Ask the Veterinarian- Traveling With Your Pet

Question for Dr. Alison:

Hi Dr. Alison!  I am traveling to visit my family and am bringing my dog with me for the 10 hour drive across states from Florida to South Carolina.  My dog tends to get car sick and anxious while traveling.  Is there anything I can do for him to make the trip less stressful and avoid him getting car sick?  Thanks so much.

Answer:

This is a great question and one I get all the time.  Being located in Fort Lauderdale, we see many traveling people and their pets.  Here are a few tips that can help make your trip a bit smoother and easier on your pet.

Car Sickness.   There is a fairly new medication that we can prescribe that helps considerably with pet’s car sickness. The medication is called Cerenia and it is used for car sickness and nausea. Make sure to visit your veterinarian before your trip and they can prescribe this medication.

Anxiety.  This is the most common thing I see in my patients when it comes to travel.  I like to divide my remedies for anxiety into 2 categories:

  • Natural Remedies.  For my less anxious pets we try and sick with natural remedies to relieve enough stress and anxiety to make the car or plane ride safe for them.  Some of these natural remedies include:
    • Rescue remedy– all natural supplements shown to decrease your pet’s stress level.
    • Natural pheromones– these can purchased over the counter at a pet store or at your veterinarian hospital.
    • Thunder Shirt– the compression gives pets a sense of security.
  • Medications.  For more anxious pets, I recommend the following medications for travel anxiety and stress:
    • Benadryl- sometimes this is enough to make our pets a bit drowsy, but not too sedated.
    • Anti-anxiety/sedative medications- medications such as Ace-promazine or Xanax can be utilized for pets that are very anxious. Ask your veterinarian what the proper medication and dose is for your pet.

I hope this helps on your trip and best of luck on your journey!  For more information on traveling with your pets please refer to my blog, Safety Tips For Traveling With Your Pet.

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