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Discussion Starter #1
Any tips on car sickness? I have taken Riggs on several short rides. He is 4 months old. I haven't tried dramamine yet, but the vet said I could. Is it an age thing, will he grow out of it? I don't mind trying the dramamine but would really like to have him just get use to it. I want to take him places but he pukes everytime no matter how short a ride it is.
 

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Can you tell why he gets sick? If it might be fear based you can do many exercises without the car even moving in your driveway to get him enjoying the car and desensitized.
 

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He loves to go, no issues there. If the road it s straight he doesn't get sick as quick, but always gets sick. He loves to go that is why I keep trying.
 

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He will most likely grow out of it. Both of my spoos got carsick as puppies, but by 8 mos. old for Maizie and about 10 mos. to a year old for Frosty, they grew out of it. Maizie would drool and only occasionally vomit, and was not happy about going in the car. Frosty didn't drool, would vomit almost every ride, and was still happy to go in the car. Go figure! For short rides around town, we just dealt with the sickness, but for long trips we had to take, I gave them Cerenia, which works beautifully. It is a real bummer to see them get sick, but most do outgrow it :)
 

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Sophy suffered from car sickness. With her it was a combination of the motion making her ill, and the expectation of nausea making her fearful, which made her sick even before the car started. Some things that might help are:
Ginger, either as tablets or ginger nut biscuits/cookies.
Not feeding for an hour before the trip.
Making sure the puppy is secured - crate or harness - in the middle of the car (ie the back seat).
Driving very carefully, very smoothly, avoiding sudden stops, starts, cornering, etc. I still tend to go the long way round using straighter roads when Sophy is with me - she is nearly 10, but bad driving still makes her sick. Build up the journeys very gradually.
 
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I find bonamine works much better than dramamine. I wouldnt hesitate to give him a partial dose. The more he throws up in the car the more he will get anxious about throwing up in the car. So stopping it before hand will help him get over it. Leia didnt stop until she was 2. no matter the length of the trip she threw up and drooled until I gave her the bonamine and once she got comfprtable in the car and felt secure in the fact she wouldnt vomit she finally settled down. She just turned 2 in August and her first trip with out medication was Labor day weekend and she was fine for the 3 hour trip. Also we used rescue remedy we rubbed it into her ears and gave it orally as well as the bonamine.
 

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I found out today he is anxious car sickness. He started drooling before I even started the car. So I will have to try to pre medicate hi. to get him over it. wish me luck!
 

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I found out today he is anxious car sickness. He started drooling before I even started the car. So I will have to try to pre medicate hi. to get him over it. wish me luck!
If you know you will be going in the car give a dose the night before and one first thing in the morning. This worked best for Leia. I hate to hear of anyone else going through this. If you do a search of my posts you can see I went through hell and back trying everything we could think of to help her and this is all that helped.
 

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It's pretty common for puppies and most grow out of it so hopefully Riggs will grow out of it.

How do you have Riggs secured in the car?

When I got my minipoo Babykins she was almost a year old and had car sickness. I found safely securing her in the car eliminated the problem. I originally had a harness which had a tether attached to the seat belt. It allowed her to stand up and gave her far to much freedom to move around.

I did some research and found Subaru with Center for Pet Safety - and was shocked that there are very few ways to safely transport your dog. Based on their research I purchased the Sleepypod harness for Babykins. Game changer. She has never thrown up in the car since she started to wear the Sleepypod. The car seat buckle goes through the harness and over the dogs back. She can sit up or lay down (she lays down) and can move around the seat. But she is tied closely to the car seat which means she's not being bounced around and she can be pushed off the car seat onto the floor if I stop suddenly.

This harness is expensive and fits pretty closely so I'm not sure if it's a good purchase for a growing puppy. But perhaps you can look at how it works and find something similar. You might find this helps.

https://www.centerforpetsafety.org/
 

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Oops a typo

“But she is tied closely to the car seat which means she's not being bounced around and she can be pushed off the car seat onto the floor if I stop suddenly“

Correction- she can’t be pushed off the seat. Just like when we are seat belted to the car seat, we move with the car seat, so do dogs belted in with the sleepypod harness. Plus dogs can’t visit the driver or jump into another part of the car. They have just enough range of motion to be comfortable but not enough to get into trouble.
 
