Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The 411 on car sick dogs

A bunch of nice people passed on my foster pup Meggie because she gets car sick. My Collie and his entire litter got car sick for the first few months. Half of the fosters that we have had in the last year got car sick. Finney was easy to deal with, I just gave him Benydryl and a kid's lap to sit on in the car when he was a pup. Stella, formally foster dog Evon, lives quite happily with my cousins. She was adopted out while they were still getting her sickness under control. They had a hard time because they live in Boston and the stop and go traffic made her sick at first.

Are they happy to have adopted a dog that overcame her car issues? Of course! I have never known of a dog who did not get past car sickness.


Meggie' and Stella's car sickness is based in fear. Many of the pups who have been shipped up from the south get car sick. Three days in a van is a pretty scary place, especially if you are not feeling well. In hindsight, I wished I had started with the Benydryl earlier. Once the dogs get sick, then they fear getting sick and that in turn makes them sick. Meggie had been doing really well and taking rides with me that were very short. Picking up a kid down the street, or a ride to an off leash park. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I drove her to Windham to be in class did she get sick both ways io the 30 minute ride that I realized that she was not yet over the hump. Prior to that if I saw that she started to drool, I pulled right over and let her get her sea legs and she was fine for the remainder of the short trip, sans gak. 



So, moving on to finding Meggie her forever home, I have stepped up my plans at helping her overcome her car sickness. Only problem is, I don't have a car at this time. My Kia Sedona van was towed up 95 from York after it overheated. Shout out to tow truck driver Don who took not only my 9 year old kid, but my dog Charlee in his tow truck. Tow truck drivers do not have to take babies in car seats, or dogs due to some sort of liability issues, or so they have told me when I was stuck on the side of a the road in the past No amount of eye lash batting, or bribery changed their mind.

I mention this because while there is nothing you can do at the time, it is something to keep in mind when you take your dogs to various destinations. My daughter and I commented how grateful we were that we didn't have Meggie in the car last night!

Once I get a vehicle back, I am stepping up Meggie's car training. This will involve short trips with Benydrl given a half hour before we leave.  She will get to go  fun places on an empty stomach, we will hang in the car when it is not moving, and she will eat her  meals in the car in the driveway. We will also try ground ginger. You can buy ginger powder in bulk and then put it in your own organic capsules. I will let you know how that goes. I have been accused of not really wanting to place Meggie and undermining her potential homes.

Guilty! But Meggie is just so darn cute and her reactivity is pretty much gone with me, and I worry that it will come back if I am not super careful where she is placed.



By the way, today is national Shelter Dog Appreciation Day. Shout out to my favorite gal pal Charlee who was pulled from a kill shelter in Albany NY after being relinquished when her owner died.



Finney, the day we picked him up.  He didn't gak that day, but did get sick a few times in the begining.  His entire litter got over getting car sick in a few months with just a little effort.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, we have a similar situation.... but here's the weird part. Janie has been riding in the car (crated) ALL her life! But all of a sudden, beginning last spring, she doesn't want to be in the car, in her crate.

She walks the other way when I ask if she wants to go for a ride. No way, says Janie.

So, Benedryl rather than Dramamine? I bought Dramamine. I was thinking that would settle her stomach, if that's indeed the issue.

gooddogz said...

yes Benedryl. I would try some of the things I wrote about, like hangin out.

Mary said...

Oops... that comment was from Mary, @turtlelady

gooddogz said...

of course ! I know it was you! Your the only person I know with a dog named Jane. Which by the way, is my middle name.

KathyF said...

We need to get Sparky out in the car more often. Don't know if he's sick yet (he came over on a ferry from Ireland...maybe he's boat sick?). But when we've taken him on short trips, he faces backward in the back seat, looks behind us and whines. I think he's trying to memorize the way home just in case we abandon him! So sad.

But this is a good reminder that we really need to step up on the road trips with him.

Anonymous said...

I have the exact same problem with my dog. It's a real issue because we travel a lot and drugs don't work for him. Is it true that a antistatic strap attached to a car can curedog car sickness ... HREF="mywebpage.html">?

gooddogz said...

Dear Anonymous, I suppose you are spam, but it is hard to tell. Not that I know of. I outlined the ways I know to help car sick dogs. Starts with counter conditioning.

Anonymous said...

No. Not Spam. Really puzzled by the testimonials on the site. I have found lot of website talking about antistatic straps and motion sickness. But thanks

gooddogz said...

lol-Good to know! The link you posted didn't work, can you try reposting? Now I am curious.I have seen electrostat help with thunder storm phobic dogs, but this makes no sense at all to me and I have never heard of it.

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Anonymous said...

Stella is pretty much over it! She has gotten progressively better since we decided she rides better in the back seat. She even likes to pop her head up and look out the window for a bit now. We haven't had a car-puke in over a month :) -M