Does your dog drool, vomit, shiver, whimper, whine or even bark hysterically every time he/she makes a car journey?
If your dog is showing any one of these signs, then chances are they suffering from travel sickness. Some dog’s anxiety is so severe that they will even empty themselves in the car. What should be a pleasant day out can very quickly become a nightmare.
And with holiday season fast approaching, now is the time to get on top of this problem. With a little effort and advance planning, you can train your dog to be calm and even happy in the car. Follow our tips.
Create a Pawsitive Environment
Make the car a happy place! Somewhere that your dog looks forward to getting into. While the car is stationary, try feeding them in the car. One meal is not enough to make a difference though. Feed them this way until they are happy to jump into the car. Alternatively, if your dog is not especially motivated by food then you can try playing with them in a stationary car with their favourite toy. Remember the key to success here is baby or (puppy) steps so don’t try to run before you can walk.
Short Journeys with a Happy Ending
Once your dog is confident about getting into a stationary car then it’s time to think about moving. Short journeys are best and make sure there is a positive reward at the end of the trip. For example, if your dog is very stressed in the car, you might decide to limit your first journey to a couple of minutes. At the end of the journey – no matter how short – make sure you take the dog out of the car and reward him with a treat or a game. As you gradually build up the amount of time in the car you can drive to a special park, their favourite walk or even to visit a friend. In this way, your dog will start to associate travelling in the car with fun.
Consider where your dog travels in the car. Some dogs will be less stressed next to you in the passenger footwell. You can safely keep your dog in this spot if you keep a lead on them and tether them to the bar underneath the front passenger seat. Alternatively try putting them in the boot of the car either in a cage or safely secured. A blanket over the cage may be all that is required for some dogs who feel nauseous by looking out of the window. Wherever you choose to seat your dog, make sure that they are securely harnessed.
There are a range of herbal remedies and homeopathy that you could try in conjunction with the above advice.
is homeopathy which is given as a tablet x 3 per day over a 2 week period. Results are normally seen within the two week period but can be even faster.Alternatively give 20 minutes before a journey and then at regular intervals along the way. A recent customer described to me how she used to have to travel with a basin next to her dog to catch the drool! She started Poor Traveller on a Friday. On Sunday on a long journey her dog had a spoonful of drool in the car and on the return journey it was sleeping calmly! .
Use Poor Traveller in conjunction with any of the following:
is a liquid tincture which is especially helpful for dogs that suffer from nausea in the car. Fast acting. Add drops to food, a treat or into water. Ingredients include: German Chamomile, Marsh Mallow, Fenugreek, Valerian, Hops, Balm and Ginger. .
– Calm Xtra
is a liquid calmer which should be effective within 20 minutes before a stressful event. Calm Xtra is also useful for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety or who have fear of loud noises. Contains herbal tinctures of: Valerian, Oat, Skullcap, Passionflower, Wild Lettuce and Jamaican Dogwood. .
Quiet Moments Calming Aid
- Quiet Moment Calming Aid
chews contain a unique blend of thiamine and L-tryptophan to help reduce stress and tension. Ginger supports sensitive stomachs which is especially important when traveling. ..
So there we have it. Lots of advice and ideas to deal with dogs who are anxious about travel. If you have any questions or require further advice please contact us on 01883 653372 or shop our full range of travel and calmers here