Sickness or Stress?
With some dogs, travel sickness relates to stress, rather than just the motion of the car.
It is thought that this goes back to the dogs first journey being the one that takes it away from all it ever knew to be safe and secure, namely its litter mates and mother.
Signs of this can be not wanting to get into the car, excessive drooling, yawning, whining and sickness.
Using a Crate in the Car
We can help by making the journey comfortable and letting the dog feel secure. Using a crate is an ideal way to do this.
Sometimes it can help to cover the crate, so the dog doesn’t see things whizzing past the window, whilst other dogs may take comfort in seeing you.
Having a window open slightly for fresh air can help too, it helps me when I’m traveling!! Children often feel sick looking out the side windows but not the front, the same can happen to dogs.
Position in the Car
My girl Vodka has always preferred travelling in the footwell to being in the boot of the car. It might be worth experimenting with where the dog travels within the vehicle.
Remedies to Help
There are some good homeopathic treatments available, to help with this. These remedies contain ingredients that help with stressful situations, such as travelling, the vets, the groomers, fireworks, thunder storms or even going to a show or an exciting training session.
These can also be used for dogs that suffer separation anxiety. Here are some suggestions that clients I’ve worked with have found helpful with their own dogs.
Dorwest Veterinary Scullcap & Valerian tablets; Recommended for anxiety, nervousness, excitability and travel sickness.
Dorwest Digestive Tablets; This supplement contains calming herbs such as ginger and valerian, rhubarb and peppermint to aid digestion and slippery elm to soothe and comfort.
Bach Flower Rescue Remedy for Dogs; Again recommended for stressful situations.
Pet Remedy; This comes in a spray, or a plug in diffuser. So you could use the diffuser at home for calmness, whilst a spray into the crate for travel. This can also be sprayed onto you trouser leg for training, to relax the dog.
Homeopet.co.uk; Based in Long Ashton. Sell little bottles of drops, which you administer straight onto the lips/mouth of the dog, or into food. Can be dropped into the mouth whilst out and about to calm excitability or nerves, or again whilst travelling.
Cocculus indicus; This is a homeopathic remedy you can give to your dog just before getting in the car. It’s the most popular remedy for nausea from motion sickness.
Ginger biscuits/ ginger oatcakes; Not the healthiest remedy, but whilst being recommended for pregnant women to ease sickness, owners have also given a couple to dogs before a journey, with good results.
Motion Potion; Ginger root, valerian root and camomile tincture to calm pets whilst travelling.
Melatonin; This is a sedative hormonal supplement used to treat many kinds of anxiety, hyperactivity, restlessness, and other conditions in dogs. The person who recommended it suggested giving it 15-20 minutes before travelling.
If you’re a fan of essential oils, you may want to explore how they might be able to help your dog. Check out the My Animal Matters website for more information.
“The components of Tellington Touch are: Body work called Tellington TTouch. The circular TTouches can reduce fear and pain, enhance cellular function and communication and support the healing potential of the body. Ground exercises called The Playground for Higher Learning.” from the Tellington Ttouch Website.
Using a Ttouch Wrap or T-shirt can help make some dogs feel more comfortable when travelling in the car.