Traveling In The Car with Your Maltipoo

Photo Credit:  Amazon

Photo Credit: Amazon

Does your Maltipoo hate getting into the car? Once you get him in the car does he spend the entire trip whining or barking? If his previous car rides were an unpleasant experience, he will remember and try to avoid it at all costs. Things like slamming the brakes and speeding up too fast can cause your Maltipoo to suddenly lurch forward or backward. Having their bodies sway with each turn can be very frustrating for them and cause them to become sick.

When a Maltipoo experiences car sickness, it can cause him to develop a fear of getting into the car in the future. Car sickness is an awful nauseating condition that can happen with no warning and is very hard to cure until you get out of the car, so you can’t blame him for not wanting that to happen again, right? Some symptoms of Car Sickness include:

  • Excessive Drooling

  • Vomiting

  • Whining

  • Change in Behavior (restlessness or inactivity)

  • Repetitive Lip Smacking

  • Looped Yawning

Car sickness happens when your eyes see one thing and your ears and body sense something different. When your Maltipoo is in the car he sees the inside of the car is not moving, but his inner ears (balance) and body are sensing movement.

If your Maltipoo is a young puppy, car sickness may affect him more than it would an older Maltipoo. A puppy’s inner ear structures are not fully developed, making car sickness more pronounced.

There are a few things you can do to help prevent your Maltipoo from getting sick during a car ride.

  1. No Food 1-2 Hours Before a Car Ride - Your Maltipoo may do best if he does not eat within 1 to 2 hours of a car trip. Full meals can increase nausea and vomiting. 

  2. Give Your Maltipoo a Snack 15 Minutes Before a Car Ride - A few small dry treats can help cushion the stomach to cut down on stomach acid churning around and bile rising up.
    A small amount of sugar can help calm a queasy stomach. Offer 1/8 to 1/4 cup of 100% pure apple juice. Or you may offer a jelly bean; just be sure that it is made with real sugar and not a sugar substitute, which can be toxic to dogs. 

  3. Regulate Temperate Inside the Car - Most Maltipoos do best when the air inside the car is slightly cool. In the summer, use the AC to cool off the car before placing your Maltipoo in. In the winter, don’t let it get to warm when you have the heater on.

  4. Use a Car Seat - A car seat has many benefits that not only help cure motion sickness, but can also save your Maltipoo’s life:

    • Allows for line-of-sight - This is a key component. When positioned high enough, a Maltipoo will be able to have a clear view out of both the front and side windows. 

    • Keeps the body stable - Each time you brake, accelerate, or take turns, an unrestrained dog will be forced to bear the pressure and weight of those maneuvers. However, a car seat offers a sturdy structure that not only keeps a dog in place, but also offers four secure walls to limit involuntary movement. 

    • Keeps a dog closer to partially opened windows I- When in a raised car seat, a Maltipoo will have his face closer to windows opened to some degree. 

    • Protects from severe bodily harm and fatal injuries - Even in slow-moving accidents, dogs can be terrible injured.

  5. Let Fresh Air In - Driving with both the AC and the windows open is not the most fuel efficient method, but it will help your Maltipoo feel better. Because Maltipoos are small dogs, don’t have your windows 100% open, this much air can be too overwhelming. Instead, leave your windows 1/4 - 1/2 open.

  6. Take breaks - Every dog that dislikes the car will reach a point at which car sickness or restlessness will eventually kick in. It’s just a matter of time, whether this is 20 minutes, an hour, or two hours. So, a big part of helping your Maltipoo learn to enjoy car trips is to take a break before it reaches this stage. 
    If you are not sure when your Maltipoo will reach his limit, play it safe by stopping every 20 to 25 minutes. Pull over to safe area, have your dog on leash, let him stretch his legs, go to the bathroom, and have a small snack and a drink.

Next time you go on a trip with your Maltipoo, try all or a few of these suggestions to help him feel better and decrease the chance of getting sick. Who knows, he might just begin to love the car rides!