Why does my dog throw up in the car?
Original Question: I have very active 1-year-old mixed Maltese and Pomeranian dog. When we travel we put him in a cage because he has been vomiting all the time. What can we do to help him? Is it the movement of the car or what? Thanks - Marilyn
Thanks for your question. It’s a really common problem.
Traveling with a pet can be very stressful both on them and on us. Having a good discussion with your veterinarian about the options to reduce anxiety and create a sedative effect can be helpful.
Before going to medication there are a few things you can do to try to get your dog acclimatized to road trips. You can go out to the car and let them get in many times before even driving anywhere. Then you can put them in there and make very quick little trips around the block. You can lead up to longer and longer trips and at the same time you can give them a few treats to change their emotions during these trips so they associate it with something positive. By your question, it sounds like this opportunity has passed and your dog has developed a general anxiety or fear of car travel.
The first option that I would suggest would be the use dimenhydrinate which is an anti-nausea medication. Dimenhydrinate for dogs can reduce the particular problem of the vomiting that you’re seeing and it will also cause a mild sedative effect. You can ask your veterinarian about the proper dosage and of course, consult with them before you give any medication. This may be effective enough to solve your problem or it may not be strong enough.
To really solve this problem you may have to get a stronger medication. The first thing I want you to think about is that we not only need to treat the hyperactivity and relax your dog but also reduce its anxiety. So the best thing to use is a sedative and an anti-anxiety medication at the same time. There are many options for this and your veterinarian will be able to suggest some. If you want to avoid medication you can use supplements. There are many that are very good at reducing anxiety but supplements are not very good at creating a sedative effect. You can speak to your veterinarian about these options and they will help build a good plan. I encourage you to take a look at our video with tips about reducing a pet’s stress while traveling that I think you will find helpful.
Best of luck.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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