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  • Erin Schwartzkopf

Car Sickness and Your Breeder

Dear Puppy Buyer...


How are you doing lately? Hope all is well. I'm just cruising through some groups and working on photo projects and listening to baby puppy noises right now. Every once in a while, as I scroll, I am struck by something that I realize some of us take for granted. One of those things hit me upside the head today in one of the repro groups I am in.


Car sickness is a thing. It really is. It happens. Just because you may have never had a puppy get it or some other breeder has never had an issue with it does not mean that it does not happen or won't happen or that it is a sign of a bad breeder. Some lines may be more prone to it....or not.


I promise you...in the scheme of things, it is a non issue. It is NOT a genetic disease where the parents should be removed from a breeding program. It is NOT the sign of a breeder who does things wrong. There are many breeders that commented about how they take little trips with their puppies and puppies are pros at travelling before they go home and that they desensitize them, etc. This is all great....but...it is anecdotal and fortunate that they have not had puppies get carsick. I have done it and found it just did not make any difference. I have had them grow out of it...or not. Hera still gets car sick to this day and she is 7. Luna outgrew it. Cleo never had it, had several litters (a few BIG litters) of puppies, and only one litter ever had car sickness.


It just happens, sometimes. There are different things you can do to help settle a stomach for trips. Do not feed before your trip. The generic form of Bonine is available at normal pharmacies OTC and has been the best I have found for Hera, puppies, and my husband. I give it an hour before we leave. Sometimes....none of this helps and you just have to wait for them to mature out of it.


Do not bash your breeder if your puppy gets car sick. Do not infer that they need to quit breeding the parents because of it. If you think that car sickness is the worst possible thing you could deal with and is worthy of removing dogs from a gene pool, you should really read up on your breed a little more. Every one of them out there has issues that are legit genetic diseases and are way worse than a little car sickness. It is not the sign of a poorly bred puppy. It is not the sign of an uncaring breeder. It is not the sign of poor breeding decisions.

There are many humans that have varying degrees of motion sickness and puppies are much the same. If you know you get motion sick, are you going to go ahead and eat a full meal before a road trip or are you going to push that meal until after you arrive? Same with puppies. By the time your puppy goes home from the breeder with you, it can go for several hours without eating a meal and be just fine. Cool air, windows open, elevated viewpoint so they can see out all *may* help. Frequent, short trips *may* help. Time *may* help. Ginger (real ginger) snap cookies *may* help. OTC meds *may* help. Or they may not.

Just know that this is a normal thing for puppies to go through...much like being tired and not feeling super great after a set of shots is normal. You can ask your breeder for some suggestions on how to combat it, but please do not fault them for it. If you need to put it in perspective, look up some videos on YouTube for Degenerative Myelopathy or Spinocerebellar Ataxia with Myokemia, for just a couple.



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