Puppy training can help put an end to the problem, if your young pooch suffers from car sickness.
Puppies often get nauseous or vomit during car rides – more so than adult dogs – because the inner ear structures that regulate balance and equilibrium don’t fully develop until adulthood. This means that young pups can be overly sensitive to motion.
Some puppies outgrow car sickness, but stress can also play a role. When young dogs learn to associate taking a ride with feeling ill or anxious, they can continue to struggle with motion sickness as adults. To make sure that doesn’t happen with your dog, try the following puppy training strategies.
Limit Food Before Traveling
Puppies and dogs often have less trouble with car sickness when they travel on an empty stomach. So, try to avoid giving your pooch any food for about an hour or two before taking a ride.
Have Your Puppy Face Forward
If your pup is facing forward while riding – and not looking out of the side windows – the sights won’t present as many nauseating visual cues. For that reason, puppy training experts often recommend using a specially-designed pet seat belt.
Lower Your Car Windows
Lowering the windows a couple of inches helps keep the car ventilated and equalizes the inside and outside air pressures. Adequate air flow makes your puppy more comfortable and may also reduce the nausea and discomfort of car sickness.
Keep Car Rides Short
Taking short car rides at first, then gradually building tolerance for longer trips, can help eliminate a dog’s motion sickness. Start by traveling only around the block and slowly move on to longer rides to a fun destination, like a dog park.
Keep a Special Toy in the Car
Buy a special dog toy – one that your pup is sure to love – and keep it in the car. This puppy training strategy works to create a sense of excitement about going on a ride, which can ease stress and help prevent car sickness.
Use Puppy Treats
Using puppy treats can also help turn your car into a fun place and make the idea of taking a ride more enjoyable for your dog. However, be careful not to offer too many – otherwise, your effort to prevent car sickness could have the opposite effect.
With the right puppy training strategies, car sickness can become a thing of the past. If you’re having trouble dealing with the issue, however, you might consider working with a professional dog trainer.
Innovative K9 Academy offers a range of scientifically-based dog and puppy training programs, including boot camps and in-home sessions, designed to achieve results through the use of positive reinforcement. Our professional trainers have extensive experience working with northern Utah dog owners, and we can help your pooch become an ideal traveling companion.
For more information about our puppy training programs, contact our Salt Lake City office today.