway with engine going ,then off out the car .No radio on just simple

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In my case, the problem is he would vomit if he ate something before riding the car. He would vomit all over the seat so I decided to just place him at the back and added a divider (but he can still the view). The solution I did is just to not feed him at least an hour before we go on the road. Maybe what you can do is someone in your house can pet him while inside the car. What my dog also do to enjoy inside the car is I put the windows down and he seems to be so happy when he sees so many people and trees. 

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