Tiffani M. Beckman, Vet Asst. & Student of Veterinary
Poor baby, all miserable from a ride in the
car. What can you do, short of doping the animal up?? Here are just a
few suggestions -
1. Try powdered ginger root capsules. Ginger root does help calm the
stomach. Ginger can be given in tea, too, if the animal prefers it.
Ginger root raw is a little strong, and most animals don't like it.
Scale down the human dosage for animals, and give a little before the
car ride as well as during the trip if needed.
2. Fenugreek, another herb, can be used just like ginger.
3. Rescue Remedy. This is a Bach Flower Remedy. It tends to calm down
an animal but doesn't make them dopey like drugs do. Give about 4 drops
in the mouth or ears about 10-12 hours before starting the trip,
repeating every four hours or as needed. You can also spritz the car
with a dilution made with spring water. RR is absorbed anywhere through
the skin, so even rubbing some RR in can help calm. RR can also be
given in drinking water - dilution does not affect its efficacy.
4. Peppermint tea. Try brewing some peppermint tea and giving the
animal some cooled tea. This also calms the stomach.
5. Try giving a little raw honey before the car trip. It tends to calm
the tummy. Repeat as necessary. (If your animal has a heart problem,
however, do not give honey, as it tends to make animals retain fluid,
which is not good in the case of heart patients)
6. Behavior. Start the dog (or cat) out by sitting in the car. After
several times and the attitude is calm, try starting the car with the
dog in it. Wait until the animal is comfortable with a running parked
car before driving a short (and I mean SHORT, like down the driveway)
distance. *Slowly* keep increasing the time spent in the moving car
until the animal is more comfortable with being in a moving car. Spread
the "training" out over several weeks for best results. Dosing with
any of the 4 remedies above can help too. When in the car, keep your
voice cheerful rather than soothing. This will help the animal see that
there is nothing scary about being in the car.
7. Try the training on both a full and an empty stomach. Some animals
need to eat before riding, some need an empty stomach.
8. When driving to a destination for the first time, make sure it is a
fun place. Nothing will undo all your hardwork more quickly than the
first visit being a vet clinic or some other "unfun" place. Go to the
park or the beach or some other place your dog can look forward to.
9. Some doctors say that carsickness is from a lack of Vit B6, so try
giving your dog extra B vits on the morning of the journey. Raw liver
(fed the night before or that morning) has lots of B vits, and a human
supplement can also be given in pill form. Please give a B complex
vitamin rather than just one B vitamin, as they need to be balanced out
for maximum effect.
10. Ask your homeopathic vet about perhaps trying one of the following
homeopathic remedies (in about the 6th potency): Petroleum, Cocculus,
Always remember to secure your animal properly in the car. Loose in the
back of a truck may look "cool", but your animal can be injured and
perhaps killed this way. Crates tied or bolted down in the back of a
truck or the back of a car is the safest route. Seatbelts for animals
are also available. A simple downstay in the backseat may not be
sufficient in preventing injury should an accident occur.
Tiffani M. Beckman
This article is Copyright © 1998 No
reprints without expressed permission.
**Disclaimer - I am not a vet. Please check with
your vet before trying any new treatments or diets.**