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Try these steps to help dogs dodge car sickness

Millions of dog owners in the United States consider their pets to be a part of the family and include them on family vacations. Just like other members of the family, Fido can get car sick too. Typically there are two reasons dogs get car sick: motion sickness affecting balance or anxiety caused by a fearful or traumatic experience in the car. The American Kennel Club offers tips on curbing your canine's car sickness, as well as tips for comfortable, safe travel. American Kennel Club

Motion sickness

• If your pup is prone to motion sickness, slowly acclimate her to car travel by cuddling her upside down in your lap, picking her up in the air, or rolling her around on the ground. These motions will simulate what your dog will experience in the car.

• Try not to feed your pup too soon before your planned trip, or feed her lightly. You don't want to upset an already off-balance digestive system.

• Avoid putting the dog in the farthest back seat, where there is the most motion.

• If you mainly take your pup in the car to go to the vet, she may associate the car with getting shots, which is not fun. Try sitting in the car with her for a few minutes each day, gently petting and praising her. Don't turn on the car or drive anywhere.

• After you've sat in the car for a few days with it turned off, try turning it on and sitting with your dog for a few minutes while it is running. Bring a toy and make it a happy time. Do this for a few days until she shows enthusiasm for going to the car.

• Last, try driving up and down the driveway once and then exiting the car. After a few days of no sickness, try increasing the distance, say driving up and down the street. If she does get sick, then simply move the process backward until she is not sick again.

Other safe travel tips

• Be sure to secure your pooch in a crate, carrier or harness that attaches to the seat belt. No dog should ever ride loose in the back of a pickup — that could lead to serious injury in the event of an accident.

• To avoid ear or eye injuries to your dog, or, worse, her falling out, do not let her hang her head outside the window.

Additional tips can be found on the American Kennel Club website at www.akc.org.

Try these steps to help dogs dodge car sickness 05/24/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 3:55pm]

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