Anxious dog help

jackierookeMay 6, 2010

I have a rescue dog yellow lab/shepherd and she's wonderful. Super smart and loving. But going anywhere in the car is a mess. She salivates and barfs after 20 minutes or so. I've done all the training and tried everything I can think of or read about. I've narrowed it down to she's fine in the car as long as I never hit a rough patch of road! I live in the country so of course there is rough road everywhere!

Getting into the car isn't a problem. She hops right in and acts excited to go! and she's fine til we hit some bumps. After that she's a nervous wreck and ends up puking. I keep a fleece throw on the seats and pads on the floor to aid in the cleanup, but this is getting so old. I sure wish she didn't get so anxious and throw up every time we have to go somewhere.

Anyone had any new things that worked? I haven't tried any of the "homeopathic" things out there. Any ideas would be welcome.


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Since she is always excited to go for a ride, I'm wondering if it isn't more of a motion sickness thing than anxiety. Maybe you could ask the vet for medication for motion sickness and see if it helps.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:46AM
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I don't think its motion sickness. My best friend moved 2 hours drive away. On visits my dog has puked several times on the way there. But on the way home, she was fine. Next trip she barfed both ways. I just wish I could find a way to make her more comfortable and not barfy in the car.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 9:07AM
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Have you ever tried leaving a window down enough for the dog to stick its nose/head out the window?

Do you have a air freshener in the car? Is there any seat covers/etc. that might be giving off any odors that upset the dog?

Ask your vet about car sickness medicine.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 9:59AM
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Here is what is happening...she is excited in the car because she is going some place fun and is working herself up to a nervous stomach. She has determined that car=excitement; what you want is for car=relaxation.

This is not easy to accomplish because dogs tend to go to very fun places in cars and they learn this quite quickly. But you can start out by not loading her into the car until she is in a relaxed frame of mind. For example, when we go on car trips, we walk our dog before getting in the car.

Also, consider having a travel crate or restraining device (doggie seat belt). Keeping her still in the car will help reduce the nausea.

Another tip is feeding. Many people will tell you not to feed or give water before riding in a car. IMHO, I think this can make the problem worse because an empty stomach can also make you feel sick. What we do is feed and water about 30 minutes before car travel, but a small meal (half size).

Hope this gives you some ideas...

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 10:00AM
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Thanks Cindy, you might be right about the feeding. At my friend's house they have 5 dogs and always have food down so she ate before we started for home. I was worried that that would make her barf more, but now that I think about it, that was the time she didn't throw up on the way home! I'll try that next long trip or even before the vet which is about 20 minutes away! Thanks much!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 10:46AM
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I agree with Cindy. My dog went thru the same thing and altho he didn't barf that often he'd salivate so much there would be puddles on the seat cover.
I had to make short, positive trips for awhile and I also let him sit in the car while it was in the garage. I'd put him in, let him sit for awhile, then take him back into the house.

Your situation does sound more like motion sickness more than fear and I think the feeding will make a huge difference!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:36AM
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How old is the dog??? My pup went through the same thing. Puked everyday he got into the car. We tried feeding him, not feeding him, it did not matter. Though once he matured he stopped puking. One day that was it, no more puking ever. Since then he has not had one incident. If your pup is less than one year it could be he just has to get his equilibrium. There is nothing you can do til then. Short positive rides lots of towels and patience and time will help. PS - Kudos to you for getting a rescue

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 3:58PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

I didn't see any mention of ginger snaps. I saw something somewhere awhile ago that mentioned ginger snaps to cure throwing up in the car. I think ginger snaps cookies did the trick. Just two or three cookies.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:30PM
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I have the same problem with my rescue dog. I've had him almost two years, and he never has had an accident in the house of any kind. No peeing, pooping, or puking. BUT the car is another matter. Half the time he throws up no matter if he just ate or didn't . Nothing seems to predict it. We've been going to grandson's baseball games and he has been fine but tonight he threw up again just as I commented on how good he had been. Sometimes it's a block from our house after driving miles.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 2:39AM
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In my experience it just takes lots of patience. The dog will grow out of it if she is taken for short rides in the car on a daily basis. She will come to love the jingle of the car keys.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 12:59PM
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