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Old 01-13-2009, 09:25 PM
fidori fidori is offline
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Default Shadow gets motion sickness in the car

Any suggestions about preventing my 8 mo. old chihuawa mix, Shadow, from throwing up in the car? She travels with my other dog, Cowgirl, in the front seat. Shadow hasn't learned how to stick her head out the window yet. Maybe when she does she won't get sick.

She foams at the mouth right before she gets sick. I want to take them to the dog park, but I don't want her to feel sick. What should I do?
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:50 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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First of all, I would not encourage a chihuahua to ride with her head out the window.... It is far too easy for a little dog to decide to jump out the window.

Usually car sickness is a reaction to stress - if she's not used to riding in the car, or has had bad experiences after riding in the car, she could be stressed. I would suggest trying to figure out how long she rides before she starts feeling sick, and then keep your trips shorter than that for a while. So say you notice that she starts feeling sick (and I don't mean vomiting, I mean that you can see that she doesn't feel well) when she rides for 10 minutes.... so then take her for a few 5 minute car rides. Even if you just drive around the neighborhood and back home, you'll need to get her some good experiences in the car. Then after about 5 short trips, start taking slightly longer trips.... still not 10 minutes, maybe 8 minutes or whatever. Do about 3-5 of those trips, then try the longer trip and see how she does.

Many dogs also do better if they ride confined in a crate so that they can't see out windows. If she can't ride in a crate at least confine her so that she can't move around too much - you can get a dog carseat or seatbelt. Some people also give their dogs ginger dog treats before the car ride, the ginger helps settle the stomach.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:09 AM
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Ilyena Ilyena is offline
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I really think you should at the very least get a seatbelt for the dog, if not a crate, as it sounds very dangerous for any dog to be able to stick her head out the window..

My dog gets quite carsick as well, not to the point of actually throwing up but he drools excessively which he normally never does. It helped him when I covered his crate so he couldn't see outside at all. The more he is able to see in the car, the more he gets carsick. Makes perfect sense really, the first 8 months of his life he never showed signs of car sickness and in fact loved our drives but that's because I had a covered crate. As soon as I changed to a open wire crate and a new car that he could see out from the windows he started drooling and licking the wire crate constantly.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:59 AM
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smkie smkie is offline
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My Mom's dog SHaffer has the worst motion sickness of any dog i have been around. HE starts turning green and has his legs spread out like it's going to zip right out from under him. WE have tried everything without much success. IF i have to take him anywhere in the car i have mom pull food and water a few hours before we leave. WE have tried dramimine, but it wasn't foolproof. THe pulling of food and water about 4 hours before we have to go is all that at least stops the vomiting, but not the discomfort. Mostly SHaffer doesnt' go anywhere unless it's a have to situation.

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Old 01-15-2009, 10:30 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Originally Posted by smkie View Post
Mostly SHaffer doesnt' go anywhere unless it's a have to situation.
This can be a perfectly good solution. But, if you keep in mind that the majority of the time car sickness is caused by stress, then it will only compound the problem when you only let him ride in the car when he's stressed in the first place. Taking extremely short "practice trips" will probably do a better job of solving the problem.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:40 AM
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Barb04 Barb04 is offline
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One of my dogs had the same problem. I tried the short trips which always turned out that a block from the house, the car was a mess.

Once my dog reached about 1 1/2 years old, no more car sickness. Sometimes they do grow out of it as they get older.

In the meantime, put a vinyl tablecloth on your car seats to make cleaning easier.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:27 PM
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Vintage Boxers Vintage Boxers is offline
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Dramamine is safe for dog, dosed correctly, if you have to take a long trip this may be an option for you!


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Old 01-16-2009, 04:51 PM
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noludoru noludoru is offline
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Dramamine worked well for Middie. I also withhold food for AT LEAST six hours beforehand... but he gets motion sick very easily and tends to continue heaving for quite a while after everything is gone from his stomach.
"and I dont play the victim, I own my stuff... but whatever blows your skirt up. "
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