Thanks for today's blog post goes to Daybreak instructor Nicola Pilling, who's own experience with a car sick young dog caused her to do her own research into a solution.
With the majority of dogs, travel sickness relates to stress, rather than just the motion of the car. It is thought that this goes back to the dogs first journey being the one that takes it away from all it ever knew to be safe and secure, namely its litter mates and mother.
Signs of this can be not wanting to get into the car, excessive drooling, yawning, whining and sickness.
We can help by making the journey comfortable and letting the dog feel secure. Using a crate is an ideal way to do this. Sometimes it can help to cover the crate, so the dog doesn't see things whizzing past the window, whilst other dogs may take comfort in seeing you. Having a window open slightly for fresh air can help too, it helps me when I'm traveling!! Children often feel sick looking out the side windows but not the front, the same can happen to dogs.
There are some good homeopathic treatments available, to help with this. These remedies contain ingredients that help with stressful situations, such as travelling, the vets, the groomers, fireworks, thunder storms or even going to a show or an exciting training session. These can also be used for dogs that suffer separation anxiety. Here are some suggestions that I've found helpful with my own dog.
Dorwest Veterinary Scullcap & Valerian tablets; Recommended for anxiety, nervousness, excitability and travel sickness.
Bach Flower Rescue Remedy for Dogs; Again recommended for stressful situations.
Pet Remedy; This comes in a spray, or a plug in diffuser. So you could use the diffuser at home for calmness, whilst a spray into the crate for travel. This can also be sprayed onto you trouser leg for training, to relax the dog.
Homeopet.co.uk; Based in Long Ashton. Sell little bottles of drops, which you administer straight onto the lips/mouth of the dog, or into food. Can be dropped into the mouth whilst out and about to calm excitability or nerves, or again whilst travelling.
Ginger biscuits; Not the healthiest remedy, but whilst being recommended for pregnant women to ease sickness, owners have also given a couple to dogs before a journey, with good results.