How Can I Help My Dog or Puppy with Car Sickness?


So, How Can I Help My Dog or Puppy with Car Sickness? If you’re a pet parent, you’ve probably encountered that all too familiar scene of a nauseous pup during a car ride. As much as you’d love to bring your furry friend along on adventures, car sickness can put a damper on the experience for both you and your dog. But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into various strategies and tips to help you address the issue and make car journeys a pleasant experience for your four-legged companion.

Understanding Car Sickness in Dogs

Car sickness in dogs can be a real puzzle. Just like humans, dogs can experience nausea, dizziness, and discomfort during car rides. This condition typically stems from a sensory conflict that occurs when the motion felt by a dog’s inner ear doesn’t match what they see. So, what are the common symptoms to look out for?

Recognizing the Symptoms

  • Excessive drooling: If your dog starts to slobber excessively in the car, it might be a sign of car sickness.
  • Vomiting: This one is pretty obvious. If your dog vomits during car rides, you have a problem.
  • Restlessness: If your pup is fidgety, anxious, or can’t sit still, it’s likely due to discomfort.
  • Whining or panting: These are signs of distress and should not be ignored.

What Causes Car Sickness in Dogs?

The next logical question is: why do some dogs suffer from car sickness while others can enjoy the ride without any issues? Let’s explore the factors that can contribute to this problem.

Factors Leading to Car Sickness

  1. Puppyhood: Young pups are more susceptible to car sickness because their inner ear and sensory systems are still developing.
  2. Negative Associations: If your dog associates car rides with trips to the vet or other unpleasant experiences, anxiety can trigger car sickness.
  3. Motion Sickness: Some dogs simply have a lower tolerance for motion, just like some humans.

How Can I Help My Dog or Puppy with Car Sickness?

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get to the heart of the matter. How can you help your dog overcome car sickness and make those road trips a joy for both of you?

Tips to Alleviate Car Sickness

  1. Gradual Exposure: Start by taking your dog on short, pleasant drives to help them get accustomed to the car’s motion.
  2. Positive Associations: Make the car a happy place by rewarding your pup with treats, toys, and praise during rides.
  3. Proper Ventilation: Ensure your car is well-ventilated to prevent stuffiness, which can contribute to nausea.
  4. Break It Down: Opt for frequent breaks during longer journeys, allowing your dog to stretch their legs and take bathroom breaks.
  5. Secured Seating: Use a harness or a crate to secure your dog in the car, ensuring their safety and comfort.
  6. Blanket or Towel: Covering the car windows can reduce visual stimulation and help minimize sensory conflict.
  7. Travel on an Empty Stomach: Avoid feeding your dog right before a car trip to reduce the chances of nausea.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can car sickness be hereditary in dogs?

A1: Car sickness can have a genetic component, so if your pup’s parents had car sickness, they might be more prone to it. However, it’s not a guarantee, and proper training can still help alleviate the issue.

Q2: What should I do if my dog vomits in the car?

A2: If your dog vomits, pull over safely, clean up the mess, and give your dog some fresh air. Gradually reintroduce them to the car in short trips to desensitize them.

Q3: Can I use medication to prevent car sickness?

A3: Consult your vet before giving your dog any medication. There are options available, but they should be used under professional guidance.

Q4: Are there specific breeds more prone to car sickness?

A4: While some breeds may be more predisposed to car sickness, it can affect dogs of any breed or size.

Q5: Can stress and anxiety trigger car sickness?

A5: Yes, stress and anxiety can exacerbate car sickness. Creating a calm and positive environment during car rides can help alleviate these factors.

Q6: How long does it take for a dog to get used to car rides?

A6: The time it takes for a dog to get used to car rides varies from dog to dog. Some may adapt quickly, while others may take several weeks of consistent training and exposure.


Helping your dog overcome car sickness requires patience, training, and understanding. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you can gradually acclimate your furry friend to the joys of car travel. Remember that every dog is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. It’s essential to tailor your approach to your dog’s specific needs and personality. With dedication and the right techniques, you can turn those once-dreaded car rides into cherished adventures for both you and your beloved pet. So, get out there, hit the road, and create fantastic memories together with your canine companion. How can I help my dog or puppy with car sickness? By following the advice in this article, you’re well on your way to solving this pet puzzle!

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Cat Hocking

Having had dogs all of my life I have learnt so much and continue to learn more with each individual dog that enters our family. These amazing creatures can teach us so much! In the Dog Care Guru I share information, resources and accessories for our canine children.

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