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How to Get Anxious or Motion Sick Dogs to Ride in the Car

This article was originally published on One Green Planet.

Some dogs love going for a car ride. Simply saying “Want to go for a car ride?” can leave some dogs in a tizzy with full-bodied wags while they anxiously wait at the front door. But for other dogs, car rides are the opposite of fun and are nothing more than anxiety filled. Motion sick dogs may experience physical reactions from car rides, such as nausea, drooling, or perhaps even vomiting. For other dogs, the reaction is emotional, and they experience anxiety. Whatever the case may be, many dogs become wrought with fear over the idea of riding in a car, making many dog lovers unsure of how to help.

Why do dogs become motion sick in the first place? For young puppies, their vestibular apparatus, the part of a mammal’s body that deals with balance and spatial orientation, isn’t fully developed. For adult dogs, the vestibular apparatus perhaps never fully developed. Jennifer Jones Shults, DVM, CCRT, of Veterinary Rehabilitation and Pain Management Hospital in Cary, North Carolina explained in Whole Dog Journal.

“It could be as simple as a puppy’s ear canals or semicircular canals still being too small to handle the rapid shifts in direction or the acceleration of the car…”

While seeing your dog overcome with anxiety and motion sickness can certainly be upsetting, completely avoiding car rides with your dog is probably not going to work as a long-term solution, considering you’ll have to travel at least a few times to the vet, groomers, etc.

So what are some solutions if your dog experiences anxiety and/or motion sickness during car rides? Here are just a few that could help making car trips go smoother!

Ginger

Ginger, among other benefits, is largely seen as a natural anti-nausea remedy. Ginger can be found in capsule form but also adding a small piece of fresh ginger to your dog’s food before a trip could help make the trip more comfortable.

Rescue Remedy 

Rescue Remedy is safe and natural and can be bought online or at your local health food or pet store. All you have to do is add two drops into their drinking water and it works for animals who have a fear of car rides, or in general have been through a traumatic situation.

Thundershirt 

Thundershirts are a drug-free, all-natural way to provide relief. The Thundershirt comes in different sizes and is inexpensive. The vest is wrapped around the dog and applies gentle, constant pressure. It’s a similar idea to swaddling an infant, the dog is receiving one giant hug. It might be a good idea to put the Thundershirt on even you’re not going for a car ride, so that way the dog doesn’t associate the Thundershirt with terror. You can order online, or find it at your local pet store. Anxiety Wrap offers a similar product.

Make the Car Ride Easier

When a cat or a dog sees a carrier, they tend to get the hint that something bad is about to happen before they even get in the car. If this is the case, you can help ease your pet’s anxiety by creating positive associations with the carrier. For instance, keeping the carrier where your dog or cat can always see it is a good idea. If they only see the carrier when it’s time to go to the vet or another unpleasant place, they will associate it with something negative. Keeping the carrier out where they can see and smell it might help. Don’t forget to put some comfy bedding and treats in the carrier!

Other Calming Tips 

It’s important for dogs to associate the car with a fun experience and not always going to the dreaded vet. Planning short trips, such as for a walk, to the dog park or maybe to a local restaurant where your pup can enjoy food will help them understand that the car isn’t scary.

Please also remember to travel safely with your dog by investing in a travel carrier instead of letting a dog ride dangerously in the back of a truck. And of course, never leave your dog alone in a hot car!

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5 Ways to Make Your Fur-Baby an Upcycled Cat Bed

This article was originally published on One Green Planet.

As any feline lover will tell you, their cat is one of their best friends. They are always hanging out in their cat tree, looking out the window or sweetly lounging across your nap while you binge on the latest Netflix show. Even when they wander around the house in the middle of the night, purring really loudly, you still adore your cat unconditionally. Cat lovers will do anything to make sure their BFF is comfortable. So if you have some old materials lying around, you can easily make a cute upcycled cat bed for your furry friend to curl up in – take a look!

1. Suitcase Bed

These upcycled vintage pet beds from DIY Blondie are super adorable. You can easily pick up a suitcase from your local antique or thrift store and turn it into a cozy napping spot by adding a soft pillow on the inside and matching the fabric. Your cat will definitely appreciate it!

2. Computer Cat Bed 

That’s right! You can make a cat bed out of a computer. If you have an old computer monitor, separate the front from the back and remove all of the internal parts. Make sure to recycle whatever you can! Then attach the front and back together again, insert your feline’s favorite bedding and viola! A cat bed.

3. Rope Bowl Cat Bed 

Lia Griffth offers a great tutorial on how to make a cat bed out of cotton rope. You do need a sewing machine for this one, but it’s a very easy bed to make if you know how to sew! Plus, this cat bed is designed to be a bowl shape so your cat can really curl up inside if they want to.

4. Sweater Bed

Got an old winter sweater? You can easily turn a sweater into a cat bed! This way if you have a cat that loves to sit on your clothes, you might as well take an old sweater and make their very own bed. In this video, Ellie Jay gives a step by step tutorial by using a sweater, stuffing, and a sewing machine. When you’re away from the house, your cat will be able to be “with” you by curling up on to your sweater!

5. Cat Tent Bed

Cats are curious creatures and love to jump into just about anything they can. The Internet isn’t obsessed with cats and boxes for no reason. ErinsAnimals breaks down how to make a DIY cat tent and we have to be honest, this is super adorable. You can put a towel or a pillow inside and this cat tent can double as a playtime or a sleeping nook!

There are tons of ways to get creative and make the most of what you have on hand. And let’s be honest, it’s entirely possible that you could get a box from a recent order and your cat will prefer that over the cat bed you worked so hard on. Or maybe they would prefer thedog bed over their own cat bed. That’s a cat for you!

Regardless, making an upcycled cat bed is a great way to unleash your crafty side, all while making something for your furry friend.