Motion sickness is common in pets, says Dr. Ari Zabell, DVM, DABVP, based at Banfield Pet Hospital in Vancouver, Washington. While some pets might vomit once and adjust, he says others may not. “In addition to being an indication of stress and discomfort, it may suggest your pet is not a good candidate for car rides. Vomiting paired with limited access to water on longer car trips can easily lead to dehydration, which is not only unpleasant but can prove to be very dangerous for your pet.”
Before taking a chance on a long road trip, he suggests testing shorter rides to see how your companion fares. Also, discuss motion sickness and anti-anxiety medications with your vet, recommends Dr. Samantha Nelson, MS, DVM, DACVS-SA with Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners in North Seattle, Washington. Although you might be tempted to use medications that are made for people, Dr. Nelson says, “Do not give human over-the-counter medications unless previously authorized by your veterinarian—especially Advil and Aleve, or Tylenol to cats, as these can be fatal.”
Be sure to discuss anti-nausea and anti-anxiety medications with your vet well in advance of any trip. Often, dose adjustments will need to be made to get the optimum effect for your pet. You’ll also want to be aware of any reactions your pet might have ahead of time.