Tips For Car Sickness In Dogs

Car sickness in dogs is usually caused by one of two things: motion sickness and anxiety.

dog with car sickness


Cars are very strange places for pets and they do not really understand them, so do they not feel safe. This is the most frequent cause of travel anxiety in dogs, which can result in dog car sickness. Motion sickness can be caused by visual stimuli, which is the most frequent cause, and also by inner ear problems, which is actually pretty rare. In most cases for dogs, it is actually a combination of visual stimuli coupled with a little anxiety. The result is a very stressed out dog that vomits, drools heavily, pants heavily, and/or paces nervously.


The best way to handle dogs and car sickness is to try to get a handle on it before it happens. If you think your dog is getting motion sickness, then the most probable cause is the fast, blurring images that are going by your dog. Try to make it so that your dog can not see out the side windows. Many times, looking out the back window also causes problems. However, having a dog in the front seat, which seems to be the logical solution, is very rarely a good idea. Airbags can cause major injury and even death to dogs in the front seat, even ones that are restrained. Keeping them behind the front seat is best, and blocking the side windows can help. Even better is putting them in a crate that has the side views obstructed. Be sure not to just cover up a crate with your dog inside, as insufficient air flow can bring on the motion sickness faster.


Dogs that get car sick because of anxiety are feeling insecure about being in the car. It could have been a prior traumatic experience, such as an accident or bad trip to the vet, or just the fear of the unknown. See How To Help With Car Anxiety for tips.


Products That Can Help With Dog Car Sickness

Anxiety Wraps

These wraps, also called jackets, coats, and shirts, provide a gentle and constant pressure around the torso of your dog. This feeling helps to calm them and works for noise anxiety, separation anxiety, and travel anxiety.


Homeopathic Remedies

There are homeopathic remedies for dog travel sickness which many pet owners swear by. You give several doses of the product an hour or so before leaving, and many people relate that their pets were much calmer.


Dog Appeasing Pheromones

These pheromones, also called DAP, helps to create a sense of well being within an animal. Pheromones are chemicals that are emitted from animals to send messages to animals of the same species. Many pet pheromones are formulated to carry a calming message, which helps your dog relax and feel at ease.



All three of the above are natural, non-medicated ways to help your dog overcome car sickness. It may be that you need to use all, or a combination of them to really help your dog. But start with just one. If you see some improvement but not enough, add another remedy.