How To Travel With A Sick Dog
Edward R. Forte
October 22, 2021
Travel & Outdoor
You may be over the river and through the woods this holiday season, but if you have a pet who is sick, immunocompromised, affected by cancer, or otherwise not well it can make things a little more complicated.Medications or treatments that will need to be administered and the logistics of doing so.How stressed the pet may become during travel and what effects this might have on overall health.In these situations it may be best to board the pet at a facility such as ours that is capable of meeting any special medical needs.Anticipation of potential health needs is vital to everyone enjoying their time away from home.Any items or medications that may make travel more comfortable (anti-nausea drugs, supplements for anxiety, a familiar blanket). .
Traveling with a Sick Pet
Traveling with any pet requires prep work before you hit the road.Let’s explore the steps to take and other scenarios that may come up when traveling with a sick pet.If you and your veterinarian decide that it is okay for your pet to travel, take the following precautions to make the trip enjoyable (or at least less painful).Consult your veterinarian for information on the rules of travel with contagious pets.It may not be legal to do so in some situations.If your pet’s immune system is compromised, keep in mind that travel can expose them to new illnesses and parasites.If you dog is susceptible to being sick in the car, try a few of these tips:.The reality is, many pets are living for years with chronic illness or conditions.The important thing is to make sure you cover all of your bases before travel and keep a close eye on how your pet is doing along the way. .
Dog Car Sickness and Motion Sickness: Causes and Treatment
As you’ve probably already figured out, dog motion sickness is real, and it can make even the shortest trips stressful for you and your pooch.If the first few car rides of your dog’s life left them nauseated, they may have been conditioned to equate travel with vomiting, even after their ears have fully matured.Signs of Dog Motion Sickness Dogs don’t turn the unflattering shade of green that people do when they’re experiencing motion sickness, but there are some signs of dog travel sickness you can learn to identify. .
Motion Sickness in Dogs
Motion or car sickness is more common in younger dogs than adults.Dogs that travel only once or twice a year (typically when visiting the veterinarian) are not used to car rides and often associate the car ride with the stressful experience that follows.This causes heightened anxiety and stress, and may result in vomiting and diarrhea.Others may be taking medications that can cause vomiting or diarrhea.Helping your dog overcome the stress and anxiety of travel will mean that your pet can accompany you on trips more frequently and will allow you to spend more time together.Signs your dog may be experiencing motion sickness include:.Helping your dog overcome the stress and anxiety of travel will mean that he can accompany you on trips more frequently and will allow you to spend more time together.Continuing to expose your dog to a stressful situation will only cause him to further associate the car with displeasure and fear and cause setbacks in your training.Car rides in a carrier can also be good practice for traveling in an airplane or train.Water bottles that hang on the carrier’s door are a good option for many pets.If your dog seems to need a little more help to stay calm during travel, talk to your veterinarian about using one of the following remedies:.These anti-nausea medications can prevent vomiting in a stressed pet.Keep in mind that these drugs only help with motion sickness, not anxiety.Alprazolam (Xanax®), trazodone (Desyrel®) or other prescription medications given the night before travel and repeated 12 hours later can relax even the most anxious pet traveler.Keep in mind that some prescription medications need to be started several days to a couple of weeks before travel to be most effective. .
Carsickness in Dogs: Causes & Tips for Preventing Motion Sickness
There is usually one of two reasons for dogs to get carsick: physical or psychological.Of course, also like humans, some dogs never outgrow the nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness.In Partnership with Find Your Perfect Home Places Buy Rent Search Now *Dog friendly rental filter applied to results.Use a doggie seat belt or safety harness to keep him safely in place.You can take steps to help your dog overcome motion sickness and car anxiety.Don’t turn on the car or drive anywhere, just sit quietly, giving praise and gently petting.The trick here is to progress slowly after she shows no sign of sickness.Your dog may show signs of anxiety, such as whining, drooling, licking her lips, or even vomiting.Although many dogs will outgrow carsickness, some are prone to it throughout their lives.It would be a shame if every trip to the vet is traumatic (for both of you) or if your dog has to miss family outings and vacations. .
