Nausea can occur in dogs for many reasons, particularly when the digestive tract and nervous systems are out of balance. Stress can certainly play a role in nausea. Situations that may cause stress in your dog include veterinary visits, car accidents, being left in a hot car, as well as movement from traveling in a car, plane, or confinement in a cage or carrier. Symptoms of nausea from motion sickness your dog may have include panting, drooling, trembling, swallowing, restlessness, lip licking, retching, vomiting, and anxiety. Behaviorally, nauseous dogs may show signs of anxiety, stress, vocalization, nervousness, hyperactivity, and even have bowel movements or urination during travel.
Try natural remedies for your dog's motion sickness
Homeopathic remedies that have a great reputation for use in motion sickness in dogs include cocculus and aconitum. Giving one of these remedies in 30c potency 15 minutes before travel and then up to two more times every 30 to 60 minutes as needed is recommended to reduce nausea, vomiting, and anxiety during travel. The product Easy Travel Solution from Pet Alive is an excellent combination herbal and homeopathic product that often helps lessen motion sickness. Flower essences including Be Serene and Rescue Remedy are also helpful and can be used every 15 minutes as needed during travel to reduce your dog's fear and anxiety associated with travel.
Give your dog medication to reduce nausea
Several over-the-counter conventional medications can help reduce your dog's nausea associated with travel. These include Dramamine and Benadryl. Acepromazine (Rx) is a longtime favorite of many veterinarians that not only helps calm anxious dogs, but also helps reduce nausea and vomiting. Care is recommended when using Acepromazine, as some dogs are very sensitive to the drug and may become excessively sedate. Other dogs may become hyperactive, and in rare cases have seizures on this medication. A safer alternative for dogs is the prescription drug Cerenia. This powerful anti-nausea medication has been approved for dogs of all ages, and is very helpful in decreasing nausea and vomiting from motion sickness.
Use a crate or carrier when traveling with your dog
It often helps for dogs to be in crates, carriers, or pet booster seats when traveling, which can help them feel more secure and reduce unwanted anxiety, nausea, and vomiting. Even when secure in these products, dogs can still see through windows and generally feel more safe when traveling this way.
By Dan Heims, president, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
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