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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone else's vizsla get very car sick? Ritz will vomit as soon as i put her in the car before i even start it up and will drool horribly until we get to wherever we are going and she is fine as soon as we get there. I take her somewhere almost every day to try to shake her from it, but it doesn't seem to let up.

I have purchased a "dog hammock" from petsmart that is waterproof and is keeping my seats cleaner from the drool and have found that as long as the windows are down she is pretty good and she does better with highway/interstate driving than the stop and go around the city.

Is this something from her being a rescue or particular to the breed???
 

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I have nearly the same issue. Gunner doesn't get sick every time we get in the car, but he has gotten sick 1-2 times. Not only does he pull hard on the leash when we approach the car, but if he has time to realize we're going in the car he starts to drool like crazy.

Unfortunately when I picked him up in Illinois he spent 18-20 hours with me in the car home to CT. Ironically they wouldn't put him on a plane because they're worried about the stress on the dog... yeah, well he ended up getting sick in the crate and freaking out. (I don't blame him since he had no idea who I was or where we were going)

Anyway, that pretty much screwed any chance I had of getting him to enjoy the car. Since then I've managed to get him to warm up to getting in the car on his own (I actually used to have to carry him in and out) but I haven't been able to shake the general nausea in/around the car.

When I'm able to put his doggy bed and favorite blanket down he seems to do much better so you might want to give that a try. I've also tried giving him something, like a KONG with peanut butter in it, to take his mind off of being in the car and hopefully build positive association with it.

Any other brilliant ideas are more than welcome...
 

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I read that it is really important to get the dog used to the car as a puppy. Associate it with fun/unstressful times, praise him as much as you can, and eventually they learn to love it.

I am sure it is tougher once they get older.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yeah i always put her favorite blanket in the car and she seems to do better. she is getting better now that it is getting warmer too--putting more of her head out the window (in the cold she only puts the tip of her nose out--she's a wuss).

Any chance you think it is the trauma from the car for ours? she was fine on the 7 hour car ride home from Cleveland, so we wonder if she thinks we are taking her back or something. She is always fine on the ride home, but she freaks out on the ride to anywhere. Also--i make sure not to feed her until we get home so she doesn't have a full belly or anything. Maybe its just a breed thing.

I am sure the humane society never put her in a car too often either...you're probably right about starting as a puppy but she is a rescue so we didn't have that luxury..
 

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Well my Vizsla Phoebe. When she was just a puppy she was. She would get in the car. For short journeys it would be ok. But after a while she would start to drool and then eventually vomit.

However she has now grown out of it and perfect in the car.
 

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It's definitely easier to start them off right with things like other dogs, the car, swimming, etc. But when you have a rescue you obviously don't have that luxury. In your case although the rescue org may not have had her in the car a bunch, it's totally possible that she had a traumatic experience in the car with her original owner.

If I were you I'd devote some time to it. Maybe spend 1-2 hours each weekend getting her in and out of the car multiple times and rewarding her for it. You could even get her in, give her a treat, walk once around the block and repeat.

I would also stress that a good way to build credibility and relieve stress is to get in and out of the car with her. That's how we got G to get in and out on his own... I would get in first and he would follow. He still doesn't love it, but baby steps.
 

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Our senior rescue had the same problem. We were advised to crate him in the car for his security and because of his arthritis to help keep him safe. He fretted the entire time and would vomit, then often eat the vomit. Yuck. We started taking him on short rides like to the grocery store to help acclimate him and then we got the good idea to start driving to the dog park and our long walk path around the retention pond when before we'd walk to both (for the exercise, duh!). This helped a lot because he started to associate a car ride with favorite places and NOT getting left alone. As did taking him OUT of the crate! He's now doing much better in the back seat covered by a blanket. We first had a problem with him trying to climb into our laps but he's getting better about this. When we started, I rode in the back seat with him and my husband drove and that helped get him accustomed to riding in the back seat. Now humans can be in front and the V stays in the back seat and he's discovered he really likes sticking his head out the window to sniff or between the front seats for a pat. No more vomiting!

I would suggest short rides with a very positive end destination to get over the fear of the car. At least that is what worked for us. Our V did great this summer on a road trip to Tucson and loved the stop at Yosemite National Park! He slept most of the way spread out on his bed. Good luck!
 
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