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September 5, 2013

Helping dog’s motion sickness

NORMAN — Dear Dr. Fox: A recent Animal Doctor column addressed carsickness in dogs. Our poodle has no problems with cars — he rides many miles with us every summer. But then we took him boating, and he got seasick.

Still, he loved going to the beach and frolicking with our kids, until the authorities posted a “No Dogs on the Beach” ordinance and we couldn’t include him on our excursions.

He’s a smart dog and could tell when we were going (we’d be putting our bathing suits on). He would sit by the front door, panting and whimpering to go.

We tried not saying the words, but spelling them out — “b-e-a-c-h” and “b-o-a-t” — he still knew what we were up to.

It’s heart-wrenching leaving him behind watching us drive away. Do you have any suggestions?

— M.K., Naples, Fla.

Dear M.K.: Try my remedy for your dog’s motion/seasickness: half-teaspoon freshly chopped ginger root in a small ball of cottage cheese or peanut butter given 30 minutes before the boat ride. Put a bandana with a few drops of lavender oil around his neck.

This will help calm him. The ginger will settle his stomach and is a potent anti-nausea herb that is used to alleviate morning sickness in pregnant women.

If your dog is not a standard poodle, reduce the amount of ginger accordingly. The only harm of an overdose could be that he might throw it up.

As for beaches closed to dogs, there should be a “dog time” allotment and an inspector posted who levies a massive fine on anyone who does not poop-scoop at once.

Dear Dr. Fox: Jake is an 8-year-old neutered male cat who came to me as a young stray. He has a very shaggy coat, and it turns out he’s a Maine coon, although he must have been the runt of the litter, since he never got larger than 10 to 11 pounds.

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