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I have a two year old adult dog that tends to get motion sick when traveling via car. Short trips to the park are OK, but trips longer than 20 minutes are problematic.
Normally, we don't feed him at the morning of the trip. We've also tried drugging him, but he still manages to get motion sick or prolongs the actual vomiting events. Changing his location in the car didn't change anything as well.

Does anyone have insight into making life easier for him, and myself? I hate to see him like that.

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When taking dogs on long trips or managing a dog that is prone to motion sickness, it takes planning and can take the spontaneity out of short trips.

For an adult dog this is easier to manage, as an adult dog only needs to be fed once a day and this is usually, best done in the evening.

Do not feed the dog before the trip.

  • If you are planning a long trip, feed your dog a little earlier than usual the day before. In the afternoon, rather than the evening. Make this feed a little lighter in quantity than usual. Make sure your dog still has plenty of access to fresh water.

  • On the morning of the trip, remove your dog's water bowl an hour or so before the trip, ensure he has managed a good morning drink. This will help to reduce his stomach contents.

  • A drug free and great way to treat the motion sickness is to give your dog a junket tablet. Junket tablets are used to make milky desserts. They curdle the milk, causing it to solidify, it does this to your dog's stomach contents. This helps prevent the liquid in the stomach from refluxing into the esophagus, causing nausea.

  • This has been the gentlest way I have managed motion sickness in dogs. If this and/or other simple approaches do not work, please advise and we can make a post on how to manage more severe motion sickness.

Please note that a dog cannot be taken on a very long trip without being given regular water, in this case a dog, that needs to have water restrictions and is prone to vomiting, I would advise against taking the dog on trips that are longer than 2-3 hours.

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Dog motion sickness is more commonly seen in puppies and young dogs than in older dogs, just as carsickness afflicts more children than adults. The reason for this is because the ear structures used for balance aren’t fully developed in puppies.

If the first few car rides of your dog’s life left him nauseated, he may have been conditioned to equate travel with vomiting, even after his ears have fully matured.

Stress can also add to travel sickness, so if your dog has only ever ridden in the car to go to the vet, he may literally worry himself sick on the road. (1)

In your case it appeared that your dog became habitual to the motion sickness even into adulthood, may be because of stress etc. Its similar to humans sometimes few people became habitual to motion sickness.

The best way to prevent dog travel sickness is to make the car ride as comfortable as possible for your dog.

You can do it by giving him comfortable ride as much you can. Half opened window can be helpful to pass air through ear. Giving him company in ride rather then driver can be helpful. Try changing his seat from front to back or vise versa ( or change car if possible). If nothing helps then veterinarians help can be taken, there are some medicines for it too but which should be taken only after doctors advice.

For more tips got to (1) Dogs and Motion Sickness pets.webmd.com

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How to make a car trip interesting for your dog

  • Talk to your dog : Talking to him doesn't make you a lunatic or something, Always call his name for him to know you are talking to him, Tell him a favorite story, Talk to him about favorite moments, etc. Just try to keep him busy.

  • Take a toy along for him : You can take your dog's favorite toy for him to play with, this will keep him busy for a while instead of dieing of boredom.

  • If the journey is quite long, you can stop at a dog's inn or around a park and take for a walk for a while before continuing on the journey.

  • You could also take treat for him and give it to him little by little on the journey just to keep him busy on the journey.

  • If your dog is the type that gets entertained by watching television, you could buy a mini television in your car and tune it to a dog channel for him to enjoy himself.

The key to reduce boredom is to keep him busy throughout the whole journey

Also See : Handling a Dog’s Fear of Riding in Cars

  • Precious I don't think this answers the question, this is advice on how to occupy the dog, motion sickness is not something that can be overcome by distraction, it's a medical condition – Yvette Colomb Oct 14 '13 at 4:22
  • @Skippy If he is distracted, he could also reduce the vomiting and motion sickness – user34 Oct 14 '13 at 5:29
  • distraction does not solve the problem of motion sickness – Yvette Colomb Oct 15 '13 at 4:53
  • If he's developed a fear of riding in cars and is making himself sick with worry, or if he's been conditioned to equate travel and nausea as another answer suggested, then distraction might be just the ticket. – Amanda Jul 17 '14 at 21:53

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