Natural Products to Help Your Dog Overcome Car and Motion Sickness
It’s fun to take your dog along for a ride…unless your dog gets car sick.
Kristina N. Lotz CPDT-KA |
Posted: August 27, 2014, 6 a.m. PST
If your dog becomes motion sick from a ride in the car, an otherwise enjoyable trip can become a dread for you and your best friend. These products and tips can help your dog have a more enjoyable ride.
Why Dogs Get Car Sick
Just like humans, some dogs get sick in the car due to the motion. In these cases, it’s best if you can take short, frequent trips to get your dog used to the motion. Also, you can put their crate on the floor, tied in securely, so they don’t move around as much.
Other dogs get car sick due to stress. They may be scared of the car, stressed about going somewhere new, stressed about a change in their routine, etc. Whatever the reason, it can cause them to be nauseous.
Products That Help with Motion Sickness
- Cool Pet Pad. A stressed dog can quickly become overheated (or vice versa). The Green Pet Shop’s cooling bed is the only "green” cooling pad in the industry and it doesn’t need water or electricity to work. The bed is pressure-activated, so the non-toxic gel works as soon as the pet gets on it. Available at the Green Pet Shop
- Thundershirt. Like wrapping your dog in a tight hug, this little jacket really works for some dogs. When I got my puppy at five months, she threw up the whole way home. After trying other products without any luck (she has fear issues outside the house), I tried the Thundershirt. Not only did it stop the vomiting, but after a few trips she did not have to wear it ever again. Shop Thundershirts
Dr. Christina Chambreau, a homeopathic veterinarian has a list of natural, home remedies to help relieve car sickness:
Reiki or Healing Touch are wonderful in reducing nausea and any additional emotional component
- Tellington Touch Anxiety Wrap. Created with an ace bandage, it is an alternative the Thundershirt; there are specific TTouch moves to decrease nausea.
Flower Essences. Flower essences are totally safe and can be administered in many ways. Adding them to an ounce of water and offering a few drops to your animal companion; rub a drop neat or diluted in the hairless part of the animal’s ears; spray the carrier, or car blankets or the animal if they are willing; add them to the animal’s food or water. Before a trip, use the essences for a week or so before the trip.
- Bach Rescue Remedy. It combines five of the Bach essences into a blend. Crab apple also helps with nausea. $17-25, OnlyNaturalPet.com
- Spirit Essence. The company offers Easy Traveler to relieve anxiety and nausea or Happy Tummy formulas. $27, OnlyNaturalPet.com
- Essential Oils. Essential oils or hydrosols. Purchase only food grade and organic oils that have been sustainably harvested. Lavender is the main calming oil. Many companies have made combination anti-anxiety oils and hydrosols. For small dogs, it is important to dilute the oils with grape seed or another mild "carrier” oil. Start with one drop essential to 10 drops carrier oil, then make it more concentrated if needed and there are no side effects (acting upset when you put it on, behavior changes). The following companies make food grade oils: (ginger and chamomile are 2 that can help with digestive issues for car rides).
- Herbal supplements. Supplements such as Valerian root work well for treating anxiety, which can be a component of carsickness. I recommend using:
- Animals Apawthecary – Phytomucil
- Marshmallow root
- Slippery elm
Acupressure. An excellent option for car sickness. Guides with pictures of the points include Four Paws Five Directions by Cheryl Schwartz and Acu-dog by Nancy Zidonia and Amy Snow.
"You can use homeopathic Remedies such as Nux vomica if there is some irritability,” explains Dr. Chambreau. "I would try the more general treatments before moving to homeopathy unless you have some training in homeopathy. If you have a severe nausea problem - consult a trained homeopath to permanently cure the problem.”
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