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How to socialize puppy when he gets car sick anywhere we go

Discussion in 'Puppies 101' started by kmarcel, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. kmarcel

    kmarcel Forums Regular

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    My puppy Blaze is just over 3 months and gets car sick just going 10-15 minutes away. I am working on just putting him in car without it running and taking him to places he seems to enjoy to help him get over his car sickness, which hasn’t worked yet.
    He doesn’t seem nervous when he’s in the car or at places like Petsmart.
    He’s very skittish with noises from cars, lawn mowers etc. I’m trying to get him used to noises and traffic. I’m starting small but feel he’s ready to take walks at different places such as by the nearby lake/park as my neighborhood is very quiet.
    So do I take chances driving him very short distances so he can experience new things knowing he will most likely get sick?
    He starts puppy class next week and I’m sure he’ll get sick going to and from there.
    I’m afraid if I don’t get him over his skittishness he’ll always be that way. My previous sheltie was so nervous just walking around the neighborhood if there were kids playing, riding bikes etc. She never got over it.
    Karen
     
  2. Margi

    Margi Forums Enthusiast

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    Being carsick isn't necessarily an indicator of skittishness. Fillion had no fear of cars or anything for that matter, but he got sick on the way home from vet after 1st rabies shot and proceeded to puke every time we got in the car after that from 4 months to a year old.
    So I tried to never take him anywhere if he just ate...and did the best I could to upchuck proof the back of the Jeep and his crate. He doesn't love car rides like some dogs, but he never got sick again, and he sure loves it when we get there!
     
  3. kmarcel

    kmarcel Forums Regular

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    Margi, I think his car sickness is more of physical thing instead of result of nerves. I sure hope he outgrows it. We plan to take him places with us as my husband and I recently retired. First road trip to my daughters (10hr trip) end of September and maybe Florida in winter.
     
  4. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    Perhaps first try just sitting in the car with it running for a bit, then next time sit in the car with it running and back it out of driveway (or pull forward) etc...just slowly try to get him used to being in the car. Try having a really good reward...like some cut up meat, very small prices and only if your just doing very very short drives (initially, just to get him over his fear), he may not want to take it at first but if you talk to him and perhaps have a few toys as well you can help alleviate his fear. With Finnie I'd take very short trips ( around the block) and give him little treats to get him used to it, I basically was driving with one hand and feeding him almost constantly with the other lol, he enjoyed the meat so much he didn't notice we were moving. I also took the door off his carrier ( I placed carrier on front passenger seat) and I'd pet him as I drove to ease his fears. When I picked Finnie up from the breeder (I'd been visiting him regularly from 3 weeks) he was petrified of being in the car, shook like a leaf and it was a 30 minute highway drive home but now he enjoys his car rides. I also did this when my 3 year old Piper was a pup and he loves his car rides.
     
  5. Cara Sandler

    Cara Sandler Forums Enthusiast

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    I think maybe there's a misunderstanding here. Are you saying that your puppy is getting car sick (physical problem) and because of the car sickness, you're not able to take him places to get over his skittishness? It's not that he's afraid of the car, it's that he's not able to go on car rides because it makes him sick.
     
    Hanne likes this.
  6. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    My Flurry got carsick just going down the driveway for the first three months we had her. I've had puppies who were carsick before but she was the worst. It's definitely a physical thing and not caused by nerves in most puppies. What worked for us was first of all, NEVER feed before you put the puppy in the car. You can try giving a quarter or half tab of Pepcid if your vet approves it, but the best thing for carsickness is Cerenia, which you have to get from your vet. You give it the morning you're going to be going somewhere and it lasts for the day.

    Most puppies do eventually grow out of it. Even Flurry did, and now can go anywhere on a full stomach right after a meal. It's important to deal with it now so it doesn't become chronic, with the puppy associating the car with being sick.
     
  7. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    I'll post more in the morning, but for noises download some of the sounds from the internet and play them in the background at home. That should cover off any noises you specifically want him to get used to. Then focus on places you can walk to. I live in a really quiet place, but still managed to find a lot of places to take the dogs. Have you got a school within walking distance? Taking your dog to a school, before or after school when kids are at their noisiest, is a great way to get used to activity and all sorts of sounds. Even just walking along a road at peak hour will give you a lot of noises.

    They often grow out of car sickness. Deska used to get sick, even in adulthood I had to cover the car and take spare blankets for longer trips - ended up putting him on phenergan which helped a lot. Then I rearranged the car and the dogs went over the back instead of on the back seat and he stopped being sick (he lays down in the back). So maybe try some other positions for keeping him.
     
  8. kmarcel

    kmarcel Forums Regular

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    Thank you all for the helpful suggestions. Yes Cara that is correct. I don’t think it’s stress that is causing the car sickness and feel bad putting him through that discomfort by taking him places as he needs to be socialized.
    To Ann’s point I’m afraid he will associate the car to becoming dick. He goes back to the vet in two weeks and i will ask about the Cerenia.
    I did put him in the car with windows open and car running but didn’t go anywhere. Tomorrow I will try going around the block. There is a school a couple blocks away maybe we could go that far in the car and then get out. I guess all I can do is try to make it as enjoyable and stress free as possible and hope he out grows it.
    Karen
     
    Piper's mom, Ann and Cara Sandler like this.
  9. Shelby's mom

    Shelby's mom Forums Enthusiast

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    Shelby used to get car sick as a pup too. She did eventually outgrow it. I told DH his driving made her sick.

    But she definitely does not enjoy car rides like all my previous dogs did. She does not like getting in the car. We have to coax her with a treat, and even then she will not jump in. Once in the car she is fine, usually just lays down and she loves when we get to our destination. I don’t know if it is because she used to get sick, or if she is just a silly pup.
     
    Margi likes this.
  10. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    Piper got car sick when he was under a year but it was very rarely (4 times maybe) but it had nothing to do with stress either. He'd be in his carrier beside me in the passenger seat and I'd look over and he'd puked...never even heard him. By the time he was a year he was over it.
     

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