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Whippet and Car Sickness

by Julian

My 9 months old whippet suffers of motion sickness.
What can I do?


Here is an excellent answer to your question from Karen Lee, a very experienced whippet owner who elaborated a proven method for dog car sickness.

I am the High Freakin' Priestess of the Gospel of Meclizine.

I speak to all of my puppy buyers about this excellent and inexpensive cure for carsick Whippets.

Pretty much all of my personal dogs are probably going to be fine if I never used it because I am constantly long road-tripping my youngsters between 8 weeks and a year of age. So, for them, to be in a moving vehicle is as "normal" as being in the house. But even though that is the case, I still ASSUME that there will be a problem if I do not dose.

Most puppies do not begin to have any sort of motion sickness symptoms until 9 weeks and older. The fact that a six or 7 week old puppy rides well means nothing for the future--their inner ear isn't developed enough to respond to the motion.

Sometimes, it is around 4 months when the problem would first show itself. The key is to NEVER let them get sick in the first place while they are still young and learning to travel comfortably.

I begin at 9 weeks with 12.5mg dose the night before travel. At 12 weeks I up this to 12.5mg dose the night before and the morning OF travel. If the travel is to be in the late afternoon evening, the dose may be given in the morning. When the Whippet hits about 20 pounds, I up to the 25 mg dose. I've had dogs show and run absolutely normally while Mec is in their system. It is non-sedating to the dog and you won't notice anything odd in the eyes, such as you do if you give ace promazine where they look half-baked or stoned after it kicks in.

The key to Meclizine is that it absolutely has to be given a minimum of three hours prior to the travel. It is a slow-acting medicine. It persists in the system up to 24 hours.

I give Meclizine until the dog is at LEAST 8 months old with a history of traveling comfortably and not becoming carsick. Often, when I take back a dog who has been living with someone else and is now about that age and time to start taking to shows, I have to go through the whole rigamarole of retraining them not to be sick in the car. What I can often train them is that they won't be sick in MY van, but they will revert when they are back to traveling with the owner in their vehicle.

When whippets are learning to ride, it is best IMO to keep them from seeing out. I put them on a bottom crate as close to the back of the driver's seat as I can. I always travel any potentially seasick cruiser right behind my seat. I think SUV's are the absolutely worst for motion sickness--vans and passenger cars ride much better for the dog. A thick cushion helps. Not feeding breakfast until an hour or two on the road helps.

Motion sickness becomes very psychological, and a habit. Whippets, once they've been sick on the road a few times, expect to become sick every time. It's much easier to never allow that pattern or habit to begin than it is to reverse it once it is established.

Karen Lee
Surrey Hill Whippets

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Whippet Riding in the Car

Do whippets get carsickness easily?


After living with whippets that were real traveling pros, I kind of assumed that travel sickness immunity was the norm with my dogs.

I was immediately punished by the gods of car sickness with a puppy that would throw up at the very sight of a car.

It took patience and commitment but the pup grew up into a reliable trip companion.

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Car Sickness
by: Anonymous

The same thing happened to me with my third whippet. My first two had no problem at all with car travel but my third whippet took a long time to get used to the car.

I started with short trips to the park and after the walk I would leave her in the stationary car to relax for a while.

I use a dog seat belt to keep her safe as the crate was making her more anxious.

It took some time and patience but now she is a great travel companion. We had long trips with her and she seems to enjoy them!

Dog Car sickness
by: Anonymous

Hi! Have a look at this page for suggestions about car sickness

Good luck!

anxiety in car
by: Lorraine

This is our third whippet, both others have been superb travellers, however this one is awful. He Pants, whines and goes from side to side. He jumps in the car quite happily but as soon as we start moving, off he goes. Any suggestions please???

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Car sickness

by Aimee

My Whippet is 6 months old. I have had 2 others in the past, both mix breeds. Gypsy is not the first Whippet I have had to get car sick - they tend to be a bit on the anxious side; however, they have all out-grown it.

My question is this...Gypsy is so bad about getting sick in the car that she will no longer willingly (never did, actually) go near a car.

She drools profusely from the time she is in the car, and ends up throwing up several times. Once she is out of the car, she is fine - as if nothing happened.

The medicine for car sickness used to work; however, now she is getting sick even with medication. I do not think that she is actually "motion sick". I think it is more an anxiety attack, if you will.

I would like to be able to take her everywhere with me - she LOVES to be with me and loves to go...just HATES the car! How should I approach this problem with Gypsy?


Try with short trips to fun places to make her associate the car with a pleasant experience.

Keep the car ventilated and let her look out of the window.

Ginger can be of help.

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Motion sickness/Anxiety
by: Sarah & Phil N.Ireland

Our 5 month old Whippet Monty is exactly the same, he came to us at 8wks and from the 1st journey in the car he drooled.

Our vet suggested short journeys to get him used to it but unfortunately 2 months later he was worse. We went back to the vet in despair and she told us its more suggestive of anxiety than motion sickness which apparently Whippets are prone to.

They have given us something called DAP Spray which a week later is already making a big difference. Apparently when bitches have pups they release a pheromone to reassure pups and this spray replicates it.

We have been using it every day and gradually the drooling has become more manageable and Monty has stopped shaking with fear.

They also gave us a herbal remedy called Skullcap and Valerian tablets which we have been giving him daily but these take a couple of weeks to kick in so we'll hope for the best.

I hope this is helpful to you as I understand how distressing this is to both of you! Good Luck!

Car sickness
by: Anonymous

My Rottie was the only dog that I had that ever got car sick.

She would have such long drool tendrils when I would get her out of the car even on short trips. She outgrew it when she reached a year.

However, this is what I would do since Gypsy really does not like the car now.

I would do some fun stuff with her beside or near the car. Just walk around the car to start. Then put her in the car with it not running. Just even for a few seconds then let her get out.

Try to make those sessions longer and longer. If she is willing to eat give her a treat while she is in the car. Also a crate helps sometimes.

When you are ready just drive up and down the driveway and let her out. Gradually increase it.

Hopefully she will outgrow it. Someone suggested Ginger, I heard that works too.

Good luck. :)

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