Dog with Car Sickness: Can Lavender Help?
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Stephanie Canzonetta
Posted on: May 01, 2007

My best friend is a chocolate lab name Logan. He loves to go in the car but even though I keep the windows down for air, he is unable to to relax and he pants heavily and can not just lie down on the back seat. Does he have car sickness and what can I give him to relax him? I was told that lavender could help.

The term "car sickness" usually implies that vomiting has occurred. As you do not mention this symptom, I assume your dog is dealing with feelings of nervousness and anxiety whilst the car is moving. Please see the postings on this website ( entitled, "Calming Dogs", "Dog Anxiety" and "Old Dog and Anxiety".

As for lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), perhaps the easiest thing to do is to use the essential oil in the vicinity of your dog whilst in the car; places like under the car seat, on the outside of his carrier (if used) or on a piece of cardboard close enough for him to smell but not close enough to lick. Essential oils must not be taken internally by animals and do not use them at all with cats. In addition, you could also use some lavender flowers in a bag made of light weight cotton, again, near your dog but not close enough to lick or ingest. Lavender does have a pronounced calming affect on dogs and humans alike and may help your dog along with the suggestions found in the postings cited above.

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