How do I prevent my pet from getting carsick?
Taking your dog or cat with you on a car trip can be a joy, but pets that suffer from motion sickness can swiftly turn the fun into an uncomfortable experience.
So how do you prevent your pet from getting carsick?
Firstly, let’s look at the reason dogs and cats get sick, and then we’ll look at some prevention strategies.
Why do animals get carsick?
The main reason dogs and cats seem to get motion sickness is the same reason humans get motion sick. It is the feeling we have when what we see visually is different to what we sense in our inner ear. (The inner ear is the innermost part of our ear - a highly sensitive area responsible for hearing and balance).
And just as carsickness is more likely to happen to children, it is also more likely to happen to younger dogs and cats. This may be because their inner ear structure is yet to fully develop, but it may also be due to a lack of travelling experience. Younger pets are not used to being in a car and experiencing the different signals their eyes and inner ear are sending to their brain.
The other reason dogs and cats experience carsickness may be emotional. If they were carsick as puppies or kittens they may automatically associate the car with being sick - bringing on more carsickness - or if they only associate car trips with vet visits, it may bring on anxiety in your pet. Anxiety that can manifest as carsickness.