What to do when pets get car sick
YOU’RE on your way to the vet when you hear the ominous sound of an animal retching in the back seat of the car. Why does this happen? There are two main reasons that animals are sick in cars.
The first is genuine motion sickness: as with us, the motion of the car can trigger nausea in some animals.
Your veterinarian can prescribe anti-nausea medication to give your pet before you travel.
The second and more common reason is anxiety.
Animals that are frightened will often empty their stomach (or bowels, or both).
Animals that are unused to travelling may be terrified, particularly if their only experiences of the car are associated with something stressful, such as a vet or boarding facility.
Dogs often grow out of car sickness as they become accustomed to the car and associate it with positive things – like the beach or park. Start with short trips and gradually increase the length.
For cats, the key is getting them used to their carriers. Keep carriers out and allow cats to play or sleep in them between vet visits. You might even offer treats in the carrier.
If you are going to travel in the car with your pet, avoid feeding them immediately before the journey. Water should always be offered. It doesn’t hurt to place a towel on the back seat, just in case. Dr Anne Fawcett is a lecturer in veterinary science at the University of Sydney and a veterinarian with Sydney Animal Hospitals Inner West. Visit smallanimaltalk. com