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travel sick dog - help

(28 Posts)
hollyandnoah Mon 11-Aug-08 15:54:25


Our German Spitz can't travel in a car without being sick! I didnt even know animals got travel sick untill now.

Here's my problem.

Ds Grandparents live 30 miles away from me and obviously we need to drive to visit them.
They want to see ds 2x weekly or cause a fuss. They insist he stays there or we are being cruel and not letting them see him enough SOOOOO The dog comes with us, because he cant stay at home alone.
They don't have a bed for ds at their house so we need to take a travel cot with us each time, or we could get the train, don't know if it would be any different for him though?

Has anyone had experiance with this before? What did you do? Even if he hasn't eaten and is only going a drive to the park he is sick.
IS there anything i can buy for him? Do you think maybe taking him on the train would be better?


moosemama Mon 11-Aug-08 16:48:59

1. How does your dog travel in the car? (boot, back seat, travel crate/cage?) Often dogs with travel sickness do a lot better if they can't see out of the windows.

2. You could try the homeopathic remedy ipecac, I have heard good reports of this working with some dogs.

3. Sometimes travel sickness in dogs can become a learned response. They suffer a few bouts when they are puppies and so make a negative association with going out in the car. The end results is that they then get sickness every time as they associate going in the car with feeling/being sick.

If it is the last case, you can improve the situation by replacing the negative experiences with positive ones by doing things like putting the dog in the car and giving him a special chew or treat then getting him straight out when he's finished, feeding him his dinner in the car, again without the car ever actually going anywhere. Problem is this is a long slow process and ideally you should avoid taking the dog out anywhere in the car while you/he are going through it.

4. Have you spoken to your vet about the problem? They may be able to offer you some anti-emetics or maybe even mild sedatives for him when he travels (this in itself could eventually help break the negative association).

Just a few ideas off the top of my head. My belgian shepherd x border collie suffered with travel sickness when she was a pup so you have my sympathy. We found that she was better in a covered crate or airline type travel box and luckily for us she grew out of it.

hollyandnoah Mon 11-Aug-08 17:07:06


Thank you. He is only 8 month old so maybe he will grow out of it.
He just travels in the back, but he doesnt lie down, hes always standing uneasy, pacing the seat. It's a shame because it seems he is afread of the car!
That is a great idea giving him dinner in the car. I know that helped my other dog overcome her strange long grass fear!
Thank you

lilyloo Mon 11-Aug-08 17:13:13

Try and make sure he lays down in the back of the car and can't pace around that will make him mopre anxious.

Don't use sedatives we did with our dog and she was woozy for ages after the journey it wasn't nice.

Sometimes making sure there is plenty of fresh air in the car helps.

Our dog grew out of this but is always happy when the journey is over.

RubyRioja Mon 11-Aug-08 17:15:52

My sisters dog coudl not travel in my diesel car, but was OK in her petrol car (?)

IIRC she built him up by starting with 5 mins journeys and adding 5 mins each time to desensitise.

hollyandnoah Mon 11-Aug-08 17:20:06

Thanks, I might try driving him round the block like once a night or so and he might get used to it that way? Lol i need plastic sheets though!

moosemama Mon 11-Aug-08 17:40:01

Agree wity lilyloo if still a pup (8 months) I probably wouldn't go the sedatives route.

I honestly believe that the confined space of the travel crate (stopping the pacing) and the not being able to see out the windows were the biggest contributing factors to ours growing out of it. Also helps to contain the mess iykwim!

We started off with the plastic airline type crate when she was little but now she has a normal travel crate with a fitted crate cover (a blanket or throw would work just as well though).

Also found this online:

travel sickness is covered halfway down the page.

and this:

BTW I love german spitz, especially watching them do heelwork to music, they are naturals!

hollyandnoah Mon 11-Aug-08 18:00:00

Thank you!
I think i will get him a crate, he is quite small, lapdog sized, so i couold use his travel/vet box thing the now!

hah he doesn't dance, but theres an idea! I think he believes he is human though! The amount of time he spends on his back legs!!!

bubblerock Mon 11-Aug-08 18:18:27

I'm selling a travel crate in the household section on the for sale boards if you want to have a look - it's one of the canvas ones that you can close all the windows on - maybe it would work for him? You could get him used to it inside the house as a bed for him first as it's nice and cosy. smile

