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Dog that gets carsick??

Posted by munkos (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 16, 07 at 14:40

My beagle has gotten carsick from day one. She is absolutely fine if she can stick her head out the window, or atleast her nose (I get scared of letting her have enough space to put her whole head out, she's dumb enough to jump, I think anyways.) But this requires her to be on my lap, which is fine, we only take her when we're both in the vehicle, and Im not driving. But 30 pounds of dog climbing all over you and using your stomach as a step-stool, is uncomfortable, not to mention it covers me in hair. She can see out the window in the back seat of my car, but I guess she gets lazy and would rather lay down if she's in the back, or she likes to put her paws on the centre console between us and watch out the front window. But if she isn't sticking her nose out the front window, she gets sick. If we go on long trips to visit family and take the dogs with us, we have to put her in her kennel in the back seat, which she hates, and I hate doing. We take her food away, or dont feed her til we get where we're going on long trips. But she gets sick even driving 20 mins across town.

Is there anything I can give her to settle her tummy? I don't want to stop taking her to the dog park, or the pet store but I'm getting tired of being climbed on and scratched up everytime the breaks are hit, or we start moving again or scrubbing doggy vomit off the seat, everytime we go to either place. Its a good thing the vet is just down the street.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

You can ask your vet if ginger is safe for dogs and try that. It works great on people. It can be bought in a tincture form.
There's a homeopathic remedy called 'cocculus' that is commonly used for motion sickness in people, but I've never had a dog with motion sickness to try it on, so I don't know if it would help. I've used other homeopathics on animals with good results.
You could make a booster seat for her in the back seat so she could get her nose up to the window.
Hope you find some help.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

Hmm, I'll have to ask about both of those remedies. I would make a booster in the back, however my back windows don't open. Unless her nose is OUT the window, she gets sick for some reason. I thought at first that maybe something in my car made her feel sick, but she's been in 4 other peoples vehicles now, and gotten sick. It's just the movement I guess, and the fresh air makes her feel good.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

I posted about using ginger or ginger snaps here a long time ago. I have the same problem with one dog. I tried the ginger snaps and it didn't work. He just threw up all the ginger snaps. Ginger pills are not readily available, except I saw that at whole foods and were too expensive and higher than the recommended dose.
They actually had a thing about ginger on the tv show Mythbusters and they proved it does indeed help.
HOWEVER.
Here's the problem. According to my vet, and I didn't want to believe him at first, dogs do not get motion sickness like with people. Instead it's all about anxiety. For me it doesn't matter where in the car my boy is or even if he has his head out the window. He still throws up after a while. Windy, hilly roads or flat highway, it makes no difference.

That while is about 20 minutes so if I am able to get out with him after 10 minutes of driving and let him take a poo, he always has to even if he just went before we left, it will extend the time to another 40 minutes of drive time, then like a clock he will throw up again. The only solution I have is to keep stopping and let him chill out. Sedatives didn't work.

I did manage to cut the ends off of a soda carton and he seems to know that's where he's supposed to throw up so cleanup is easy.

Once he throws up, he's good for the rest of the drive, even if it's an all day drive. Tips would be, don't feed before hand if you can avoid it and try the bathroom thing about about 10 minutes in transit. Oh, and don't take a chance with your dog, strap him in with a seatbelt harness or put in a crate or kennel.

Good luck, I know it sucks but that's what we signed on for. Have another dog that doesn't get anxious at all, just lays there and never gets sick. The one that does just gets way too excited, pants and drools like mad, sometimes farts, won't sit still.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

I did a quick search on motion sickness in dogs and found about 5 sites that said while most dogs will get sick from anxiety in a vehicle, they CAN get motion sickness from the motion of the car, though its rare and is usually do to anxiety. They all also said that dogs who get sick from anxiety will mostly outgrow once they are used to the car. They do have anti-nasuea meds for dogs for carsickness, as well as anti-anxiety, if it is anxiety.

The thing with my girl, is you can tell when she's not feeling good in the car, and she loves her car rides. She doesn't drool, or pant. She just wags, and gives me the occasional kiss on the face and hangs her head out the window wagging away, and she sits still..save for when we stop or start because she loses her balance. But if she's in the back, once she's gone from wagging and being happy..all of a sudden she'll look woozy and her eyes will droop and she'll start to lick her lips a lot, try not to move at all and hang her head. Then she'll vomit a few minutes later. She doesn't act like this at home when she gets sick. She's not okay once she throws up once, either. She'll keep throwing up unless she's sleeping. Though she will wake up from a dead sleep, and vomit in the car, occasionally. Maybe I should talk to my vet to see if there is any way to distinguish whether its anxiety, or if she's one of the rare few who actually get motion sickness, so I can figure out how to help her better.

