Motion Sickness in pets

Dog Boat

You love your pet, but whenever you go driving or boating, your pet starts to feel sick and may throw up. However as soon as the car ride or boating stops your pet starts to feel okay again. If this is the case, your pet might be suffering from motion sickness although this is rare. Car or boat-sickness is usually caused by stress, not the actual motion.

Symptoms can show as yawning constantly, whining, vomiting, excessive drooling, lethargy, nervousness.

Hints and tips

  • Start with short car or boat trips first, and then go on longer car/boat trips. It may gradually get your pet used to the motion of the vehicle/boat.
  • Note that puppies and young dogs are more likely to experience motion sickness than older dogs because the inner earbones take some time to fully develop.
  • Keep the air in the boat/car fresh by opening a window or by ensuring that the vents are open fully to keep the air in the cabin fresh.
  • Don’t feed your pet a lot at a time. Preferably, when taking a boat or car trip, feed your pet once you’re at your destination. If this isn’t possible, i.e. because you’re going on a long sailing trip, feed your pet small amounts at a time. For example, rather than feeding your pet one big meal a day, feed two or three small meals a day.
  • Ensure that there’s provisions for your pet to relieve itself, as that will reduce stress.
  • Make sure that there’s a comfortable place for your pet to sleep in. Excessive stress can cause motion sickness.
  • If it’s possible, letting your pet out on the deck of a boat will usually keep it happy and from getting sick.

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