Friday, December 18, 2009

Motion Sickness in Dogs

Does a simple trip to the vet leave your dog feeling queasy and you cleaning up a mess in the back seat? If so, why not take the time to put your dog through the simple process of desensitization?
This is a proven process, and when done correctly is extremely effective. Make sure to devote the time necessary to do this right, and always keep sessions short and successful.

First, start by simply having your dog NEAR your car in the drive way. Because your dog already associates your car with feeling sick, time spent near it while feeling normal will be a key factor in your dogs rehabilitation.

After a few of these sessions, open the car doors. Don't have your dog jump in just yet, again just stay near the car.

The next step will be to turn on the cars' engine. This is still not the time to allow your dog into your car; wait until he or she feels comfortable with this step before asking them to get in. Once your dog is in your car, keep all the doors open and have them jump right back out again. Gradually shut the doors, and sit in the drivers seat. Do not move the car yet! Wait until your dog is ready.

When the time is right, back out of the driveway, and then right back in. Remember, small steps will be the key to success here.

Slowly add time and distance in the car; down the street, around the block and so on.
Your dog should slowly get used to the cars' movements and no longer become sick.
The entire process can take weeks, but the end results are worth it for the both of you.

Throughout the training, remember to shower your dog with gentle and encouraging words of praise!

If done right, you'll soon be able to take those paper towels out of your trunk!

Good luck and happy training!

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