Our other guy, is absolutely fine in the car. He loves it. Which is odd, because he's been in a roll over when he was about 1 1/2 that sent him out a window on a dirt road. Apparently he ran off, but then came back to the car, and he hasn't been afraid of car rides at all since then.

We do strap him in, and put her in her kennel on rides that take us out of town, though. I dont put her in the kennel in town though, because I know that for the 15 min drive, if she can stick her nose out the window, she won't get sick. She'll feel better, and have a better time at the dog park/pet store and she wont be covered in vomit in the kennel when we take her out.

Thanks for the info!


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

We have just the opposite problem. IF the old hound is looking out the window and watching where we are going he pukes.

If I make him lay down, so he cannot see out the windows, he is less likely to puke and more likely to fall asleep. (And note that I used the term, less likely rather than the term doesn't...)

My mom has given her dog rescue remedy and it seems to help. I haven't tried it myself.

My other dogs love to ride in the car. My JRT, god rest her soul, used to try and drive. She wanted to keep her paw on the steering wheel.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

I had a dog that got carsick every time we went somewhere, it was horrible! I never could get her to stop, the vet gave her some sort of seditive type thing, that didn't work either, and I really was not pleased at the idea of giving her medication just so she could go in a car. My mom lives a hour away, so most of the time when I go up there I stay a night or two, so leaving her at home was not a option, I finally just left her with my mom, so she wouldn't have to travel back and forth.
I know the claw mark thing though, my other dog just loves to go and he loves to sit on my lap and look out the window, every time we come to a stop I have a new claw tracks across my legs (that's what I get for not putting him in a harness)
What about you riding in the back seat letting the dog have the window? I know it sounds crazy but it might work.


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Not so crazy that I havent tried it!! She climbs in the back with me (only after dad kicks her off his lap 10 times while he's trying to drive) and then I get vommited on. You see, shes short and can't see out of the front window well without someones lap to stand on. So if dad wont let her stand on him, she comes back towards me, hoping I've somehow figured out how to make the back window open (and I cant, cause it doesnt).


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

Let us k now how it goes with the vet, munkos.

That really does sound like car sickness and as much as I want to believe that it is, my vet says it can't be.

Try the poop thing 10 minutes into the ride if you haven't. I know you don't seem to be getting any warning, sometimes mine will just lay down and not look out the window and just pant and it doesn't make a difference at all.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

My dog also show signs of car sickness.............heavy drooling and a glazed-eye look, but I saw improvement after I got him his own car seat...........a FidoRido. He does much better in the front seat and I've yet to try the Rido in the back seat. If I crate him in the back seat he looks worse, but no vomiting. A trip longer than 30 min seems to cause him to start drooling again but not as bad as before.
I'm going to try the Rescue Remedy for the next long trip and see if it helps.

This is from the pawrescue.org site: * To prevent car-sickness:

** Avoid feeding the pet within three hours before a ride. Give the pet a good opportunity to relieve himself before the trip...a hardy walk has the added benefits of tiring and calming a dog before the road trip. Some vets suggest limiting water consumption just before the ride, too.

** Many pet owners have successfully used ginger as a natural way to prevent travel sickness. You can use grated raw ginger or powdered ginger root capsules. Ginger has worked for many humans, too.

** Some folks report success using mild natural remedies such as Rescue Remedy, available at health food stores. A common Rescue Remedy dosage is four drops in the mouth about ten hours before the trip, repeating every four hours or as needed. Some people prefer to drop Rescue Remedy into the pet�s ears or water bowl.

** We�ve heard reports about other potentially helpful carsickness preventives such as B complex vitamins, Pet Calm (available from pet supply stores) and cooled peppermint tea (which also can be used to calm tummies after a trip).

** Some folks bring newspapers for their dog to sit on because the smell of newspapers has a calming effect on some dogs.

** For some dogs, a couple slurps of vanilla ice cream can quell nausea.

** Some give their dogs Dramamine (approximately 25 mg for a medium-size dog) before a trip. A few give their car-averse dogs tranquilizers before a trip. But discuss drug options with your veterinarian before you consider using them.

* Be prepared in case the dog gets queasy in the car. Cover the seats, bring towels, paper towels and baggies, give a back seat dog plenty of air, play soothing music, and do not play music too loudly.

* If your pet is unaccustomed to car trips, take her on several short rides before attempting a long one. Make sure that the first few car trips are to pleasant places, so that the dog will associate drives with positive experiences.

