It can be fun take your dog or cat on a car trip, but pets that suffer from motion sickness can take the fun out of it easily turn into an unpleasant experience.
So how do you prevent your pet from getting sick during the car ride?
let’s first find out why dogs and cats get sick, and then we’ll look at some preventive measures.
WHY DO ANIMALS GET SICK DURING THE CAR RIDE??
The main reason dogs and cats get motion sickness is the same as with humans. It is the feeling we have when what we see visually is different from what we perceive with our inner ear. (the inner ear is the innermost part of our ear – an extremely sensitive area for the sense of hearing and balance).
And just as motion sickness more often affects children, it is also more common in young dogs and cats. This may be due to the fact that the structure of the inner ear has yet to fully develop, but it may also be due to a lack of travel experience. Younger pets are not used to being in a car and processing the different signals that their eyes and inner ear send to the brain.
The other reason dogs and cats get motion sickness can be based on emotions. If you are a puppy or kitten and experience car sickness, you may automatically associate the car with nausea – or if you associate car travel only with veterinary visits, this can trigger anxiety in your pet. Anxiety can manifest itself in motion sickness.
HERE’S HOW TO PREVENT YOUR PET FROM GETTING SICK DURING THE CAR RIDE
Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to keep your pet from getting sick in the car and make your trips – long or short – a much more pleasant experience for both of you.
1. START EARLY
The best thing you can do for your pet is to give it plenty of experience with car travel when it is young, even when you adopt it. With a little positive reinforcement, it learns that car trips mean lots of fun adventures in the immediate future.
Start with short trips to enjoyable destinations such as parks or friends, and encourage and reinforce the positive experience with love, play, his favorite toy or a treat.
Be patient while your pet learns this new skill. It has to get used to a lot of new things – new environments, new smells, new sounds, new vibrations. But over time, your pet will come to associate the car with pleasure and will soon be able to handle longer trips.
2. MAKE IT COMFORTABLE
Dogs and cats should preferably travel in transport cages secured in the back seat of a car or in the rear of a train carriage.
Dogs can also be transported in the back of a station wagon without a transport cage, if a dog net or safety gate is installed. If they are transported in the back seat, they should be secured with a harness and seat belt.
If you are transporting dogs, make sure they are seated facing the direction of travel. This helps them to notice that they are moving forward and reduces the confusion between what their eyes are seeing and what their inner ear is communicating to their brain.
With cats, it is important to remember that they are very sensitive to new environments and experiences, so it is usually better not to transport them in the car at all, if possible. If you do need to, take some precautions to make the trip as comfortable as possible for you.
First of all, make sure you are well acquainted with your transport cage before you are taken for a ride. spray the cage the day before the trip with some synthetic cat hormones and put in one of your blankets from home and a toy.
Keep an eye on them during the ride and make sure they are comfortable.
Also, make sure the interior of the car is as quiet and peaceful as possible. Avoid loud music or loud talking.
3. JUST A LIGHT MEAL BEFORE THE RIDE
If you have a car trip planned, do not feed dogs for 6-8 hours and cats for two hours before the trip. How to avoid stomach problems.
If possible, have someone sit next to your pet to care for it on the trip (much more than talking and cleaning andmonitoring if it needs to relieve itself). This can be a great distraction for your pet and reduce feelings of anxiety.
It can also be helpful to put something from home in the cage – a favorite toy or blanket – anything that calms them down and lets them focus on something other than the car ride. Take a long walk before the trip, because if the animal is tired, it is more likely to sleep while you drive – which is the optimal condition for a first trip.
5. TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS
take a break for yourself and your pet at least every two hours.
Stopping frequently is especially good for dogs. It not only breaks up the long drive, but gives your pet a chance to relieve itself, stretch its legs and explore new terrain.
Cats generally find new environments stressful, so if you want to take them out of the transport cage, it’s best to do so inside the car.
don’t leave your cat or dog alone in the car, even in the shade or with the windows open. Temperatures inside a car can rise very quickly and cause heat stroke in your pet.
Just like for humans, there are medications for pets to prevent motion sickness.
Check with your veterinarian; they can prescribe the right medications for motion sickness and anxiety in pets.
Synthetic hormones can be especially calming for cats, as described above, and help them adjust to new environments.
ÜBelittlement while driving is not a pleasant experience, but with a few simple gestures and precautions you can make the next trip pleasant for your pet.
be patient, focus on positive reinforcement and use medication when needed. Soon enough, your pet (especially your dog!) can’t wait to set off on their next big adventure.