Health

Treating Travel Anxiety and Car Sickness in Dogs

Traveling has been known to make many people sick; dogs are no different. Anxiety and carsickness happen when the dog is not familiar with their surroundings. Anxiety and carsickness can cause trauma to the family pet if not watched and treated immediately.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety and Carsickness

Knowing how the dog acts, can help its owner realize that something is wrong with them. Watch the dog for any of the following symptoms when traveling:

  • Uncontrollable urination or diarrhea
  • Becomes lethargic or seems to have no ability to move
  • Drooling more than normal
  • Dry heaving or vomiting
  • Pacing and whining
  • Becomes agitated
  • Panting uncontrollably
  • Trembling, even when talked to
  • Tail tucked beneath legs
  • Biting on their legs or tail
  • Out of control behavior

Stop the vehicle as soon as possible after these signs and symptoms start to happen. Making the animal ride for longer than needed will result in a worsening of conditions.

Preventing Anxiety and Carsickness

Training a dog is vital to keeping anxiety and carsickness away. Starting with small steps, teach the animal to enjoy the car ride. The first thing to do is, start by letting the dog roam the car while it is parked. Let the dog freely sniff and search in the back seat or the back end, this will allow for getting acclimated. Do not forget to praise the dog, this allows them to know how well they are doing. Reinforcing good behavior while sitting in the car with a treat, will help the dog realize they are doing a good thing.

After the dog has gotten used to the car, bring in a towel, bowl of food and water as well as the dog’s favorite chew toy. Bringing these items will make the dog feel safe whenever trips are taken. Once all of those items are in the car, put a dog harness on with the seat belt and go for a short drive. The first trip should be somewhere the dog can run afterward.

Backup Plan

Unfortunately, there are times when calming down the pet is hard to without some assistance. The best method to try first is the homeopathic path. Using lavender oil has a calming effect that is used on babies to make them sleep. Rubbing lavender oil on the forehead area lightly while talking to the dog calms them down quickly. More information about homeopathic remedies is located at Dog Naturally. While medicine is highly discouraged, it could be the only route left to take. Speak with a veterinarian about the way the dog acts and the options that can be taken to keep anxiety and carsickness at bay.

Remember, making the animal get into the car without letting them explore can cause problems with their system, causing sickness. Be patient with the dog and treat them as if they are a child, praising them for good behavior. Do not forget to bring along things from home to comfort them.

Having a Sick Dog is No Fun

Planning ahead can help when disaster strikes. Whether or not there is an emergency, following emergency protocol can assist in keeping vacations, drama free.

Planning for Sickness

Know where the veterinarians are located- In the event that the family pet gets sick, it is best to know where non-emergency veterinarians are. If a smartphone is available, Google Maps or Scout will come in handy.

Prepare a medical history packet- Include past medical history problems, a list of all medications, primary veterinarian’s phone number, fax number and e-mail, if available. However, do not forget to list any allergies that the dog may have.

Know where the emergency hospitals are in each city – In case of a dire emergency, know where the emergency veterinarian hospitals are located. Having a GPS enabled phone or an actual GPS within the car, will allow for pre-programming destinations. Excellent resources to help with locating veterinarians and emergency hospitals are: American Animal Hospital Association and American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

Have emergency numbers written down – This is different than the medical history records and list. Emergency numbers to have written down are: National Animal Poison Control.

The local pet shelters in case of a human emergency and backup pet sitter information within the city that the family will be staying.

 

First Aid Kit

Preparing for all kinds of sickness is the best course of action. In any first aid kit for a dog, the following should be included:

Toys- most people would not think of this, but for an animal, a soft teddy bear that they have had for years, can make them feel safe

How to Handle Certain Issues?

Seizures are one of the most common signs of eating poison. However, it could also be a symptom of: liver disease, kidney disease, blood sugar issues, anemia, stroke, encephalitis and brain cancer. The ability to understand that a seizure could be life threatening, will help in knowing what to do.

Broken Bones can be devastating to an animal. Therefore, knowing how to treat and act around the pet, can keep the pet calm and from causing further damage.

Remember, to be prepared and to know how to handle situations, this will cut down on the panic and keep the dog calm. Do not hesitate to call a veterinarian in case of an emergency and know where they are located.