Summer is almost here and with it, summer vacation. Many families will be taking the dog with them and driving long distances. While a lot of dogs love a car ride, some dogs get anxious while traveling and become carsick. It can be stressful for them.
While traveling with a dog can also be challenging for you, allow extra time to get to your destination and be prepared. Two of the biggest problems for dogs when they travel during long car rides are anxiety and dehydration. When your dog is anxious, he might be restless. He might become dehydrated, pant heavily, drool excessively, and vomit. Other signs include defecation, whining and other vocalization, and trembling.
When a dog gets sick in a vehicle, it is never any fun. Try to keep him as comfortable as possible. If the weather is hot, keep the air in the vehicle on high for your dog to be comfortable in the vehicle. Plan for plenty of stops at rest areas to let your dog walk and get some fresh air and water.
Remember to keep him secure before you open the vehicle door. When he is stressed and scared from travel, he will want to escape and will be harder to control. Additionally, allow extra time in case you have difficulties getting him back in the vehicle.
Many dogs won’t drink when they are stressed. Heat can cause dehydration, exacerbating the problem. One trick is if you see him panting excessively, dip his paws in cool water. This will help him to cool down. Wetting a towel and using it to wet his chest and neck will also help.
Many dog owners have had success with giving their dog Dramamine or a calming supplement before starting to travel. A thundershirt can also help calm your dog. Talk to your vet to see what medications and dosages are safe to give your pet before you travel. With proper planning and preparations, your travels can be easier for both you and your pet.