I’m so glad that we brought Kona into our family, and things are going pretty well I think… except for one thing. Well, maybe more than one, but she gets pretty bad travel anxiety and has some motion sickness. This makes life just a little bit difficult, and honestly I’m having trouble coming up with a good solution. So blogland, HALP!
To give a bit of background, it’s quite probable that the first time Kona was in a car was her trip home with us at 10 weeks old. She was pretty anxious and threw up. And… that’s never really gone away. We’ve gotten her to the point where she can pretty reliably drive within 20 minutes and not toss her cookies… and we’re close to being able to make a 45 minute trip (but we haven’t quite been successful yet). And no matter what, there is excessive drooling. As soon as you turn on the car, there is drool and drool bubbles every where. I don’t love the drooling, but it’s not a huge issue for me… but puking is. What I hate is that drooling is a sign of more severe anxiety and stress.
It’s gotten so bad that Kona doesn’t like to walk out of the door into the garage. She will timidly approach the outside of the car (with bribes) if the car is cold (and hasn’t been run recently). She’s gotten better about the sound of the car door opening (again, as long as the car doesn’t smell like the engine has been on at any point recently). But don’t even think about her exploring the interior of the car. If you put her IN the car (while off and cold) she just stands there — doesn’t even really move and won’t take treats (unless they are extra special, like bones).
In the car, she seems to do better in the passenger seat rather than the back seat and the turns seem to bother her the most. Obviously this makes things like socialization, grooming and vet appointments quite difficult… and is pretty much crushing my dreams of her running errands with me or being a barn dog.
So I’m turning to you for some help. Have you dealt with travel anxiety and/or motion sickness in dogs? What did you do to make it better or stop it from happening?