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A small white dog is sitting in the front passenger seat of a car looking out of the window. The dog is secured in a pet car seat. A person wearing a plaid shirt is driving the car. Sunlight is streaming through the windows.
Pet Blog

Dog Motion Sickness: How to Prevent Car Sickness in Dogs

This post is written by our holistic veterinarian at "I and love and you", Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT.

Motion sickness is common in dogs and usually affects puppies. Luckily, most puppies grow out of car sickness by one year of age.

In this article, I am going to help you prevent your pup from vomiting during your next car ride.

Symptoms of Motion Sickness

These symptoms only occur if the car is moving and include the following:

  • Drooling
  • Lip Licking
  • Pacing
  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • Dry Heaving

Treating Anxiety Around Car or Boat

If your dog has suffered from nausea and vomiting in the car, they most likely will have an aversion to getting in the car. I have seen my patients become anxious and nauseous from simply entering a vehicle. Before we can fix the car sickness, we have to make your pup feels safe and comfortable in the car. This can be accomplished by getting in the car with your pup several times without turning on the car. Bringing a stuffed Kong or Toppl for your dog to enjoy can make it a positive experience. After several positive sessions, try turning the car on. When your pup can successfully get in the car without stress, you are ready to try using pharmaceutical or natural therapies to help reduce the likelihood of nausea and vomiting.

Pharmaceutical Therapies

There are several safe and effective therapies available to help prevent nausea and vomiting. Here is a list of available options to discuss with your veterinarian:

  • Dramamine
  • Benadryl
  • Bonine
  • Cerenia

I really like to combine Cerenia with Dramamine or Benadryl. Avoid feeding your dog 2 hours before each trip if possible.

Natural Therapies

If you would rather go a more natural route, ginger may be helpful. I use powdered ginger in capsules. Some of my clients use ginger snap cookies. I recommend giving this to your pup 1 hour before travel.

With love,

Dr. Angie