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We have had our (6 month old) sheltie for several months now and have gone on several long and short car trips. We do short trips around town and most of the time, as soon as he gets in the car, he starts drooling. It kind of comes and goes, but he is usually drooling for most of the car ride and we always have to have a towel ready to wipe off his mouth. He also throws up sometimes during rides.

For example, yesterday, we took a 10 minute drive to Petco and he was drooling a little the whole way. At the store, he was fine and we got some supplies. We wanted to go to the dog park on the way home. After being in the car for 5 to 7 minutes (drooling again), he started to heave and ended up throwing up twice. I felt bad for the poor little guy so we just headed home.

We have tried taking him on short car rides regularly to get him used to the car and had hoped he would eventually grow out of it, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Any ideas?
 

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Desensitize slowly to it. As in, get in car, with car off, sit there, and give him a treat, and then get out, and take him for a walk (if he likes walks) or play with him. When he can be in the car for about 5 min without drooling, then get in car, turn on, give him a treat , then get out/go for walk. Then get in car, turn on, drive 1 block, get out, go for walk. Then repeat on the way home. Eventually go a little farther. Get out, and walk him.
The goal is to do it so gradually, you don't reach the drool stage, which precedes throwing up. The walking is so your dog will be looking forward to being in the car, because he'll know he gets to do something fun in the end. You HAVE to quit before he starts drooling/throwing up. Each time he drools/throws up because he feels sick, reinforces that car rides are awful, and he'll stress even more about it the next time, and make himself sick even earlier.

Sometimes a ginger cookie beforehand can settle his stomach. Or you can try Dramamine. Ask your vet for dosage. But those things won't work without some slow desensitization first, because he is mentally stressing himself out right now. Changing where he sits on trips can sometimes help, as can having a buddy in the car to take his mind off it.

Dogs will often grow out of it.
 

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My Mini-Aussie female still does this after a year. We went through the acclimation practice of getting her in the car for minutes at a time and up to 5-10 minute car rides. Didn't help. It's not an anxiety thing that I can tell as she's excited to get in (she gets excited for car rides and hops in the car herself without a command) but the faucet starts running as soon as we pull away and she'll get carsick if in for more than 20 minutes or so. It seems to be slowly getting better but in truth little has changed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Desensitize slowly to it. As in, get in car, with car off, sit there, and give him a treat, and then get out, and take him for a walk (if he likes walks) or play with him. When he can be in the car for about 5 min without drooling, then get in car, turn on, give him a treat , then get out/go for walk. Then get in car, turn on, drive 1 block, get out, go for walk. Then repeat on the way home. Eventually go a little farther. Get out, and walk him.
I'll give this a try over the next couple of weeks and see if it helps.

Dogs will often grow out of it.
I sure hope so.
 

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We are going through this with Sasha, too.

We wanted to go to the dog park on the way home. After being in the car for 5 to 7 minutes (drooling again), he started to heave and ended up throwing up twice. I felt bad for the poor little guy so we just headed home.
Would the dog park have been fun for your dog? Sasha is learning that our small trips usually end in a fun-for-her place. I am hoping that fact reduces some of her stress and, eventually, some of her whining, drooling and vomiting.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Would the dog park have been fun for your dog? Sasha is learning that our small trips usually end in a fun-for-her place. I am hoping that fact reduces some of her stress and, eventually, some of her whining, drooling and vomiting.
I'm not sure, Dex has never been to the park before.

I have set him in the care the past two afternoons with treats. Yesterday, he was a faucet as soon as he hit the seat, so he wasn't in there for very long. Today, however, he was a little better and sat in there a little better so I hope its starting to work. Both times, after getting him out of the car, we have played a 15-20 minute game of fetch. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
 

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We are going through this with Sasha, too.


Would the dog park have been fun for your dog? Sasha is learning that our small trips usually end in a fun-for-her place. I am hoping that fact reduces some of her stress and, eventually, some of her whining, drooling and vomiting.
The problem with letting them reach the point of getting sick, even if you go someplace fun after, is that the dog learns to associate the car with him feeling sick, so he stresses more about it, and gets sick even sooner. You have to break the cycle, by getting him out of the car before he has a chance to get all drooly, and do something fun. That may mean for the first week, you end up only going one block, but you have to break the cycle.

