Anxiety in the car - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2020, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Anxiety in the car

Hi everyone,
I was wondering if anyone could give any advice or shed light on our puppy, Louie's, terrible aversion to car rides.
He shakes terribly, pants and drools and almost always throw up. We bought him a seat so he can see out the window but it doesn't seem to help. We have tried to take him out just to get him used to it and with having a happy destination (rather than the vet) but again no difference.
Not sure if this is common? Any ideas on how to help? He's 7 months now but we've only had him for 6 weeks. He may have had some bad experiences in the car before?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2020, 02:25 PM
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Several people on the forum have mentioned having car sick dogs including me. My Mia had horrible car sickness and I tried different things to see what worked best. She does better on an empty stomach laying face forward in the middle of back seat secured by a car harness. She does better on straight vs windy roads. She is now almost 12 so figure she is not out growing it but it has gotten LOTs better. She rarely throws up any more in the car and tolerates straight roads very well. She absolutely cannot be in a crate or freaks out completely which is unfortunate since that is the safer option. Your dog is still very young and may outgrow it. Mia did not like car seats either. It sometimes takes some experimentation to see what works best for your dog. I wish you luck. Very frustrating!!!!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2020, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your insight and advice, mudpuppymama! You made me feel hopeful! We will try him in the middle seat like you suggested too!!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2020, 07:06 PM
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There are a FEW dogs that stay car sick all their lives, and there are meds that can help in those cases.

However, in most cases, it is a matter of too little exposure, and not early enough. I suspect that in your guy's case. You've only had him for a few weeks. As Muddpuppy said, experiment with different things, keep working on it with SHORT, FREQUENT trips to FUN places. MOST puppies learn to enjoy being in the car.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2020, 09:04 PM
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There are a FEW dogs that stay car sick all their lives, and there are meds that can help in those cases.

However, in most cases, it is a matter of too little exposure, and not early enough. I suspect that in your guy's case. You've only had him for a few weeks. As Muddpuppy said, experiment with different things, keep working on it with SHORT, FREQUENT trips to FUN places. MOST puppies learn to enjoy being in the car.
Yes I agree with Karen and one thing I did was continue to take Mia in the car vs. avoiding it altogether which is tempting to do. We have a rural property a couple hours a way and could not really avoid going there. Mia also had great fun once she was there so it was a good destination. I did do some fun short trips as well. I do think the frequency helped a lot.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-14-2020, 05:31 PM
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We have a Golden-doodle who wasn't well socialized when my daughter got her because the breeder had a serious illness when the litter was born. And, my daughter didn't get Lucy until she was around 5 months old. Lucy is a beautiful dog but is or was extremely shy and fearful. She's now 7 years old.

Lucy use to drool, pant and hide her head something terrible when she rode in a car. But, we have family 8 hours away and a vacation home 14 hours away and there wasn't any option Lucy... had to go. I think my daughter may have given her something the first time or two.

It took quit a few trips, but Lucy finally settled down and no long drools and pants. We just kept taking her on trips and she finally decided every this was going to be OK. She now willing goes and has even stopped hiding her head.

My husband and I purchased a Havanese almost 27 months ago. Having this little darling has helped Lucy get over a lot of he shyness and fear.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2020, 01:22 AM
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Perry is 4 and still gets car sick - I think it's a combination of actual motion sick plus anxiety. We now have a regime that mostly works for us - on the day of a long trip (he can generally go 1/2 hour or so without getting sick), Cerenia a couple of hours before (in which case he needs to eat before the pill). He will still get drooly but we (usually) manage to avoid the vomiting.

or no food, then bonine (motion sick pill) before traveling - this doesn't work as well as the Cerenia though but doesn't need as much time planning.

My vet recommended putting him on gabapentin for anxiety to see if that works, but it requires a daily pill, so we haven't done that yet. We tried the calming chews for anxiety but those didn't work for us.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2020, 03:26 AM
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Zumba was a terrible car rider. She’d get sick, she’d poop, and she’d whine. It was no fun. I put the window down one time, and that did the trick. From that day on, I had the perfect little car rider. Except when I forget to put the window down. Then I get whining till I remember.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2020, 05:47 AM
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Our pup Tate always had extreme anxiety and nausea. I fist tried driving on very short trips...and increasing the distance, but Tate would start drooling and shaking immediately. Our vet suggested I try empty stomach and dramamine. For short trips dramamine stopped vomiting but not anxiety. We also tried prescription cerenia.
Basically what I discovered is that my pup had generalized anxiety, and any travel meant exposure to scary new things. He had motion sickness too, but the fear anxiety was the major issue.
He know takes prozac every day, and I began the exposure to the car all over again. First we sat in car and ate treats.. After he did this without anxiety we started the car and gave treats..then eventually we took short drives..stopped and had treats and play time...and eventually he learn " ride" meant a good time. We used play dates in the neighborhood, or dog park as rewards also. And lots of snuggling .I believe in our situation treating his underlying issue allowed us to gradually overcome his fear with gradual exposure. Just medication did not work.
When we say "ride or car" now he runs to the door. We have increased the distance to 60 miles.
It's a lot of work, but possible.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2020, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jocelyn View Post
Hi everyone,
I was wondering if anyone could give any advice or shed light on our puppy, Louie's, terrible aversion to car rides.
He shakes terribly, pants and drools and almost always throw up. We bought him a seat so he can see out the window but it doesn't seem to help. We have tried to take him out just to get him used to it and with having a happy destination (rather than the vet) but again no difference.
Not sure if this is common? Any ideas on how to help? He's 7 months now but we've only had him for 6 weeks. He may have had some bad experiences in the car before?
Wow, good luck with your baby!
We live in Costa Rica so our babies, both 12 yr (Hav and Mini Schnauzer) have traveled a good bit by car and plane.
Button would "always" get car sick. He was rescued from a terrible puppy mill at 6 mos and has always been this way. Cerenia (pill) helps but not always because he would still throw it up. He has a booster seat, which helped him be able to see out the window. Even on a plane, he has to sit in my lap and look out the window. He was not much for his own seat but has been fortunate enough to have had one on flights that were not full.
Our vet here in Costa Rica is about 1 hr away on a very windy road. He could give him a shot of Cerenia for the trip home and he would be fine so now he has now provided me with Cerenia liquid, so I can give him a shot before we leave home. This seems to work better for him.

Give Cerenia try and I hope it helps your baby.

Its a dogs life. This is Button at our home in Costa Rica - enjoying his good life.
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No worries
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