* For long road trips, give yourself and your pet a rest stop and take a walk every two or three hours.

* Avoid letting dogs stick their heads out the car window, which can lead to eye, ear and other injuries.

* Dogs are at risk in convertibles with the tops down and in the open bed of a pick-up truck.

* Avoid leaving a dog in a car alone to avoid the risk of theft, accidental death and heat stroke even when it does not see

Here is a link that might be useful: FidoRido


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

I do limit the hound dogs food and water on the day of a trip. It helps some and it does make the mess smaller, when they do get sick.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

Munkos,
We have a dog that used to get sick about 10 minutes into any car ride. We could not even get to the vets office without Zoe throwing up. I think that hers was definitely an anxiety problem. We got over this when we enrolled her in a class to be a pet therapy dog. She loved going to the training, and also loved working as a therapy dog. So after she found out that most of the time that going in the car would take her to a fun place, she stopped getting carsick. Lucky for us, that she did. Right after that we had an opportunity to move from Chicago to Florida (where all my family lives). We were able to drive 1300 miles without Zoe getting sick.

Sure hope that some of the suggestions help your pooch.
Lynne


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

My 13-year-old springer has never liked being in the car - she trembles and we have to stop within the hour to let her poop. It is clearly anxiety, and even though we only take her in the car to her favourite place (our country cabin, 45 minute car ride) she doesn't associate the destination with the car ride. We walk her to our local vet, so that's definitely not an issue. Exhaustion is the only thing that helps, after a day of frolicing in the fields and woods, she sleeps all the way home. So sorry, no solution here -- just confirmation that it can be a lifelong problem for some dogs.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

I'm sorry, but having your dog climbing over the driver and passengers is simply not safe for humans or dog. In my opinion, this is not the way to transport a dog.

Why does your dog hate the crate? Has she not been accustomed to it? If I read your post correctly (and I'm not sure I did), she does not get sick in the crate. Is that true? If so, then why not accustom her to her crate so that she loves it, then put her in the crate when traveling? Then she would be happy, you would be happy, and everyone would be safe.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

She does get sick in the crate. And then she gets covered in vomit. I'm not going to stick her in the crate for a 15 min drive, let her vomit and get covered in it, when she can stick her nose (not her whole head, just the tip of her nose) out the window for those 15 mins and be perfectly fine and not get sick. She's crate trained. She sleeps in it at night, stays in it when I have to be out of the house. She likes her crate, she doesn't like puking all over herself in the crate. She only hates it when she has to be in it when she gets sick.

And I never said she climbs all over us, I said when we attempted for her to sit in the front, and me to sit in the back, she started climbing all over us. So we don't do that, because we realise it's unsafe to have her doing that everytime we go somewhere. When I sit in the front seat with her, she sits still on my lap, with her little nose out the window and tail wagging. She has trouble keeping her balance when we stop and start, but usually I just put my arms around her for the drive, so she doesn't have to keep herself steady when that happens.

And we do crate her for any trips out of town. If I started crating her just to go to the dog park, or the pet store every week, I'm sure she'd hate car rides because she would figure out that being in the crate in the car = getting covered in vomit that she can't get away from, every single ride.

Right now, if you ask her if she wants to go for a cruise, she tilts her little head, runs and sits at the mat at the front door, wagging so hard her whole body wiggles, then runs and jumps right into the car. She's not scared of the car, or going on trips, and I'd prefer to keep it that way.

And Quirky, I have found info from quite a few (I did a more extensive search last night, and this morning) saying it is possible for dogs to get motion sickness due primarily from inner ear imbalances, but other reasons too. Though it is rare for that to be the reason they get sick, it isn't impossible.

Also, that for these dogs fresh air and being able to look out the window, often helps.

I can post a few links, if you would like to read. I don't have the time to find them again right now (I never remember to bookmark!)

I'm not saying your vet is wrong, or that my dog does get real motion sickness, either. But perhaps it's so rare that its usually just not thought of, or is disregarded. Or it may be one of those things were it's up in the air, and everyone has a different opinion. I still want to talk to my vet and see what she thinks.

