Can Your Dogs Get Carsick?

You may have experienced a feeling of uneasiness or wanting to throw up at one time or the other, while in the back seat of a moving vehicle. These are signs that you might be carsick. It is also possible that your dog feels this way too, and if he exhibits these signs, he can be carsick as well. Your dog can suffer from car sickness due to several reasons, and it can make the journey unpleasant for him. But not to worry, there are certain things you can do to help him get better and even grow out of it.

What Causes Car Sickness?

There are two leading causes of car sickness in dogs; motion sickness and travel anxiety. You can identify which your dog suffers from and take appropriate steps to help him feel better.

What Is Motion Sickness?

Your dog can have motion sickness when he travels in any form of moving vehicle. It happens as a result of signals your dog’s brain receives from his eyes, inner ears, muscles, and joints, not correlating with one another. His inner ear, for example, senses that he’s moving, but his eyes see the back of the front seat as stationary.

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Does Motion Sickness Occur In All Dogs?

No, not all dogs experience motion sickness. However, most puppies tend to have it but eventually outgrow it as they become adults. This is because their inner ear, which gives them equilibrium, is yet to be fully developed. By the time they are a year old and above, they no longer get motion sick.

How Do You Identify Motion Sickness?

There are certain indicators your dog can display that could signify motion sickness. Some of them include vomiting, whining, drooling, lip licking, feeling drowsy, pacing,  and swallowing.

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How About Travel Anxiety?

The second cause of car sickness in dogs is travel anxiety. If traveling in a vehicle is not an everyday experience for your dog, he might end up being car sick at every ride. Also, anxiety can be caused by an associated unpleasant or traumatic experience with vehicles while traveling in the past. For example, a puppy may recollect being isolated from his mom when taken for a ride, and subsequently, respond to vehicle rides even as a grown-up.

How to Treat Motion Sickness and Travel Anxiety

If your dog shows symptoms of motion sickness or travel anxiety, you can pull over and take him out for a walk. The actual movement and fresh air can help calm his nerves and bowels. You could also give him some water to drink to help him feel better.


Some medications could also work, but make sure your dog’s veterinarian checks him up first and recommends them. A passive illness your dog has could be the cause of him being carsick. Giving him the wrong medication could escalate the condition.

Your vet may likely prescribe Boning, Dramamine, Benadryl, or even ginger, to help your dog feel better. These medications can help cure the signs of nausea, drowsiness, and the likes associated with car sickness, so your dog can have a hitch-free ride. CBD may also work well for your dog, but be sure to consult your veterinarian first to avoid making a wrong or harmful purchase to your dog.

Another thing you can do to help your carsick dog is to keep the temperature in the car cool and crack the windows open a bit. You should also ensure he doesn’t drink or overeat well before the time of the ride.


A 20-minute exercise before he hops in the car could also help prevent him from getting carsick. Keep an eye on him throughout the trip and pullover periodically if you notice he’s uncomfortable.

You can also fix toys he likes in your car, so he looks forward to every ride. It might not be advisable to give him treats, so his stomach doesn’t get upset, but you can praise him along the way and make sure he has a pleasurable ride.

Safety Tips While Traveling With Your Dog

Safety is essential when going on a car ride with your dog. It can be dangerous for your dog to be left moving about in the car, as it can make him carsick, and could also result in an accident. You can restrict his movement by using a dog harness you can strap into the seatbelt. You could also place him in a crate strapped to your seatbelt or placed on the floor in the backseat.

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Also, leaving your dog alone in the car when you probably make a quick stop to get something could cause anxiety. On a hot day, the temperature inside your vehicle could be extremely high when you park it and even crack the windows a bit. Your dog can become sick as a result or even die. So, whenever you leave your car, make sure to take him along with you.


Puppies have a higher tendency of getting carsick than adult dogs. However, if any shows signs of motion sickness or anxiety, you can help him overcome it and still enjoy the ride. You can also take preventive steps, so he doesn’t experience the illness at all. Ensure you observe all safety measures for you and your dog. All these in place, your dog is sure to have a pleasant car ride with you.

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