For those of you who read this blog, you’ll remember that last month I gave some suggestions about how best to travel with your pet (in my case, my dogs). That post prompted an emailed from one of my readers asking about how to deal with a dog’s car sickness. I’m fortunate that that hasn’t been a problem for me personally – Scamp and Rambler have always tolerated the motion as we drive along. They’re relatively young, too, which I think helps, but what do I know, I’m not a vet.
I’ve compared notes with other RV friends and acquaintances who travel with their dogs, and recently I’ve been hearing about a drug called Cerenia®. I think it comes in tablet form, and from what I’ve heard, it’s worked pretty well for combatting car sickness for a number of dogs. If your dog is demonstrating car sickness, especially when he or she hasn’t before, I suggest you call your vet first to ask about this drug, but this might be just the ticket.
This whole issue of animal health on the road has given me pause lately to really think about the idea of how long I’ll be traveling with my dogs. As much as Scamp and Rambler seem to enjoy the experience, I realize that they can’t really tell me how they feel, so it is important for me to keep a close eye on their health and happiness. We all make decisions for our pets and hope they’re the right ones. I mention this because I had a couple of friends recently who had begun to ask themselves about their aging dog and how well he was tolerating the travel.
Joe and Hazel have been retired for about four years and bought their Class C RV so they could enjoy the travel they’d never had time to do when their kids were growing and “life got in the way,” as Hazel put it. Their dog, Festus, had been a part of the household for about seven years when they started to hit the road to see the country and visit their grown children who had spread all over the map with their families. They told me that up until recently Festus had tolerated the travel very well, usually riding up front with them, and accompanying them on their adventures. Sometimes it was difficult to tell who the grandchildren were happier to see, Grampa and Gram (as Joe and Hazel were called) or Festus, who became the immediate center of attention when Joe and Hazel pulled in.
But, as Joe told me, Festus began to be out of sorts more often when traveling and he’d had a couple of times when he’d acted as though he was car sick, once when they had been traveling a mountain road with its switchbacks and frequent turns. Joe was the first to bring up the subject of whether or not it was time for Festus to “retire from the road,” as he put it, but Hazel didn’t want to talk about it at first.
Knowing that Joe was right (he usually was), Hazel finally suggested they ask if Festus could spend his “retirement” living with their middle daughter, Cleo, and her husband, Paul. They were fortunate in the fact that Cleo was a stay-at-home mom and Festus could be around people all day as a play companion to their two girls. And, of course, they’d be able to see Festus when they visited Cleo and her family. So, on their last trip, Festus stayed behind when Joe and Hazel pulled out.
Hazel had a hard time leaving Festus but knew they were doing the right thing. She simply missed her companion. But, as she told me one night as we sat enjoying the night sounds after a dinner we shared, “We make choices for our pets and it’s important to remember that those decisions not be just about us. It has to be about them, too.” For me, hearing this story made me aware that I may face the same questions some day with Scamp and Rambler. I love having them with me but what’s best for them will always be the priority. I hope the same will be true for you.
Livin’ the love,
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