Sometimes having a buddy in the car with them, that they can focus on can help, if you keep the trip very short, but you can't let them get to the drooling point, since it means they are already feeling sick.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am still battling with this issue and Dexter is almost 8 months old. As soon as he gets in the car, the faucet starts. We have tried acclimating him slowly to the car as people suggested above, but he still drools nonstop whenever he is in the car. If anyone has any other suggestions, I would be all ears.
 

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I think you should have someone be back there with him to make him come down.If he gets sick you should take him on more car rides but for a smaller amount of time and have a person back there to get him used to it.
 

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I think you should have someone be back there with him to make him come down.If he gets sick you should take him on more car rides but for a smaller amount of time and have a person back there to get him used to it.
That's what I'm saying, I've already tried that, but he won't stop drooling. Even a drive around the block requires a towel on my wife's lap.
 

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Have you gone back to the point where he doesn't drool? Like Hop in car, get a treat, hop out all within 30 seconds. Repeat several times a day. Then hop in, get a treat, wait another 20 sec, get another, hop out. Repeat. Then try for 30 sec longer.
Go back to very short intervals, before he even has time to get drooly.
 

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Sometimes it's an issue that resolves as the pup ages. Sometimes...it's just an issue that can't be resolved.

Talk to your vet about medication options for long car rides. Otherwise, I highly recommend getting one of these:
http://www.petco.com/product/107946/Snoozer-Backseat-Hammock-in-Beige.aspx?CoreCat=OnSiteSearch

That's what I used! Just shake it out and throw it in the wash.

Keep car rides as light-hearted as you can and try not to react to the vomiting and drooling - try to treat it as not a big deal.
 

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Oh also -- no food or water for at LEAST an hour before you get in the car helps. More if you can manage it.
 

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I see what ppl are saying about the dog eventually associating car rides with being sick so prevent that with a treat. But the treat itself is NOT going to prevent getting carsick. The dog isn't doing it on purpose and can't be "trained" out of it with treats. He CAN be desensitized by going a little further each time, but the treats won't work that way-- "learning" not to be carsick is not like learning to sit.

I get car sick. First it starts with a swoony feeling and a watery mouth and you really feel dizzy and then you throw up. I used to take the bus into NYC from NJ for an hour. If I even tried to read for a few minutes I'd defintiely have to stop at the watery mouth. I read a little more and more and eventually I could read on the bus without getting sick.. So you do get "used" to it slowly, but it's not the same process as training.
 

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I see what ppl are saying about the dog eventually associating car rides with being sick so prevent that with a treat. But the treat itself is NOT going to prevent getting carsick. The dog isn't doing it on purpose and can't be "trained" out of it with treats. He CAN be desensitized by going a little further each time, but the treats won't work that way-- "learning" not to be carsick is not like learning to sit.

I get car sick. First it starts with a swoony feeling and a watery mouth and you really feel dizzy and then you throw up. I used to take the bus into NYC from NJ for an hour. If I even tried to read for a few minutes I'd defintiely have to stop at the watery mouth. I read a little more and more and eventually I could read on the bus without getting sick.. So you do get "used" to it slowly, but it's not the same process as training.
The treat isn't a reward for not getting sick. It's to get the dog to associate getting in the car with something good happening. They hop in eagerly to get a treat. Then get out. Then stay longer, get a treat. etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sadly, my little dog is still not good in riding in cars. We make 2 hour trips every few weeks to visit family and he still drools constantly, despite trying to get him used to being in a car. Having him in his kennel helps a bit and keeps him somewhat calm, but shortly after we get going, it looks like he has icicles hanging from his mouth. After a 2 hour drive, the towel in the bottom of his kennel is damp everywhere and we have to dry his coat off because he drooled so much. Even with a motion sickness pill from the vet, the same thing happens.
 
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