Your PON and Motion Sickness
Occasionally, our FAQ section on PON Digest receives inquires about motion sickness and owners are at a loss when trying to cope with this situation. These are some suggestions:
1. Avoiding feeding your PON for 2 hours before a car trip (long or short) if possible.
2. Don't make car trips (or preparations for them) a big fuss.
3. Practice getting in the car, driving a little way (before the time your PON usually becomes ill) and then coming straight back home. Do this without excitement or fuss or attention.Continue this lots of times over a period of 2-3 months. Gradually extend the length of the trip. After this time, resume normal car trips to the park, etc., without fuss or excitement. Every so often, try another round trip where nothing happens. Your PON will never know which trip is going to be an exciting one and which one will be a boring one. Overall this should quench the sense of anxiety.
4. Offer a toy to play with in the car
5. Cover the back windows so your PON can't see outside (scenery rushing by could make her feel yucky)
6. Consider placing a crate in the car so that your PON feels secure
7. Drive carefully with a minimum of stopping and starting.
8. Consult your veterinarian for a travel sickness remedy
Some PONS seem to be anxious of the car itself and appear nervous before the car starts moving:
Car sickness is a common problem in all breeds. In most cases it can be cured or considerably improved. There seem to be two types of car sickness: Nervous sickness and genuine motion sickness (same as humans). Luckily the most common one is nervous sickness which is easier to cure.
Nervous sickness. This is when your PON is nervous of riding in your car and becomes worried and sometimes even ill before entering the family car.
1. Avoid all car trips for the present if possible.
2. Put your PON's food bowl in your car next to a comfortable blanket.
3. Allow your PON to observe his bowl in the car.
4. The following day, repeat the above at mealtime and see whether he will jump into the car.
5. Continue to offer food in the car for a few days or so until you feel your PON has the idea that being in the car is rewarding. While he is eating, sit in the drivers seat. When he is finished, give lots of praise, get him out of the car and have a quick game with him.
6. When you feel ready for this next step, go to the car with the bowl but this time put the dinner in a separate sealed container. Make sure you are about 10 minutes early for his dinner. Put the bowl in the car as usual. Your PON should jump expectantly into the car. This time though, turn on the engine - make sure you are outside as the fumes in a garage could make him sick at once. Sit with him in the car for a while with the engine running. Then switch off the engine and feed your PON as normal with lots of praise and a game at the end as usual.
7. Gradually increase the amount of time he is in the car with the engine running until you feel he is not worried by this and sees it as normal
8. Drive along shortly before you feed him and slowly increase the time spent driving.
9. Very soon your PON should be happy riding in the car with you.
10. Good luck !