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March 4, 2009 7:11 PM   Subscribe

What can we do to help our constantly car sick dog?

My girlfriend and I recently added a dog (he's still a puppy) to our family, and we want him to go everywhere with us. The problem is, if the car ride is longer than two minutes, he gets sick and throws up. We have tried everything: front seat, back seat, front floor, back floor, on our laps, full stomach, empty stomach, half-full stomach, pottying before we leave (us and the dog). Nothing seems to quell his nausea. He is a five-month old miniature Australian Shepherd. Anyone have experience with this? Advice on tactics we have not tried?
posted by AlliKat75 to Pets & Animals (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The boys at CarTalk have some advice.
posted by greatgefilte at 7:15 PM on March 4, 2009

Poor puppy. Maybe he just needs to grow out of it? But there are some ideas here.

Also, is he able to actually see out of the window? That might help him a little, because right now it's a lot like being inside a big metal box that vibrates all over the place for no real reason.
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:17 PM on March 4, 2009

Our car sick dog is fine if we travel in the hours of darkness probably because she can't see outside. She also started off bad but really just drools lots if we travel in the daytime now. Not great but better than the vomiting within 2 minutes of starting that she used to manage. Making the footwell in the back a cosy place for her also helped as she likes to nest there surrounded by stuff on all sides.
posted by merocet at 7:36 PM on March 4, 2009

I went through this with my dog (a Bichon/Poodle mix) when she was a puppy. My vet advised Benadryl before longer trips, which helped somewhat. Dosage is based on weight, so maybe ask your vet if that would be appropriate for your dog and what the proper dose would be. There is hope though -- my dog outgrew it by the time she was a year old (maybe sooner, I dont recall exactly) and she's fine in the car now.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 7:44 PM on March 4, 2009

Benedryl! Dog-owner's best friend.
posted by answergrape at 7:48 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Gravol is another option.
posted by orange swan at 8:02 PM on March 4, 2009

Stop taking him for car rides?
posted by torquemaniac at 8:17 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you're going on a longer trip, ask your vet about acepromazine. It's a mild tranquilizer, very safe, and one of its benefits is that it fights car sickness. For shorter trips, well, you may be stuck. You may just have a dog that doesn't travel well.
posted by azpenguin at 8:40 PM on March 4, 2009

Our dog grew out of it, but it took about two years. In the meantime, it was gross (slobber, barf, mixed with long white fur) and a bit of a drag, because we couldn't really take the dog with us.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:51 PM on March 4, 2009

My vet has me give my Frenchie a half a regular Dramamine about 30min before we go on car rides. I just stuff it in a piece of cheese and she snarfs it down without a problem. Maisy weighs about 20lbs, to give you a point of reference.

Fortunately, she's grown out of the nausea quite a bit and she is just frightened more than sick at this point. The other two dopey dogs just kind of look out the window while she prefers to sit on the the floor and look somewhat panicked until we get to our destination. At least she's not barfing all over the place...
posted by dancinglamb at 9:01 PM on March 4, 2009

Our 5 month-old puppy just recently started not puking in the car on trips (thank dog!). At first we thought it was motion sickness so we put her in a soft crate in the backseat - no dice. Then we didn't feed her a few hours before going in the car - still pukey. I got her some homeopathic liquid and she still found a way. The day she puked three times in a 1-hour car trip was the day that I couldn't take it anymore. After reading more about it and talking to some dog trainers, we realized that she was super scared and the drooling and puking was a manifestation of her fear. Poor doggers!

We were told to help her associate being in the car with having a good time. This involved feeding her in the backseat or playing with her with a toy while the car was turned off. Once she got used to that we'd put her in the car while it was turned on and parked in the driveway. Once she got used to that, we would put her in the car while moving. See a pattern? Over the last two months it's taken a lot of patience, food and treats but the lack of vomit has been worth it. We were super happy the day she jumped into the backseat without much coaxing. I can now take her in the car on short trips by myself. She still drools a little bit and looks at me like I'm slowly killing her however there's no puke and all is good.
posted by KathyK at 6:28 AM on March 5, 2009

Nthing others who suggest the pup might grow out of it, and Dramamine is fine for longer rides, but if you want something that'll just help settle his stomach for shorter jaunts, give him some ginger snaps! There are plenty of kinds designed specifically for dogs, but human ones have worked really well too. Our pup had a lot of car sickness that he eventually grew out of of, but during the adjustment period ginger snaps really helped.
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:32 AM on March 5, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the tips everyone. We will put some of these plans into action. Thanks.
posted by AlliKat75 at 8:01 AM on March 5, 2009

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