Does your chihuahua get car sick?
Unfortunately, your chihuahua can suffer from motion sickness just as much as people get car sick, which can cause lots of problems when traveling on holidays or taking short journeys to a favourite walking spot.
Minnie used to get really car sick. She would drool so much she must get dehydrated. We had to take lots of water and paper towels everywhere.
Motion sickness occurs when your inner ears, which helps with balance, senses something that does not line up with what your eyes see, this is the same for both humans and dogs.
Puppies and younger dogs are more susceptible to suffering from motion sickness usually because the ear structures aren’t fully developed yet. So there is a chance she will start to grow out of it.
Signs your chihuahua is feeling car sick
Asides from the obvious vomiting, there are other signs to check if you think your dog is unwell while travelling;
- Excessive drooling
- Constant yawning
- Whining and pained noises
- Uneasiness and restlessness
- Inactivity and listlessness.
Top tips for preventing car sickness
#1 Make frequent stops
If you are undertaking a long journey, let your dog take a break every hour or so. Stop the car regularly somewhere where your chi can have a walk. At these points, you can let them have a drink or perhaps some ice to help them feel better.
#2 Open the windows
For reducing nausea, fresh air can really help. Where possible, turn off the air-conditioning and allow fresh air from the windows. This helps to prevent your dog from getting too hot as well as reducing the stuffiness of the car.
#3 Let your dog see the scenery
Dogs love watching the view and enjoying the scenery can help to prevent motion sickness. Car pet seats allow small chihuahuas to be upright and see out of the windows while still staying safe and secure.
Pet seats and harnesses can be found all breeds and sizes of dogs and most can be fitted to all car seats, so your dog can go in the front or back seats.
#4 Keep your chihuahua company
Distraction methods often works just as well as prevention. If possible, ask your travel companions to keep your chi distracted from travelling by playing with them. Use dog toys and stimulation to help keep them entertained and stop them from feeling poorly.
#5 Change the perception of car travel
Another method to cure car sickness is to change their perception of travelling. This can be done by taking lots of short trips to an enjoyable place.
Once you return home, repeat the enjoyable experience, so your chihuahua associates travelling with having fun and being excited. This is what worked with Minnie and she no longer needs any travel medication.
If none of these methods work, there are some medications that dogs can take that can help to prevent travel sickness;
Calmex – This vitamin combination is designed to help dogs in stressful situations, like travelling. Calmex aims to promote a more positive mental disposition.
Cerenia – These tablets help to prevent vomiting and are non-drowsy and completely safe for dogs.
Johnsons Travel-Eze Tablets – These tablets are made up from a natural herbal mix, containing zingiber officinale which is a supplement that can help to relieve motion sickness.
Some of the medications for dog motion sickness are expensive, so read the instructions and make sure you give them the correct amount of time before you travel. We made this mistake with Minnie once and she threw up her meds two miles into the journey!
We have had some success with Cernia (available from the vet) but found the calming sprays made no difference.
If none of these methods work to cure your dog of motion sickness, then speak to your vet to further advice.
If you have any other methods of helping with dog motion sickness we would love to hear in the comments below.