Motion Sickness and Dogs: Signs and Treatment

Dogs seem to really like car rides. Many of them try to hang their heads out the window and watch the world fly by. Some try to stand on the middle console between the front seats and others look out the back window seeing who is following them. There are some dogs that do not like car rides and it might be due to the motion or that the car is associated with the scary vet. Some dogs experience motion sickness like people and that means even a short trip can be stressful for the dog and gross for the owner who has to clean it up.

Here are a few signs that your dog might be feeling sick:

1: Uneasiness

2: Inactivity, sitting very still but tense

3: Panting and yawning

4: Listlessness

5: Hesitancy to get into a car

6: Excessive drooling

7: Vomiting

If your dog seems to be experiencing motion sickness there are a few things you can to alleviate the discomfort:

1: Coerce your dog to face forward if she’s turned to the side or looking out the back window

2: Lower the car windows a little to reduce the pressure of the air

3: Don’t feed your dog right before a car ride

4: Try to take short car rides

5: Keep the car cool while driving

6: Try to drive a little smoother to minimize the rocking your dog might be feeling as you accelerate and brake

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2 thoughts on “Motion Sickness and Dogs: Signs and Treatment

  1. Our rescue was horrified of cars when we first got her. She wanted to be with us but threw up most of the time, and even wet herself.
    With a lot of patience (and a lot of paper towels!) we managed to overcome this and now you can’t jingle the keys without her rushing to the garage door!
    First we made sure the back seat was ‘slip n’ slide free, with rubber backed bath mats.
    I bought small drawstring bags (@ 1″) from an arts & crafts store. I put it on her collar filled with lavender, chamomile and eucalyptus. I also sprayed the car, very lightly, with lavender, well before the trip.
    Our vets office was wonderful by letting us come ‘visit’ without anything ‘bad’ happening. They’d bring her on a ‘tour’, give her a treat and let her go behind the desk and nose around..then we’d just go, uneventfully.
    Also. ‘licking’ helped ease her nausea. We bring a plastic ware container that’s been kept in the freezer (just rub the top of the ice with your hand first so no ones tongue gets stuck!)
    Unsalted crackers (if your Dog can eat them) helps reduce the acid in their stomach.
    When it comes to an empty tummy before a trip, our Dog is a ‘special case’ (naturally!) We noticed the few times she had to go with us even though she’s already eaten, she did not get sick. She eats dry food.
    After a while, all this came together well and worked! She also though is a ‘will work for food!’ girl, so knowing the road trips would include a tailgate party at some point was a good incentive.
    Take a few trips with someone else driving and the SECOND they seem a little ‘puny’, pull over, and in a relaxed way, take them out for a ‘breather’…Smile, laugh. Knowing they are not ‘trapped’ in the car helps them psychologically.
    And no matter how frustrating it might be, NEVER scold them for getting sick! It wasn’t their idea and it’s really counterproductive.
    Just be patient and GOOD LUCK!

  2. D C is right patience is key. we got our Rot at 6 weeks and our Lab from a rescue at 9 weeks. we made the car trips positive. now our dogs go every place we go. we take them on our motor home trips. we have trained ours to now jump out with the windows down. its a labor of love for us