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Poco Diablo McGuire: How to Put Brakes on Pet Car Sickness

Poco Diablo McGuire takes a Four Paws Up view of dealing with car sickness for his pals.

Sedona AZ (January 30, 2017)Welcome to a new week! Here’s a Shout Out to my newest column sponsors Sedona Music Boxes and Bruce McGillivray! Thank you for being fab-tastic Four Paws Up Pals cuz you both rock, Sedona-style!

With winter travel in high gear, several of us plan on hitting the road with our Four Paws Up pals for a little winter fun. However, for some four-legged family members, road trips can mean upset tummies.

Queasiness in the car is not just a human problem. Dogs and puppies do sometimes experience motion sickness on car rides. Unfortunately, car sickness can make any kind of pet travel a distressing ordeal for both dogs and their families.

Car sickness doesn’t have to be a serious or lasting problem for your pet. With the right treatment, it can be mitigated, or even stopped altogether.

There are several causes of car sickness in dogs and puppies. The most common? Let’s talk about several:

Immature ears! In puppies, the ear structure that regulates balance isn’t fully developed, which can cause extra sensitivity to motion sickness. Good news? Many dogs will outgrow car sickness as they age.

Stress. If traveling in the car has only led to unpleasant experiences for your Four Paws Up pals — to vet offices, for example — he or she may literally be worried sick about the journey!

Self-conditioning. If your dog experienced nausea on his first car rides as a puppy, he may associate car rides with illness, and expect to get sick in the car.

A dog with car sickness may not look as you expect! Here are some symptoms to look out for:

    • Inactivity/lethargy
    • Restlessness
    • Excessive/repetitive yawning
    • Whining/crying
    • Hyper-salivation (drooling)
    • Vomiting.

If your dog is suffering from car sickness, symptoms will typically disappear within a few minutes after the car comes to a stop. Fortunately, there are a number of different methods available to help prevent and/or treat canine car sickness.

Poco Diablo fans are kitties galore!

1.  Increase His Comfort Level

Turn your dog so that he faces forward. Motion sickness is related to the brain’s ability to process movement. The less blurring movement he sees out the window, the better he might feel.

Keep your dog as close to the front seat as possible (but not in the front seat). The farther back in the car you go, the more you sense motion.

Opening the windows a crack. This brings in fresh air which is soothing, and helps reduce air pressure.

Avoid feeding your dog for a few hours before a car trip.

Transport him in a travel crate. A crate will limit his view to the outside, and will help to keep any sickness he may have confined to a small space.

Keep the temperature low. Heat, humidity and stuffiness can exacerbate car sickness.

Distraction rules! Toys, soothing music, or just hearing you speak may help calm and distract a high-strung dog.

Take frequent breaks. Getting out for fresh air or to stretch your legs can help him feel better periodically. Even exercise before the car ride is a help.

In memory of my big bro, Harley McGuire, whose paw prints I promise to fill the best-est I can and to all our Four Paws Up Pals who’ve crossed the Rainbow Bridge…gone but never forgotten.

2.  Reconditioning

For dogs who have negative associations with riding in cars, reconditioning could be the answer. Reconditioning does take time and patience, but it really can help relax your dog. If an option, drive in a different vehicle. Your dog might associate a specific vehicle with unpleasant memories.

Take short car trips to places your dog enjoys. This will replace negative associations with positive ones. Gradually acclimate your dog to the car. Start by sitting with your dog in the car while the engine is off each day for a few days. When he seems comfortable, let the engine idle. Once he is used to the noise, drive slowly around the block. Gradually progress to longer and longer trips until your dog seems comfortable. Offer your dog treats, or offer him a special toy that’s just for car rides. This will make the car a fun and rewarding place to be.

3.  Medication

While motion sickness can be helped in natural ways for some Four Paws Up pals, there are cases in which medication is the only option. There are both over-the-counter and prescription medications available, including Anti-nausea drugs, antihistamines, and Phenothiazine which reduces vomiting and sedates pals. Be cautioned though to ALWAYS discuss ANY medication given to my pals with your VETERINARIAN FIRST. You want to be sure he or she is healthy enough to take the medication and what’s the proper dosage to avoid any adverse effects!

4.  Holistic Approach

Holistic treatments are another way to go for dog parents! They really can be effective, and are worth trying. Some common holistic choices include: Ginger to treat nausea. Try giving your dog ginger snap cookies or ginger pills at least 30 minutes before traveling; Peppermint and chamomile and horehound naturally help calm the stomach and nerves of your dog. These are available in pills and teas; Massage can help sooth and relax your pet before you travel and as with other medications, always discuss any holistic remedies you plan with your vet to ensure that it’s appropriate and that the dosage is correct.

In short, with some patience and training, and or the right medications or holistic treatments, you and all my SedonaEye.com Four Paws Up pals will be able to ride safely and happily together anywhere you need to go!

And some of us, like yours truly Poco Diablo McGuire, LOVES A RIDE TO THE PARK ANY DAY AND ANY TIME. Arf, arf, arf!

If you’re planning a trip soon, you might visit TripsWithPets, a pet friendly online travel guide to pet friendly hotels and accommodations. Tell my friends there that Poco D in Sedona sent ya! And don’t forget to mention mom who’s the best-est ever on this earth too!

Here’s another Shout Out to my newest 2017 SedonaEye.com Four Paws Up sponsors, Bruce McGillivray and Sedona Music Boxes, on behalf of all us Four Paws Up guys and gals we thank you again!

Read www.SedonaEye.com for daily news and interactive views!


