How To Prevent & Treat Motion/Car Sickness In Dogs

As dog-lovers, it’s very hard to not take your pooch for a car ride, especially if they absolutely enjoy it. However, even dogs that enjoy car rides can still become carsick. And what about the dogs that don’t like car rides? Most would say to leave them at home, but even if you don’t mind your dog staying at home most days, there will be times that you will need your dog to ride in the car with you (for example to the vet). If your pup is getting sick in the car, you may find it difficult to tell when he/she is feeling ill. After all, our dogs don’t speak English, and they don’t turn a nice hue of green like we do when we feel motion sick. Some signs that your dog may not be feeling quite well in the car are:


  • Lethargy
  • Constant Movement
  • Seeming Anxious
  • Whining
  • Drooling Excessively
  • Yawning that seems to be cut short (sometimes with a hack)
  • Hacking
  • Vomiting


Veterinarians can offer some medications for motion sickness. Some medications include generic Benadryl (your vet can tell you the appropriate dosage), Acepromazine, or Cerenia. These are often a veterinarian’s first stop to helping a dog overcome motion or car sickness; however, some veterinarians will suggest more natural remedies, such as herbs. Valerian is used when sickness is caused by anxiety. Cocculus indicus can be given just before getting in the car to reduce sickness. Rescue Remedy is a flower essence that can also be given right before getting in the car to ease your dog’s anxiety. Some herbs, such as oat straw, skullcap, and passionflower can be used as slight sedatives, but one should ALWAYS talk to a veterinarian before offering herbs or medications to their dog. A vet will be able to give you the go-ahead, as well as give you an idea of dosage.  


         Another remedy to consider actually has nothing to do with feeding your dog something, but rather where you put your dog. Many dog owners choose to put their dogs in the front seat. While this may be fun, it is dangerous. A dog in a front seat can easily become a projectile if a collision occurs. Air bags are not built to protect a dog and can do serious harm to one. This, coupled with the fact that riding in the front and/or looking out the windows can cause sickness, is why veterinarians suggest putting a dog in a crate. A crate can protect a dog, keep a dog from looking out a big window, and if your dog must vomit, it can save your car seats and floorboard.