Preventing and Treating Car Sickness in Dogs
Dogs, just like humans, can suffer from motion sickness during car rides or other types of travel.Many of the signs and symptoms of car sickness are the same as travel anxiety, so it can be tough to determine exactly which one your dog is experiencing.To determine whether your dog’s dislike of car rides is due to car sickness or travel anxiety, it’s best to start with a conversation and visit with your vet.There are some great options available, so be sure to talk to your veterinarian, as your dog doesn’t need to live with or “just get over” their car sickness or travel anxiety.If your dog’s signs are due exclusively, or even primarily to motion sickness, you should notice an improvement in your dog’s signs rather quickly, once an effective treatment for motion sickness has been started.If it’s determined that even some of your dog’s signs are due to travel anxiety, you can learn more about travel anxiety and what you can do to help your dog in our article "Preventing and Treating Travel Anxiety in Dogs.".Below are some of the more common medications and supplements that are used to treat and prevent motion sickness in dogs.Because every dog and every situation is different, your (and your dog’s) best bet is to have a conversation with your veterinarian to determine which medication(s) and/or supplements are most likely to help your dog suffering from motion sickness.A highly effective medication for the treatment and prevention of the vomiting associated with motion sickness in dogs.Meclizine (Bonine®, Antivert®, Dramamine® LESS Drowsy Formula) : An over-the-counter human antihistamine that can be effective in treating the signs and symptoms of motion sickness in some dogs.An over-the-counter human antihistamine that can be effective in treating the signs and symptoms of motion sickness in some dogs.Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine®) : Like meclizine, an over-the-counter human antihistamine that can be effective in treating the signs and symptoms of motion sickness in some dogs.Like meclizine, an over-the-counter human antihistamine that can be effective in treating the signs and symptoms of motion sickness in some dogs.To my knowledge, there haven’t been any specific studies to show the safety and effectiveness of using ginger to help dogs suffering from car and motion sickness, but many people (and some vets) use and swear by it.Talk to your vet about what dose and frequency are likely to be best for your dog and make sure that any liquid/tincture formulations you try don't have xylitol in them.To my knowledge, there haven’t been any specific studies to show the safety and effectiveness of using ginger to help dogs suffering from car and motion sickness, but many people (and some vets) use and swear by it.Talk to your vet about what dose and frequency are likely to be best for your dog and make sure that any liquid/tincture formulations you try don't have xylitol in them.If you do decide to try CBD to help your dog avoid getting carsick (or for any other reason), please read our "What to Know if You Want to Give Your Dog CBD" article first.PRO TIP: As you can see above, though there are several over-the-counter, anecdotal, and supplemental treatments for motion sickness in dogs, the fact that maropitant (Cerenia®) has proven safety, is specifically licensed for treating motion sickness in dogs, and is extremely and reliably effective is why I (and many other vets) love this medication for both diagnosing and treating car and motion sickness in dogs.However, for some dogs, a little bit of food in their stomach (like a teaspoon or two, or a couple of treats) may decrease their chances of getting nauseous and vomiting. .
How to Cure Car Sickness in Your Dog
They may appear lethargic, whine, drool, cry, and ultimately vomit all over the back seat.Rest assured, though, that it's completely natural in young puppies and even some older dogs.Rides are often associated with rude thermometers and needle pricks at the vet.In a very gradual way, teach your dog that the car offers lots of benefits.A narrow opening lets it sniff without risking eye injury from flying objects.Also, you will want to stop and let the puppy stroll around for potty breaks during long car rides.A potty or sniff break can help your puppy associate the car with fun new places and things to explore.If those suggestions do not work and your dog hasn't grown out of motion sickness, there are some remedies that you can try.The same drug people take to fight motion sickness works in dogs, too.Be sure to check with your vet on the proper puppy dose, though and to make sure it won't interfere with any of your dog's medical conditions or other medications.Ginger is a natural nausea remedy that you can try offering your dog. .