(don't worry if you don't want it, I just read the post and thought I should point it out blush)

hollyandnoah Mon 11-Aug-08 18:19:56

i'm on my way! I only seem to look in the pushchair and nappy sections on here!

hollyandnoah Mon 11-Aug-08 18:21:58

hey bubble,

What size is it?

bubblerock Mon 11-Aug-08 18:26:25

It's a Medium - I need to measure it properly though, will try to find the tape measure.

bubblerock Mon 11-Aug-08 18:31:20

Ok, that was surprisingly easy! The height is 22.5" Width is 20" and length is 27".

hollyandnoah Mon 11-Aug-08 18:32:23


I was just about to say no need to measure lol! But thank you. I am gonna measure blaise the now x

hollyandnoah Mon 11-Aug-08 18:36:27

he is 15" from bum to nose and 11" high. Do you think that's okay or might i need something smaller? He's got room for a party!

bubblerock Mon 11-Aug-08 18:40:09

lol - you'll have to get another puppy to keep him company! There are a couple on Ebay - here's a smaller one. smile

youcannotbeserious Mon 11-Aug-08 18:41:06

If this is an on-going thing, which it sounds like it is, then get a cot at the GPs house and get the train.

While my dog is fine in the car, my baby hates his car seat, so we travel by train (I'm on my own, and don't feel great driving with a screaming baby)

Alternatively (and given my last thread) do YOU want to go and see GPs? If you don't, then DON'T. Not sure if you should be putting yourselves through this. CAn they not come and see you?

hollyandnoah Mon 11-Aug-08 18:47:10

bubble, i have two! lol, i have a cavalier spaniel also, she just sleeps in the car though! But i wouldnt want her being spewed on.

I can't really afford to buy them a cot, and if i could i prob wouldnt want to!
I am on my own also, and xp should buy them a cot, or themselves if they really wanted one! But they dont see this the same as me, im his mother and am responsable for his bed i guess!

youcannotbeserious Mon 11-Aug-08 18:55:08


This is your XP???!!!

Tell the GPs to get a cot / crib (whatever is suitable)

NOT your problem to deal with a baby and a sick dog to suit them.

Yes, You are his mum, but THEY want to see your DS... They can at least help.

My DH's pparents got everything they needed to see DSDs (even though DH gives his ex LOADS) sorry, they aren't your problem.

You would have a much nicer time on the train. Even make a day of it.

hollyandnoah Mon 11-Aug-08 19:01:59


Well i bought the a buggy, carseat, highchair and toys, they havent bought him anything. Just huggies nappies because "he shouldn't be in reusables in this day and age"
I just try and get on with them to save arguments really!
Lol i'm scared to take him on the train incase he throws up everywhere.
I could try and go through and come back in the same day leave the doggies with someone else! But his mum is offfy pushy! lol maybe i need to grow a pair instead!

youcannotbeserious Tue 12-Aug-08 05:02:31

I think his parents should be coming to you....

YOU are the one with the baby!!!

I hope they help out with the cost of fuel!? hmm

alipiggie Tue 12-Aug-08 05:06:06

I hope I'm not too late. By Bach Rescue Remedy and put a few drops on his tongue about an hour before travelling. It worked a treat on my old Lab Cross who was sick everytime she travelled. She even went transatlantic without any sickness. Including the car drive to Heathrow. If he's about Lab size - 9 drops should do it.

It's all natural and helps them calm down and de-stress.

hollyandnoah Tue 12-Aug-08 12:30:20

Nah they dont, but i can't be doing with the hassle of arguments and being called down for not going really! They think i'm trying to keep their gs if i dont.

Ali Where can i buy that? Pets at home will do it prob wont they? It sounds perfect. He is only tiny, lapdog sized so no where lab sized but i'm guessing t here will be guidelines on the packet.


beautifulgirls Tue 12-Aug-08 15:09:50

Start with basics again - put dog in car and play, no engine, no moving the car = good experience for the dog. Repeat several times over few days, move onto the next step - start engine don't move car - keep talking/patting keeping dog in good positive mood with toys etc. repeat several days running before moving onto next step - move car to end of road park up and walk home - no sickess = positive experience. Gradually extend the length of your journeys.

If you need to make longer journeys before you can work up to this gradually contact the vet and ask for Cerenia tablets for motion sickness. They are a relatively new anti-sickeness tablet for dogs available on prescription from vets and do not sedate the pet in the way previous medications prescribed would have done.

Good luck

beautifulgirls Tue 12-Aug-08 15:11:12

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