How to Prevent Car Sickness

How to Prevent Car Sickness in Small Dogs
Anne-Marie Weber/Corbis |

"There was some genuine worry about my traveling alone ...For this reason I took one companion on my journey -- an old French gentleman poodle known as Charley."

-- John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

If the idea of jumping into a car with your dog as co-pilot makes your heart skip, but your traveling companion turn green, you're not alone. Although extensive studies have not been conducted to find out how many dogs suffer from car or motion sickness, veterinarian Patty Khuly estimates from her experience that "up to 50 percent of dogs suffer from motion sickness one or more times in their lives."

All dog breeds and sizes are equally predisposed to motion sickness, but puppies seem to be more susceptible. Because the inner workings of a puppy's ears, where balance is regulated, are still underdeveloped, dogs commonly go through a period when cars are not their favorite form of locomotion. With time, many puppies grow into fine traveling companions.

But some dogs don't outgrow the dreaded queezies. In cases like these, you need to know the symptoms of car sickness so that other causes of an upset stomach, such as stress, fear or food poisoning, can be ruled out. To identify motion sickness, look for these signs:

- Drooling

- Agitation

- Listlessness

- Yawning

- Whining - Vomiting One of the most important rules to remember when flying with your small pooch is that you won't be able to take him outside once you pass through security. That's why it's essential that your pup does his "business" before the flight. The best approach is to cut off his food and water about two hours before heading to the airport. Once you're there, be sure to take your dog out to the pet relief area -- most airports will have one -- before going through the security checkpoint. Follow these simple rules, and it'll be a bon voyage for you and your best furry friend.


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