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Hi,
So since about 10 weeks old till 6 months now my male GSD has been getting car sick. Every time we goto training or for a ride he gets sick but if my wife rides in the back of the van with him, he’s fine. Anyone else experience this and might have advice for me? We have been told to but him on drugs to calm him down but I don’t believe in it.
 

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I am not a vet, so keep that in mind when you read what I do.


I use Dramamine. Give it 1/2 hour to 45 minutes before you leave. I have been able to break the cycle of car sickness doing that. You can also try a really long ride. A friend had a dog that had always gotten a bit sick even with longer rides until she made a 12 hour ride. Dog no longer gets sick.
 

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Have you tried letting him ride in the front seat of the van? At least try it til he gets used to rides. there's something

about not being able to see where you're going that messes up the equilibrium.

Also try taking turns slower and not braking fast. The first thing we do when training horses who scramble in the trailer,

is tell the driver to be more careful- slower turns and braking.
 

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Cava had horrible car sickness that lasted a long time. I think it ended up being partly in her head, where she just associated being in the car with feeling bad. The breeder had mentioned it before we got her, and she had a very long drive from Colorado to New Mexico to California, about 1400 miles over 3 days. I don't know if it was an issue during the drive since she was in the crate at the back of the vehicle and we asked the person who drove most of the way and she hadn't noticed.

Cava never actually threw up but she would drool like crazy. We picked her up about an hour and a half away and she was fine on that drive, but after that she started drooling again in the car. I took her to a regional park about a mile from our house and when I opened the crate I noticed long ropes of drool coming out of her mouth. There's no way she should have felt that sick on that short of a drive, which is why I think it was partly just the association of the car. It lasted for months, but she's finally outgrown it.

Someone in a GSD breeder group on FB mentioned ginger cookies, and that did help. I'd give her one before each trip that was more than a few minutes. Tate's Bake Shop makes a gluten free cookie with chunks of crystalized ginger. Cava liked them and when she didn't need them anymore, we ate the rest. They're really good! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZY7VS96/ref=s9_dcacsd_dcoop_bw_cr_x__a_w
 

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As he is now 6 months(+) old I agree that it may be time to seek the aid of drugs in providing some relief from the car sickness to avoid a negative association with the vehicle itself. Speak to your vet.

My pup experienced/experiences car sickness as well although with time it is slowly subsiding.
Her initial symptom was vomiting followed by excessive (soaking the car seat) salivation due to a stress reaction even upon be seated in the vehicle without motion. (I have been told not to touch the puppy while they are under this amount of stress.)
After about her third ride she stopped salivating but avoided looking out of the window and would curl up into a ball in the front seat.

Finally after a little over a month of short drives she has started to remain seated and explore the sounds and sights outside of an open window. On the longer drives she will curl up into a ball and lye down. With time I expect her to overcome the sickness altogether.


Similar to what babies experience in an airplane, at a young age their ossicles are still developing and so it is natural for them to experience some car/motion sickness. For the puppy it is typically the motion of other vehicles which causes the motion sickness.
It may take up to a year for development of the inner ears at which point I have been told the motion sickness completely subsides barring any prolonged negative associations.

What has been the progression of your puppy's symptoms?
Have you noticed any improvement with time or different positions in the car?
If not you may have reached the point at which you experiment with drugs similar to @lhczth 's suggestion in order to break the cycle.

The drugs most certainly are not anything to be afraid of with regards to side effects and they work by inhibiting receptors responsible for the sickness. These drugs are very effective and better to experiment with than allowing the stress your puppy may be currently experiencing with the ride,most notably that stress prior to a training session cannot be good for your pup.

Some precautions I take to avoid car/motion sickness:
  • Start with short drives and gradually work up to the more lengthy drives
  • Slightly open windows on both sides to maintain an equilibrium of pressure in the vehicle
  • Avoid feeding at least 1 hour prior to the ride
  • Drive slow and carefully avoiding sudden stops and bumps. The front of the vehicle will be best to minimize the amount of motion he experiences.
  • I give a bit of sugar prior to the drive to help as a physiological prevention to the motion sickness.
 

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Hi,
So since about 10 weeks old till 6 months now my male GSD has been getting car sick. Every time we goto training or for a ride he gets sick but if my wife rides in the back of the van with him, he’s fine. Anyone else experience this and might have advice for me? We have been told to but him on drugs to calm him down but I don’t believe in it.
Sounds more like a confidence he is lacking. NERVES !!! He does fine when mommy is with him. Does he do fine if it's someone else riding in back with him.

I would sit in van and just hang out./ Sitting, down, leave it, Then I would take a ride around the block and pull back into your driveway and just stay in the van. Watch him and see how he is doing. Try to ignore him and keep talking and pull out and go around the block again. I don't believe they need to have wind blowing in there faces either.

When you try to extend your dives maybe offer a bully stick as a distraction.
 
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