  1. Poco Diablo McGuire says:

    Here’s me own very special tail wag to Auntie “C” in addition to Bruce McGillivray and Sedona Music Boxes for their kindness and caring to keep these info-mershals ongoing. You’re the bestest, too.

    Poco D. McGuire

  2. Mojo, Nikki & Linus says:

    That was really great information, although we all love riding in the car (even to the doctor’s), we’ll be sure to pass this info on to all our paws pals & their moms & dads. We miss Harley’s columns but are happy to hear you are taking over at the helm and doing a great job, we might add. Looking forward to your next newsy item.

  3. Boo & Napolean says:

    Thank you Poco. Mommy didn’t know this. We miss our buddy Harley.
    Mom learned a few things that will help our next trip. A cheery well outline solution.

  4. JOHN O says:


  5. Poco to John O says:

    Poco says “Arf, arf” (thank you in dog speak)
    His mother says “THANK YOU MORE” and seals it with a hug and a kiss! (hush)

  6. Martha says:

    Poco Diablo McGuire, your column is going to be interesting as well as informative – very well written. Know Harley McGuire is so proud of you as well as your mom.

  7. Duffy says:

    I’m just a small pup – Yorkie and Pekie (that’s short for Pekingese) but for some reason I get that barfy feeling ever time we head up what’s called switcheroos or something gotin’ to that FlagPole place. Now maybe my mommy can get some hints here howta help this problem cuz I shore dunt like the feeling. Tanks, Poco and your sponsors.

  8. Just Chip says:

    Thank you for that Poco even though my riding in a car is limited and usually in a protective cage.

    Hugs and Hisses – Just Chip

  9. Buster says:

    Hey, Poco D – it’s good to know you’re hangin’ in there as a ray of sunshine on this here Sedonya Aye – keeps us all as believesr that there might actually be a ray of light at the end of the tunnel


  10. Barney says:

    Oh, Buster, you are sooo right. Eye is happy Poco Diablo McGuire has sponsors to cary on good messages to the moms & dads of us 4-footers. My tummy don’t get upset in the car but we can help to help our friends with that problem now’s we know the answers. Here’s to you and Harley McGuire. Cheers!

    Arf, Arf, Poco D.


  11. Toby, Amarillo TX says:

    My mom’s daughter’s dog Dulce died today. She was ancient, kind and loving and like a kid to Allison. We got the call this morning from Virginia. Please ask your brother Harley to keep an eye out for her as she crosses the rainbow bridge today. Thanks Poco. We love your columns.

  12. Poco Diablo McGuire says:

    Hi Toby in Amarillo TX (wherever that is). Ohhh – I is sooo very sad ’bout your losin’ dog Duice. Even bein’ ancient don’t much help when yur hart is a-breakin’. Even tho I was just with my Dear departed Harley McGuire for only 2 months, I still miss him terrbly. But rest asured if he’s in touch he will embrace your Dulce as she crosses over that Rainbow Bridge.

    Poco D.

  13. Max the Best says:

    Dad calls me Max the best, Mom calls me Max the mess, Julie calls me Maxie, and Blaine calls me M&M. It’s great to be the Max in my house.

    Your friend, Max in Bridgeport

  14. Poco Diablo McGuire says:

    Hi Max – and to me you ARE “The Best” cuz you took time to send me your wunerful comment. You ARE Max the Best friend and MY FRIEND. Thank you and don’t sit where you ain’t ‘sposed to in the car (or anyplace else fer that matter).

    Adios, Amigo

    Poco D.

  15. Fydget Dan Lu, cute Siamese says:

    Hey everyone always wanted to get my name in the paper rather than being swatted buy it. , chuckles chuckles chuckles I’m a cute Siamese cat in Whittier

  16. Swami says:

    Meow from another Siamese cat in Phoenix, Arizona. A special message to Fydget Dan Lu in Whittier. Maybe that Poco Diablo McGuire pup might consider turning this column into a feline match making opportunity?

  17. Diesel says:

    Yuma 4 paws pal

  18. Pancho in San Diego says:

    Yowl za – I’ze with you Diesel ceptin from San Diego.

  19. Waples says:

    My forever parents went to the local pet store and decided to come and rescue me instead cause I’m more perfect they said. They even buy me scented poop bags what’s better than that. I live in downtown Nowhere Missisip we say here but it’s really close to Jackson and nicer then nice. I wont Go to SEDONA with my family cause Uncle Darren takes care of me cause I don’t like cars. He’s got a dog named Stormy and he’s my friend while they stay with Aunt Karen and her friend Randy in SEDONA. Have fun Poco. I like your hat but I wouldn’t wear it. I like green bandannas.

  20. Poco D. McGuire says:

    Oh My Goodness – how did eye miss the loverly message from pal “Waples” (R U shore that’s a name?) U R very smart to stay put if ya don’t like cars. No me – ah could ride forevah – just luv, luv, luv it but must fess up – when Mom stops for errants I sneak up to the front seat – specially to sun mahself. And ‘slong as ah dun’t try to git on her lap she lets me stay there – nice, still & quiet. So, Waples, enjoy yore time with Uncle Darren & Stormy. Mah hat don’t stay on too good but got another gift called a cape but it’s best hangin’ like a bib so people can see the writing” – Mommy’s Little Devil.

    Adios, Amigo (that means good buddy)
    Poco D.

  21. Free Rabies Vaccine Clinic says:

    The Humane Society of Sedona will hold a dog and cat vaccination clinic on Thursday, Sept. 28, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Posse Grounds Park, 525 Posse Ground Rd. 

    The rabies vaccine is free for the first 100 pets, and other services are available on a cash basis.

    The clinic was made possible with a grant from the city of Sedona.

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