On The Road Again….Keeping Your Pets Safe on Car Rides While Fending Off Motion Sickness

Image Source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/796688

The holidays are right around the corner and for many of us here in Chicago, this time of year means piling into the car and traveling to see family.  But just as we buckle up the kids and make sure they’re safe (and occupied!) for the trip, we need to do the same with our furry family members.  We’ve got some tips on ways to help prevent motion sickness for our pets while keeping them safe and secure.

 

I don’t think Fluffy feels so good…

 

Maybe you’re one of the lucky few that can read in a car and never get that nauseous feeling but many of us know the effects of motion sickness and do everything we can to avoid it.  Our pets can suffer the same effects so being aware of the signs and creating a more comfortable travel environment will help prevent an unpleasant, and sometimes smelly, trip.  The most common signs of motion sickness are panting, drooling licking their lips and excessive yawning.  As the motion sickness progresses, vomiting can occur- therefore it’s important to catch the symptoms early!  The vets here at Blum Animal Hospital recommend keeping your pet comfortable by making sure your cat or dog is facing forward in their pet restraint, maintaining a cool temperature and increasing air flow by cracking a nearby window.  Training through positive reinforcement is an excellent way to decrease the anxiety your cat or dog may experience during car trips.  One way to do this is to take short local car rides before your long trip and rewarding your pet with a treat after the ride.  Finally, remember to refrain from feeding your cat or dog within 30mins to an hour before a long trip!  If your pet still struggles with motion sickness, call one of our Veterinary Care Coordinators to schedule an appointment and a vet can discuss the benefits of Cerenia, an FDA approved medication used to relieve the symptoms of motion sickness.

Keep Heads and Tails Inside the Vehicle at All Times!

 

Many dogs look happy when riding in a car- head out the window, ears flapping in the wind and drool streaming from their billowing chops.  Although it looks fun, an unrestrained dog or cat puts your furry family member in a potentially dangerous situation.  The law requires all of us to buckle up before we drive…and for good reason!  Driving with a pet on your lap can make it very difficult to maneuver the car, especially in split-second panic situations.  Additionally, airbags in most cars can seriously harm or even kill our animal loved ones.  Letting dogs put their head out the window can lead to injury from flying debris and pets should never be put in the back of a pickup truck.  There are a lot of great pet harnesses or carriers available on the market that will keep you pet safe and comfortable during car trips and it’s a worthwhile investment, especially for such a valued member of your family!  And with the cold Chicago weather coming on strong, don’t leave your pet in the car unattended, even for a short amount of time.

 

At Blum Animal Hospital, we know how much your pet means to you and our goal is to keep your dog and cat healthy AND happy!  If you have any questions or concerns about the health and safety of your pet, always feel free to give us a call and our incredible team of veterinarians, technicians and trained team members will do everything possible to help you and your furry family member.  From our family to yours, we wish you a happy holiday season!

Written by Kimberly Cerny for Blum Animal Hospital

Image Source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/796688