Motion sickness can be a common issue in many dogs, much to the dismay of the people who love them and want to take them for rides! Generally, dogs will often grow out of motion sickness as they age and as they are taken out for more frequent rides.
If your dog suffers from motion sickness, take him out for frequent rides around the block and it should start to resolve. Better yet, drive him to the park and toss a few tennis balls for him so that he sees the car as a precursor to fun instead of just a transport to the vet’s or groomer’s.
Some dogs never seem to get over their motion sickness and may need a little assistance to make their car rides less traumatic – for both the dog and your upholstery! For these dogs, there are a few herbs and remedies that might ease the trauma.
Herbs for Upset Tummies
An upset stomach and vomiting may be eased with several herbs. Try ginger, peppermint, catnip, fennel or dill. They can be given separately or in combination.
Herbs for Anxiety
If you suspect your dog’s motion sickness is due to nervousness, try valerian as it will also calm the nervous stomach.
Herbs that can act as mild sedatives include oatstraw, skullcap and passionflower. These can be given alone or in combination with the herbs mentioned above.
It’s often best to use a tincture instead of dried herbs; dogs might not be able to digest enough of the dried herb to make it effective. The dosage depends somewhat on the dog and the application, but a general rule of thumb is:
- Tincture – 12 to 20 drops per 20 pounds of body weight, twice daily (this is a good starting point)
- Dried herbs – 1 tsp per 20 pounds of body weight, twice daily (you can sprinkle it on his food)
Remedies for Upset Tummies
Homeopathy is also a great option for motion sickness.
Cocculus indicus – can be given just before getting in the car and is the most popular remedy for nausea due to motion sickness. Give your dog three pellets or crush them in a spoon and drop them in some water for him to drink (or in a dropper bottle so you can administer them).
Remedies for Anxiety
Rescue Remedy – this flower essence can also be given right before getting in the car to ease your dog’s anxiety. Follow the directions on the bottle.
Argentum nitricum – this is the first remedy to consider when nausea is accompanied by nervousness and anxiety. Give your dog three pellets or crush them in a spoon and drop them in some water for him to drink (or in a dropper bottle so you can administer them).
With a little help, and a little time, your dog may soon enjoy running errands with you, instead of waiting at home.
To give remedies, make sure you don’t touch the pellets (if you have to, that’s fine but try to pop them from the cap into your dog’s mouth – if that doesn’t work, place three pellets in a glass of water, stir with a metal spoon, then give the water to your dog in a dropper). Give the remedy before you leave and take some extras along for the ride, in case you need a second or third dose. Don’t give remedies with food.
Homeopathic dosing isn’t based on weight. Give the same dose for all size dogs.
- Pills – give 3 of the larger pellets or a capful of the smaller little granular pellets
- Liquid – mix the same amount of pellets in a glass of water. Give a half dropper full, regardless of your dog’s size.