But that probably won't be for a while as the dogs aren't due for shots until june and we have no trips planned.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

Sorry, I didn't catch that your back windows can't be opened. Maybe you need a new car! ;)
There are ginger tinctures available and I would guess that most ginger cookies don't have real ginger int them or not enough to make a difference.
I don't believe anxiety is the only cause either. Our dog gets extremely anxious in the car and has never vomited.
Good luck.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

How old is your dog??? Our dog got car sick EVERY ride until he was 6 months old. Once he turned 6 months, he never therew up again - something about their equalibrium and their skull suturing etc...I also suggest you get a car seat for your pup so it can sit in a raised position and see out. Then go get a grate for the window...hang on and I will post a link. We have these removeable grates and they are a god send.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

Petsmart carrys car window vents for about $6 a piece


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

Munkos, did you ever get a solution that worked for you on the car sickness? I have a golden retriever that sounds similar to your dog. I haven't found a solution yet. I am looking for a new vet because my old vet is too far away for a puke free trip. The only thing my old vet recommended was benadryl. Doesn't work. I want to approach the new vet and ask and would like to be a little more informed.

My dog is so happy to get in the car. I really want to take her to a weekend trip to the woods, she would love it there. The place I want to go is a 5 hour trip. Last long trip I took with her was when we had to evacuate for a hurricane. She puked from the Texas gulf coast all the way to Oklahoma. Then all the way back home again. I so wish she could make a problem free trip...

Thanks
PJ


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

We once had a dog that would unfailingly vomit whenever we had to take her somewhere in the car, often a longish ride to spend the weekend at DH's mother's place, which the dog liked. One day I happened to play some soothing instrumental (actually, hymn-type) music while driving, and it was like magic. The dog stopped vomiting and never did it again, so long as I played that particular music in the car. My favorite pop music, even the instrumentals, didn't seem to help at all. I have never heard that dogs appreciate music, and I have no explanation for this "cure," but it's worth a try. What do you have to lose?


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

I have a happy update to share. My older dog suddenly realized that car rides are not the end of the world. I take one of his beds from home and put it in the car to lay on for long trips and he's much calmer then. We've gone 12-16 hours straight driving and not had problems. Now we go about an hour or hour and a half before first potty and it's not a problem. Not so much panting now and he sits still and lays there.

My advice to PjGolden would be to hang in there, try some things like the bed from home and see if that makes a difference. One day the dog may just decide there's nothing to worry about. If your dog is young maybe he's picking up on any nervous or excited energy that we normally have when going on trips and just needs some time to learn that doesn't mean something bad is going to happen. Reward for laying still. Either with a treat if he will eat it or praise and affection.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

Sorry but I haven't entirely read all of the posts, what kind of vehicle do you have? If you have a minivan you can place the crate on the floor in the middle of the van or if you have a car and the crate will fit on the floor between the seats this will minimize the motion of the vehicle and alleviate the car sickness symptoms.

On a side note and strictly only my opinion... even for short trips the crate should be used for safety as one sudden stop will send an unsecured dog flying through the air. Also since one of my Shiba Inu's has been diagnosed with glaucoma I know all to well about eyes and injuries to them. It's because of this I'm not a big fan of dogs with their heads hanging out the window or riding in the back of pickup trucks. One bug or other debris flying into the eye and causing injury can lead to secondary glaucoma and blindness.

Bob


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

I have a Tahoe. I have always crated her in the back. But let me back up a minute. When she was less than a year old, I started taking her to obedience classes that were just a short 5 minute drive from my house. I put her in the seat behind me with the type of harness that threads through the seat belt so that she didn't have free reign of the SUV. I don't believe in letting an animal have that type of freedom in a vehicle. She never had car sickness strapped in like this. These classes were held at my vet's so I also used this system to take her to the vet.

Classes ended, but vet visits didn't. Since I really felt more comfortable having her in her crate, she is crate trained, I started putting her in her crate for vet visits. This meant all the way in the back of the Tahoe. Her crate is huge. I didn't buy the next size harness for her for the seat because of her continuing to grow and face it, the harnesses aren't cheap and I was quickly getting quite an array of them since she was a growing girl, and still the fact that I felt more comfortable with her in her crate.

Then the hurricane came and we evacuated. This was crate all the way to Oklahoma. Puking before we could even get out of town, just about 20 minutes in to the drive. And puking all the way up for that 18 hour drive. After getting there, I called a vet that recommended the benadryl, and no food for as long as we could before we made the trip back home, and limit water if we could.

Ever since then, trips to the vet in the crate prompt puking. Trips anywhere, prompt puking. But I do think that I may be on to something with the "anxiety" of the trips.

For the last week, my husband has taken her in his truck (easier to hose out...rubber floors) once a day for a ride. The ride being short, each day increasing, but always ending at a park. Different park each time so she really doesn't know where she's going. Only once did he take her that she actually started foaming heavily at the mouth and did the heavy drooling usually signaling an "episode" to come shortly. None of these times have been in a crate or harness though, just free reign in the vehicle. (ugh)

This morning, I went for the ride with them for the 1st time. We had taken her leash out of "her" closet and placed it somewhere else in the house. We didn't want her to get all excited like she does when she hears that door open thinking that we're getting the leash for a walk. Trying to minimize the excitement as much as we can here...

