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Wanted to split the questionsMiles is quite a...

Resolved • Response time 5 minutes

1 Jun 2021

Wanted to split the questionsMiles is quite a a nervous car traveler. Do you recommend any of these calming chews, or Benadryl?
I hate to drug him up! But hate that he’s so uncomfortable and nervous.
Thank you!!
Kim
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1 Jun 2021

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Dog Specialist's response
1 Jun 2021
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb
Associate Veterinarian

Kim.

You could have combined the questions (since it's you!) but this is fine, too:)

I have a few suggestions; give me a minute to type back a response with the list. Deb

1 Jun 2021
Dog Specialist's response
1 Jun 2021
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb
Associate Veterinarian

Kim,

I've had mixed results with the following things I'm going to list since not all dogs respond the same (similar to humans in that respect) but they won't cause harm (which is the most important thing) and at least you'll have a number of options to consider.

1. A product called DAP or Adaptil which comes in a spray or collar. These are often available at pet stores. They contain natural pheromones which are designed to instill a sense of calm and deal with anxiety.

2. There's also an oral product called Composure Chews or similar products such as you mention.

3. Peppermint oil, just a drop, rubbed on the pads may work. Buy this is a grocery store in the spice section. It’s organic food flavoring (not an extract which is alcohol based) that is essentially peppermint oil in sunflower oil which is safer than straight peppermint essential oil
4. Melatonin (the same supplement that you or I would take) at a dose of 3-6 mg about 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to travel. Some dogs will respond to one dose but, unfortunately, others will need to take it for longer periods of time before you see calming effects. So this may not help you for intermittent car rides. Double check labels that it doesn't contain Xylitol which can cause significant toxicity in dogs.

5. Valerian Extract- works best if given an hour before the anticipated ride.

6. Zylkene may be helpful.

7. Benadryl won't reduce anxiety but it can cause sedation as a side effect for some dogs which may reduce reactivity. The dose would be 1 mg per pound of body weight about an hour before the ride.

8. I don't have any experience with CBD oil although I know some folks have found it useful.

9. And, last but not least would be a Thundershirt. I've had a fair number of clients use this product for all sorts of anxiety issues and I've been amazed at the results. Of course, not all dogs will respond as we would like, but this is definitely something to consider. It's similar to the concept of some autistic children who respond to a swaddling concept.

Deb

There's also anoral product called Composure Chews which is supposed to help in thesame way.

2. Thundershirtwhich is also available at many pet stores.LINKI've had a fair number of clients use this product and I've beenamazed at the results. Of course, not all dogs will respond as wewould like, but this is definitely something to consider. It'ssimilar to the concept of some autistic children who respond to aswaddling concept.
3. Over the counter Benadryl at a dose of 1mg/lb twice a day might make him a little sedated and take the edgeoff. This is an entirely safe drug which could be given every day, ifnecessary, or only on those days when the weather is expected to bebad

4. Melatonin(the same supplement that you or I would take) at a dose of 3-6 mgtwice a day. Some dogs will respond to one dose but, unfortunately,others will need to take it for longer periods of time before you seecalming effects. So this may not help you now, but it would be worthconsidering.
Quality control is often a problem with supplements;Nature's Bounty is a reliable brand name.

1 Jun 2021
Customer reply
1 Jun 2021
I appreciate that while these might not work, they won’t harm him. Thank you again for your kindness!!He does settle down “eventually” but I hate him too be panting and fidgeting in his car seat. I want him to be more comfortable.
1 Jun 2021
Dog Specialist's response
1 Jun 2021
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb
Associate Veterinarian

My apologies for the duplicate information at the end of my response; I think I neglected to delete it..
I absolutely do understand about not wanting him to be uncomfortable in the car; you want any and all experiences  to be pleasant ones, especially when he's with you:)

But, at least you have a few options to try and, hopefully, at least one will be effective.

Deb

1 Jun 2021
Customer reply
1 Jun 2021
Exactly!! We’ve got a big road trip next month! 3-4 hours a day .....
1 Jun 2021
Dog Specialist's response
1 Jun 2021
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb

Sorry that I was off my computer when you responded back and I've been outside gardening since then:)
As I imagine you'll do, I would try a few of the options listed before now and when the longer trip is planned and hope that you find one that will work.

I also wanted to thank you for your generosity, as always:)  Best of luck, Deb

Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb
Associate Veterinarian
Avg. question only $30
I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
1 Jun 2021
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