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As kontiki said you can do all sorts of things near and getting into the car in the driveway, turning the car on but not moving and so forth to desensitize your pup to worrying in the car. I also recommend a good secure system to keep your dog safe and to keep your driving safe and focused.


Lily and Peeves both had issues with being in the car as pups, but with some support for their concerns and time they both outgrew it.
 
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Following. Beau gets sick. I do know cerina helps.

He is 8, but he has a bad tummy (pancreatitis). It depends on the dog if they will grow out of it.
 

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I thought I'd try and revive this thread. We brought home our standard pup at 11 weeks, just a week ago. The drive home was 4-hours, and my teenager sat with her partly in his lap. She was wearing a sleepypod harness. She threw up 6 times, mostly in the first 45 minutes. She starts to drool as soon as she gets in the car, so much that i started putting a bandanna on her so she doesn't get soaked. I cover the seat with a towel and newspapers. She throws up at least once on most trips, can be anytime from 10 minutes in, to a half-hour or more. Or, like today, she's fine going one way, and on the way home she almost made it the whole way...almost.

We're trying to desensitize her by enticing her to stand next to the car and giving her high-value treats. At first she refused to go near the car, but within 24 hours, I got her to stay for treats while I opened the car door. But a few hours later, I had to drive her somewhere even though she didn't want to get in the car, and I feel like it set back the whole training process. I think if it's really carsickness and not anxiety, desensitizing is not going to make it go away because i may persuade her to get in the car with treats, but then if she gets sick anyway, it's back to the beginning. I hate for her to be miserable in the car. If anyone has additional training tips for this, I'd appreciate it!

Although I dislike the idea of giving her drugs, i'm wondering if anyone has experience with Cerenia--does that work? How is it different from Dramamine?

TIA!
 

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Sophy was very similar, suffering from actual sickness as well as anxiety. The desensitisation definitely helped, combined with driving very carefully, and she did get better as she got older. An enclosed crate helps her feel safe - I have noticed that if ever we are forced to travel in a car without it she prefers to hide under a blanket, so she seems to dislike seeing the world whizz by. She will still be sick if I drive too fast on twisty roads, and after one memorable trip when my sister was driving Sophy refused to get back in the car - she still checks the driver's seat if my sister is with me!
 
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Mustlovedogs, I would speak to your vet about medication. There’s an over the counter drug and a prescription which is more effective. If I were you, I would use whichever was more effective.

You are doing everything right that you can without medication and unfortunately it’s not working

Your puppy is still very young and it’s not unusual for a puppy to have car sickness. At this early stage you don’t want to keep rehearsing over and over again your dog getting sick in the car. No wonder she has a fear of the car and you don’t want this fear to continue to build till it’s out of control. You want to start rehearsing mostly good things happen with car rides..... going to puppy class, going to the park, picking up kids from school etc. Try to avoid making every car ride unpleasant for your dog with being sick.

Hopefully you won’t need to use medication for long and your dog will outgrow car sickness.
 
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If he is anxious you can do some exercises to help him get over it. He's probably drooling because he has an expectation that he will be sick. So it could be both. I would have him spend some time in the car while it's running but not moving, so he can stop feeling like he'll be sick every time he's in the car.
 

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I will keep doing the very gradual desensitizing while i figure out a medication. I'm glad to hear that both of those things can help. We do go to places she likes, eg, puppy class (ironically she did not throw up to/from the vet!), and visiting my parents. In fact those are the main things we've done, since her playdates come to our house. I feel like the throwing up itself is worse than it was at first (i mean, bigger...).

I did notice a difference depending on driving styles--so funny that Sophy checks to make sure you're driving, fjm! One of my kids drove to an outing yesterday, and Cleo drooled but didn't throw up. On the way back the other kid drove, and i noticed he took the turns somewhat faster until i told him to slow it down. Cleo would be half in my lap lying down, and when the car turned a corner, she'd sit up suddenly. At the end of that drive was when she got sick. So it definitely helps to drive more slowly!

I am wondering about a crate, but when i tested one in my car, it didn't sit flat enough and it would be hard to have it on the seat where one of us could be next to her. Maybe giving her the option of being wrapped in a towel or a blanket would help though--or, i wonder if she'd want to be on the floor rather than on the seat? then she wouldn't see out.
 

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I'm glad to hear Cerenia worked for you, MF! Also somewhat comforted to know that this seems to be a pretty common problem. It's so frustrating b/c i want to take her everywhere! (well, within reason, pre-rabies shot)
 
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