Beagle Car Sickness: Causes and Remedies
“Wanna Go For A Ride?”
I’d just ignited a flurry of uncontrollable excitement and anticipation in my beagle, Skyler. His energy level is skyrocketing, and his tail is revving up fast enough to create a jet stream. As far as he is concerned, life couldn’t get any better than this exact moment. Unfortunately, every time we would go somewhere in the car, he gets nauseous. Which lead me to my question and undoubtedly yours: Does my beagle have car sickness?
Today, we discuss how to identify this common problem, and put the wheels of car sickness on blocks.
What Are Reasons For Car Sickness In A Beagle?
⦁ Just like in humans, their big floppy ears play a critical component in their balance. In puppies, their ears are not fully developed, and this consequentially can cause motion sickness. Additional sensory information could be a variable, as well. Think about it: their eyes, joints and muscles, the skin receptors on their feet, and their central nervous system are all trying to process this barrage of vehicular dynamics.
⦁ Have you ever felt stressed having just spent your last $50 until your next payday? If you’re like most of us, you have. Well, our four-legged loved ones can stress over things too. The unknown can get anything (or anyone) at least a little concerned or confused.
⦁ If you had a bad experience doing something once, then subsequently had a similarly bad experience, would you be eager about the next time? Probably not. Conditioning is real, and some beagles are experiencing this first-hand.
What Are Symptoms Of Car Sickness For A Beagle?
- Excessive Yawning
- Fear of Cars
- Hypersalivation (Drooling)
- Smacking or Licking Lips
Fortunately, the motion-driven drama typically ends shortly after the vehicle has come to a stop. Although, these symptoms can occur even before they set foot inside the vehicle.
How Can I Help My Beagle Overcome Car Sickness?
Thankfully, there are plenty of treatment options available to help prevent beagle motion sickness. Physical comfort, conditioning, medicine, and alternative treatments can all help to make car traveling a lot easier on your dog — and yourself.
Physical Comfort in Car
Try these options to help make the car ride as physically comfortable as possible for your dog.
- Facing your dog forward will be less likely to compound motion sickness, as opposed to looking out the side windows where objects will be markedly blurred.
- Opening the windows may help reduce air pressure inside the vehicle and allow for better ventilation. Be sure not to open the windows so much that they can stick their heads out of the window. Otherwise, their noses, eyes, and ears may be subjected to any road or environmental debris that goes their way.
- Try to avoid feeding your dog an hour or two before going so they don’t endure the trip with their stomach full.
- Pressure wraps or calming collars may help with relieving anxiety.
- Keep your beagle safe and comfy with a safety harness.
- Confine your canine. A travel crate may help your beagle feel more secure, and mitigate the opportunity they can look outside, which could further upset their sickness. In addition, if they do have any sickness, at least it will be contained in their crate.
- Keep them calm, cool and collected. Keeping the car cabin slightly cool may help. No one wants to be in a muggy vehicle — your beagle included.
Toys can potentially distract even the most crazed of beagles.
- Stopping for frequent bathroom breaks may help two-fold. It gives them plenty of opportunities to use the bathroom, and it also gives them a brief break from all of the vehicular movement.
- Exercising 10 to 15 minutes beforehand may take the edge off of travel.
Conditioning [Rinse, Wash, Repeat]
If your beagle is associating traveling in the vehicle with an unfavorable experience, reconditioning may be in order. Here are some tips to help.
- Start gradually. You needn’t even start the car initially for this one. Just sit in the car with him or her. Do this over a few days. Then, when they seem comfortable with this step, sit in the car while it is idling. After this, take short trips down a few blocks over a few days, and praise him or her for managing the short distance in the vehicle successfully.
If you’re a 2+ vehicle household, try switching it up. They may be associating your vehicle with unpleasant memories.
- Use treats and toys to make the car a more pleasurable experience for your dog.
Medicine [OTC and Prescribed]
Sometimes an even more aggressive approach may be appropriate. As with any medication (over-the-counter or prescribed), prior consultation with your veterinarian is necessary to ensure your beagle is healthy, the medication won’t harm him or her, and that the dosage is proper.
- Over-the-counter: Benadryl, Dramamine.
- Prescriptive: Phenothiazine drugs such as acepromazine or chlorpromazine. Maropitant, a neurokinin receptor antagonist, is another very effective medicine.
Alternatives are another viable option if you prefer to go to a “natural” route. Don’t forget: prior consultation with your veterinarian is advised.
- Apply a few drops of chamomile or lavender oil to a napkin or a cotton ball. This will fill the car cabin with a soothing aroma. Just be sure to remove it so your beagle doesn’t think it’s a toy or food.
- Ginger can be used for nausea. Ginger snap cookies or ginger pills can be given at least 30 minutes before travel. Beagles under 15 pounds can safely take up to 250 milligrams, while beagles over 15 pounds can safely handle up to 500 milligrams. Just be sure they don’t have any artificial sweeteners, like Xylitol, which is very toxic to dogs. In fact, consuming ginger treats may create a positive association with the car, and help beagles with anxiety-related motion sickness.
- Unsweetened yogurt, bananas, oatmeal, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes can all potentially settle your beagle’s stomach if given in appropriate quantity.
- Peppermint and horehound naturally help calm the stomach of your pup.
- Massage helps to relax your pet before you travel.
With concerted effort and time, your beagle will be able to ride safely and happily during your adventures. Safe travels!
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