Make Your Pet Comfortable When Traveling – Part 2: The Nervous Traveler
Not all dogs that appear nervous when they get in a car, feel that way out of fear or anxiety. Some dogs and cats actually get nauseous from motion sickness. Determining the cause of your pet’s nervousness can make a big difference is how you handle the problem. What’s important to remember is that in the end; it is possible to turn the nervous traveler into a relaxed and happy traveler.
Not all dogs that act nervous when they get into a car, feel that way out of fear or anxiety resulting from a traumatic experience. It could be something as simple as having an accident in the car once before and the driver scolded the animal. Such an event can cause anxiety. Something more serious like a crash could also be the culprit. If the nervousness is from fear and anxiety, the animal can be retrained to accept the ride as a good thing. But it does take time and patience to help the animal.
On the other hand, some dogs and cats actually get nauseous from motion sickness. As a result of the sickness they associate the car ride with feeling ill. Some recognizable signs of motion sickness include the obvious reactions such as:
Dogs or cats that suffer from motion sickness will most likely require medication to travel comfortably. Consult with your veterinarian about an anti-nausea medication such as Cerenia (maropitant) which is one of the best on the market since it works on the nausea center of the brain. You can get an injection for 24 hour relief or tablets if your journey will require more than one day of travel.
You may also wish to consider alternative treatments such as Rescue Remedy which some people think acts like the equivalent of a small alcoholic drink to calm the nerves. Or the use of a pheromone collar such as an Adaptil which will give off soothing hormones to help reduce anxiety.
The one option you should always avoid, without first consulting your vet, is to assume a human over-the-counter medication will work. Dogs metabolize drugs differently so there is good possibility human drugs won’t be effective. Plus these drugs are not licensed for use in animals so the side effects are unknown. Some human drugs can be deadly to animals.
If you are not sure if you dog will get sick from their nervousness, it’s a good idea to be prepared for it anyway. You can make the trip easier on everyone, yourself included since you will be the one cleaning any messes, with a few proactive moves prior to the trip, such as:
During your travels you can also help reduce the anxiety or nervousness by following a few simple tips such as:
Most of all, when you arrive at your destination, do what you must to reassure your dog he has been a good boy. Try to end the journey with a happy ending. You can use treats, one on one play time, a game of fetch or a nice long walk. Whatever it is that will make your dog happy. Treat him to something that offers pleasure to him so he associates the travel as a good and rewarding event.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As an avid animal lover it is one of my goals to help educate pet owners about the importance of responsible pet ownership and properly protecting your pet during traveling. At www.dogcarboosterseat.com it is our goal to provide a wide selection of car seats that can provide the safety needed to ensure safe travels. Check out our wide variety of styles and colors of dog car booster, console and lookout seats today. All seats ship free! If you have questions about this subject or any other articles or blogs I have published, please feel free to use the Contact Us page on our website.