May 27 2013

Handle Pet’s Motion Sickness

Pet motion sickness doesn’t have to ruin your clients’ travel plans.

An enjoyable trip to spend the holidays with family can turn into a miserable experience if your client’s dog suffers from car sickness. Dogs can vocalize, drool, vomit, urinate, and defecate if they’re uncomfortable in a moving car.

Once you’ve ruled out a vestibular disorder, you can focus on whether your patient is suffering from motion sickness or anxiety. Often, simply withholding food before traveling can eliminate the problem. Anti-motion-sickness and anti-emetic drugs can be successful if the patient suffers from motion sickness. There are numerous methods for treating anxiety cases, but for a long-term solution, the dog must be desensitized. Here’s one method you can share with clients who have anxious dogs.

Put the dog in the car, but don’t start it. Praise the dog and offer a small treat for positive behavior.
Turn the car on. If the dog shows no signs of distress, slowly drive up and down the driveway, then around the block.
Gradually increase time spent in the car. Continue offering praise and treats for positive behavior.
This process may take weeks or even months of daily training. It may take some trial and error, but most dogs will respond to treatment. Pretty soon, they’ll be riding happily in the car on vacation – or even to your clinic for wellness care.

– Dr. Mike Andress, Gate City Animal Hospital; Greensboro, N.C.

Travel season is here. Help clients keep their pets safe by taking these steps.

The weather is warming up, and soon your clients will start flocking to the beach, national parks, campsites, or just to grandma’s house. Many will bring their pets along for the ride (or the flight). But are they taking the proper precautions for traveling with pets?

Help keep pets safe by offering them these travel tips, courtesy of Loving Pets, a consumer pet products company:

For air travelers:

  • See your veterinarian before flying. He or she will make sure your pet’s physical condition is conducive to flying. You’ll also need a general health certificate and a rabies vaccination certificate issued within 10 days of your flight
  • Choose nonstop flights if available to make traveling easier on your pet and to avoid delays.
  • Leave baby pets at home. Airlines won’t allow you to fly with a dog or cat younger than 8 weeks old. Pets must also be weaned at least five days before flying.
  • Allow for potty time. Arrive at the airport well before your flight to allow your pet to stretch and take care of business.

For car travelers:

  • If your pet gets anxious in the car, take it on several short trips around the neighborhood to get used to riding.
  • Always secure your pet with a seat belt harness or a pet care seat. Cats should be contained in a secured crate or with a seat belt.
  • Stop every couple of hours to let your pet stretch and take a potty break. Offer a small amount of food and water, but save a full meal for the end of the day, once you’re done driving.
  • Always carry pick-up bags and make sure to clean up after your pet.

For all travelers:

Pack a pet first-aid kit and your pet’s medical records, medications, and health certificate. Also make sure you know the phone numbers of your veterinarian, the National Animal Poison Control Center hotline, and veterinary emergency hospitals in the area you’re traveling.
Help clients understand that, with a little bit of preparation, their pets can travel safely and happily.

Contact us at or (610) 869-3033 to learn more about a new and highly effective medicine to help combat motion sickness, Cerenia©. This medication is available by prescription for dogs and cats.

Lifelearn Admin | Penn Animal Blog