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Does your dog suffer from travel sickness?


It is quite a common condition affecting 1 in 6 dogs of all ages with puppies and younger dogs being more susceptible. Typical signs include vomiting, nausea, drooling, restlessness, anxiety and trembling. The causes of these symptoms are complex. Travel sickness can occur when the brain receives excessive signals from the body's balance system. Anxiety and fear increase the effect and together these stimuli can cause the feelings of nausea and eventually trigger vomiting.

 

There are a few steps you can take to reduce the risk of your pet feeling uncomfortable when travelling:

  • Partially open windows to allow your pet fresh air
  • Try to avoid braking or accelerating unnecessarily
  • Take regular breaks and allow your dog to take a walk and have a drink
  • Get your dog used to travelling by starting with short journeys and build up to longer ones
  • Get your puppy used to the car very early but make sure the experience is pleasant for him as this will determine how he feels about car travel from then onwards
  • If the car journey is associated with an enjoyable activity, such as a walk at the destination, this will help to reduce fear and anxiety.

In the past sedatives and anti-histamines have been used to reduce the sensory impulses which trigger the vomiting centre in the brain. However, they are not very specific for this area and as a result tend to cause more general sedative effects.

 

However, if you are planning on taking your pet away this summer, but he or she find it a traumatic experience through travel sickness, your veterinary surgeon can offer you a treatment specifically developed for dogs which works without making them drowsy.

 

Ask your veterinary surgeon if the medication to prevent travel sickness is suitable for your dog.


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