We adopted two young dogs from the SPCA who had been abused at a puppy mill. They have adjusted nicely, and we love them dearly. We would like to be able to take them to parks and on short family trips, but they get incredibly carsick. Do you have any recommendations for dealing with this?
L.F., Fairfax, Va Jan 24, 2010
Carsickness is a distressing but often-treatable canine malady. You should desensitize the dogs by sitting quietly in the car with them until they settle down. Repeat for a few days, then turn the engine on. Once they are settled, drive around the block once or twice and then to the park. Take it from there.Anxious dogs often calm down in the car when there is a strip of cloth hanging inside (or a bandana around the neck) that has a few drops of lavender oil on it. Lavender oil has a calming effect on many dogs. Nauseous dogs benefit from a 1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh ginger (per 30 pounds of bodyweight) tucked into a ball of cream cheese or meat. Give 20 to 30 minutes before the car ride. Some dogs eat sugar-crystallized ginger like candy, and this, too, can settle their stomachs. Ginger is one of the most beneficial of all herbs and has anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties.
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