We drove for 10 minutes there, with her having free reign, then walked at the park for 30, came home with a 15 minute drive. This is the 1st time with me in the car. She didn't have any problems whatsoever except for wanting to go from seat to seat, which I don't approve of, but we're taking baby steps here.

We will take her again tonight and try to build up the drive time some more. The big test will be if we can get her in her kennel without her throwing up during the ride.

I really want to be able to travel with her. I just don't want to have to drug her to get to do it. I used to cat sit for a colleague of mine when she'd bring her cat to work in it's carrier, right after she returned from a flight. (I could hide the cat carrier under my desk, she couldn't) I always wondered what the joy was in traveling with an animal if getting there and coming home was so traumatic.

Anyway, if anyone is interested, I'll keep posting my results with my wonderful dog and her car retraining. And I still need anymore helpful hints that some of you may remember.

And I'm so sorry for the length of the post...

Thanks for your help,
PJ


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

A-HA!

You have one smart dog on your hands. Who isn't a nervous wreck when they evacuate for hurricanes? And then rush back to see if everything is OK?

I' mnot one of these overly spiritual people but dogs pick up on stuff when we're nervous or anxious. Especially since most of the time we're pretty happy and calm around our pets.

I'm afraid this could take a long time to correct. I highly suggest you first change the location where your dog sits. Do not use that crate anymore use something else or some other crate-like thing if you want. Maybe in the back seat. I moved my dog to the passenger seat and used a seatbelt harness but no crate so that I could interact with him. Put in the bed from home. I don't normally suggest talking on the cell when driving but I noticed it helps if you call a friend and talk casually about something or about somethjing funny that will take your mind off of the driving (I know that sounds horrible but that's what talking on the cell does). Practice this over and over. Just short drives. To the bank. Or go to petsmart. Weather and schedule permitting we go to petsmart every other friday after dinner for good positive association with the truck. Then it's lots of treats and praise and it's like a big party. The bank and post office are other short field trips. My boys won't eat in the truck but yours might. It's worth a shot to feed a meal in the car without actually going anywere.

It's worth a shot, what have you got to lose?

Keep us updated.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

Okay I have a Dodge Durango so we both have SUV's. One of my Shiba Inu's, a retired champion who was used to traveling before I adopted him, always got sick when I had him in the back cargo area. I solved the problem by putting down the back seats and strapping the crate onto the middle of the seatbacks. The motion of the vehicle is lessened there. Also when going on trips it's always a good idea to make sure the dog hasn't been fed for at least an hour or two before leaving.

Bob


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

Meeko use to get carsick all the time. I hated it because I originally bought a small dog to take with me everywhere possible. The funny thing is my vet suggested half a tablet of gravol half an hour b4 I went in the car. I tried it and it worked. I only had to do this 4 times last year and now I can honestly say Meeko is the best travelin companion ever. I also agree with not feeding them half an hour b4.
Also my b/f found stopping half way to where u r going((especially on trips longer than an hour)) helps out his 3 year old rottie/shepard


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

I haven't solved the problem, but I figured it out a little more. If we don't have to turn much, coda doesn't get sick. She doesn't have her travelling legs. Even in her crate, she'll lay down, and as soon as we turn, she'll get up and do circles, and if we have to turn a lot, she paces. If she's in the back seat, free roam, she'll wander from one side of the seat, and lay down. When we turn, she'll get up and go back to the other side, and lay down again. Over and over, til she ralphs.

Which is why she doesn't do it when I hold her, because I have her stable. I don't know if she just doesn't like the movement and not being in control of it, or if it makes her feel yucky.

How much movement is there in a harness+booster?? Would she still sway a bit. I have a feeling she'd flip out if she still moved, and couldn't get away. She occasionally freaks out when I'm holding her if we take a sudden turn, she tries to run away.


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RE: Dog that gets carsick??

Over 20 years ago I had a large, very car sick dog. A friend of mine introduced me to the static strap, a necessity for him as he traveled so much with show dogs.

It worked!

For the past 2 weeks I have been searching for another one until I found you. I am thrilled, for now I shall have the freedom of being able to travel with my new puppy and not have to leave him behind.

I highly recommend the Mizter to anyone and everyone who has the misfortune of having a car sick dog. It transforms the lives of both owner and dog to happy ones.

http://www.mizter.com/car-sick-dog.htm

Here is a link that might be useful: Car Ground Strap


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