Traveling with your pet FAQ
Q: What should I think about when deciding to travel with my pet?The microchip must be registered with your current contact information, including a cell phone number.The health certificate must be signed by an accredited veterinarian after examining your pet and determining that it is free of infectious diseases and satisfies all import requirements of the receiving state, territory, or country.Make sure the hotel/motel knows how they can contact you if there are any problems.Foreign Consulate or Regulatory Agency (if traveling to another country) If you are traveling to another country (or even Hawaii), there may be quarantine or other health requirements If traveling out of the continental United States, you should contact these agencies at least 4 weeks in advance.888-426-4435 Identification Current color photo of your pet ID tag should include: Owner's name, current home address and home phone number Travel ID tag should include: Owner's local contact phone number and address Contact information for your accommodations (hotel, campground etc) The microchip registration should be updated with your current contact information including a cell phone number.For travel within the United States, a brief summary of medical conditions would be sufficient.Both of these certificates can only be completed and signed by a federally accredited veterinarian.Q: Can I bring my pet out of the country with me?You should contact the Consulate or Embassy in that country to find out their regulations.Being outside, your pet can be exposed to many different wild animals like skunks, raccoons, snakes and other animals that can injure your pet or expose them to disease.Q: What can I do to prepare my pet for air travel?Check with airlines because they may have restrictions on breed and size.Q: What is the best way to choose flights appropriate for my pet?Airlines cannot ship animals if they will be exposed to temperatures higher than 85° F (29.5° C) for more than four consecutive hours while in animal holding areas of airport terminals, or for more than 45 minutes while being transferred between the aircraft and the animal holding area.A: Always check with the airline and your veterinarian well in advance.If your pet is traveling in the cargo hold and temperatures at the departure or destination airport are expected to be below 45°F, your pet definitely will need an acclimation certificate in order to travel.Some airlines may require acclimation certificates even when temperatures are not expected to be below 45°F.There are no acclimation certificates that allow pets to be shipped when they will be exposed to temperatures above 85°F (29.5°C) for more than four consecutive hours while in animal holding areas of terminals, or for more than 45 minutes while being transferred between the aircraft and the animal holding area.In most cases, it’s not recommended that pets be sedated for air travel.However, it may benefit some animals to be tranquilized for air travel.Airlines may require a signed statement that your pet has not been sedated prior to flying.Be ventilated on opposite sides, with exterior knobs and rims that will not block airflow.Call ahead to make sure the marina or park is pet friendly.Q: What items should I bring with me to keep my pet safe?Your pet should wear a proper-fitting personal flotation device (a life jacket) at all times to keep your pet safe in and around water, even if they know how to swim.Q: How will my pet go to the bathroom when on a boat?Q: What should I do to prepare when traveling on a cruise with my pet?For public boats, check with the boating company to find out their requirements and restrictions.Q: What are some other things to think about when traveling by boat?Q: What can I do to prepare my pet for traveling in a car?Q: What should I do to keep my pet safe and healthy?Do not let your pet ride in the back of a truck.» AVMA Policy: Transport of Dogs in Motor Vehicles Pets should not be allowed to ride with their heads outside the window.Providing a familiar blanket and/or safe toy can help make your pet more comfortable during the trip.Q: Can my pet travel with me on a train or bus?A: Most states restrict the travel of pets on trains or buses. .
How Does Air Travel Impact My Snub-Nosed or Sick Pet?
These considerations relate to age, overall health, and (you may be surprised by this one) breed.So the rigors and inherent stress of air travel may be more than they can handle.If your pet suffers from diabetes, a heart or liver condition, or some other type of chronic illness, you may not think of him as “sick,” but his compromised health could put him at higher risk for problems during air travel.Snub-nosed breeds often suffer from other chronic conditions including neurological, eye, heart, and gastrointestinal defects or disease.Stress, heat, cold, and other factors can all exacerbate these problems, making “brachys” poor candidates to fly.Many do not differentiate between purebred animals and those who are cross-breeds, including all of them in their restrictions.However, every air carrier has rules about what pets are eligible to fly, when and where. .