9 Effective Strategies to Prevent Dog Car Sickness

Dizzy dogs: 8 ways to prevent your dog from getting dizzy in the car

Updated on April 30, 2024

Experiencing car rides with your pet can often turn into a stressful ordeal, especially if your furry friend suffers from dog car sickness. Wondering how to prevent your pup from feeling nauseous on the road? Whether it's your first trip together or a routine drive, we have essential tips to combat dog car sickness effectively.

So buckle up, and let’s steer clear of those dizzy dogs with some savvy tips that scream Give A Sh!t style!

Understanding Dog Car Sickness: Symptoms

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from motion sickness during car rides, but they may not show their discomfort in ways we immediately understand.

Common signs of car sickness in dogs include:

  • Drooling excessively.
  • Whining or yelping.
  • Showing signs of restlessness or inactivity.
  • Vomiting.

You might also notice your dog licking their lips more than usual or showing a reluctance to get into the car.

Recognizing these symptoms is the first step in helping your furry friend manage their discomfort.

Top Reasons for Dog Car Sickness

Ok, it's obvious that dizzy dogs get sick in cars, but why does dog car sickness happen? Motion sickness is a common problem, mostly in younger dogs than in adults.

1. Balance Problem

While puppies are incredibly adorable, they don't always have everything together - literally. Due to their still-developing inner ears, puppies can sometimes experience balance issues that lead to car sickness.

So if you're taking your pup for a spin and notice them starting to dizzy about or get queasy, don't worry - it's totally normal (albeit a little messy).

Just make sure to bring along some cleanup supplies, like our earth-friendly wipes, and maybe a baggie or two, just in case. And of course, once they hit adulthood, dogs usually outgrow this phase - so no need to worry about car sickness for the long haul.

2. Lack Of Habit

A common misconception is that dogs get dizzy from the motion of the car, leading to dog car sickness due to anxiety from unfamiliar travel. 

If you want to prevent your dog from getting car sick, the best thing you can do is get them used to traveling in a car.

Take them for short drives around the block at first, and then gradually increase the distance and duration of your trips. With time and patience, your dog will learn to enjoy car rides - and you'll be able to hit the road without worry.

3. Eating Before Travelling

Dogs are dizzy creatures. They're always spinning around in circles, chasing their tails, and toppling over when they try to lay down 😆. So it's no surprise that eating before getting into the car can cause dog sickness.

When a dog eats, its blood flow slows down to the stomach to help digest the food. But when a dog suddenly stands up or starts moving around, that blood can't flow back fast enough and the dog will feel dizzy.

The same thing can happen to humans if we eat before getting into a car or on a roller coaster, but we usually don't get as dizzy because our brains are better at regulating blood flow.

So next time you're going for a drive with your pup, make sure they've had time to digest their food first. Otherwise, you might be in for a dizzy ride.

4. Stress

Some dogs get downright stressed out when they're in the car. And when a dog is stressed, it can sometimes become nauseous and exhibit signs of discomfort.

So if you see a dog getting car sick, it's probably because he's feeling a little bit stressed. But don't worry, there are plenty of things you can do to help your furry friend feel better.

Just make sure to take things slowly and keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't get too dizzy.

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How Can I Tell if my Dog ​​Is Getting Motion Sickness?

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from motion sickness. And just like humans, they don't always show it in the same way.

Some dogs will start to whine and pace when they begin to feel dizzy, while others will simply drool more than usual.

Other common symptoms of motion sickness in dogs include licking their lips, lethargy or inactivity, and vomiting.

If your dog displays any of these symptoms, it's best to pull over and give them a break. Otherwise, they might just end up making a mess in the car.

Best 9 Tips to Prevent Dog Car Sickness

What's the best way to keep your pup safe whilst traveling? These are some great tips to help you prevent your dog from getting car sick. 

🚘 Dog Safe Car

Conditioning the vehicle and using a carrier or safety harness is important because it ensures that they will not hurt themselves nor cause accidents while traveling in their own space, which suits everyone involved!

🚙 Expose Your Dog to Short Rides

The key to getting your dog used to the car is by taking short trips and increasing how long you're in there for.

Start off with just a couple of minutes, then once they've gotten themselves comfortable, add another minute each day until their whole ride lasts an hour or more!

💗 Help Your Pup Overcome Anxiety

Maintaining a calm, relaxed body language is crucial when comforting an anxious pet such as ours!

When you speak softly to your pup and explain what's going on around, then these fears tend not only fade away but become manageable ones too!!

🍏 Avoid Feeding Your Dog Before Traveling

Giving your dog a few hours to digest his meals before traveling can help keep him from feeling nauseous.

Having something small and light, like water, an apple or some fruit for snacks might also do the trick! 

🌡️ The Ideal Temperature

The ideal temperature for your dog's comfort is between 68–70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).

At this range, they should be able to maintain their body heat without becoming uncomfortable or overzealous in the summer sun; however, it is important not let them get too cool either because then you might trigger nausea!

🎶 Music Against Dog Car Sickness

Low volume classical music helps keep our pups entertained while we drive around town - just make sure there aren't any noisy roads nearby so nothing distracts him/her from feeling sickness symptoms coming on board sooner than later.

🏡 The Smell of Home

The smell of home is one that can really help to relax your puppy in the car and reduce chances for motion sickness. So, place a blanket or t-shirt with this scented item on his seat!

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🎾 Positive Associations to Fight Motion Sickness in Dogs

To avoid motion sickness, you should associate the car with fun activities like playing fetch!

If your dog associates cars as a place where they get vaccinated, then it’s likely that he won't enjoy traveling in them. So offer him some toys and gameplay on-the go to make these rides enjoyable for everyone involved!!

👩‍⚕️ Consult with Your Trusted Vet 

Consult with your trusted vet before giving any medications to treat nausea and stress, as they may have unwanted side effects on our furry friends.

What to Do When My Dog ​​Is Motion Sick?

If you notice one or more of the symptoms mentioned above in your dog, do not hesitate and stop the car as soon as possible.

➡️ Let him get out of it!

Your pup needs fresh air, not the stale air filled with carbon dioxide from being inside a vehicle for too long. This can cause dog motion sickness, making them very uncomfortable. So, make sure to let them stretch and walk around at least once before continuing the journey.

Patience will be key to helping these pets succeed! So better try to prevent dog car sickness with our tips!

FAQ

Dog motion sickness

Do Dogs Get Dizzy When Travelling?

According to a recent study, the answer is yes – dogs can experience dizziness while moving from one location to another.

What Can I Give my Dog for Motion Sickness in the Car?

You shouldn't give anything to your pup unless you check it with the vet. Normally, dizzy dogs can try:

  1. Dramamine: an over-the-counter medication that is typically used to treat motion sickness in humans. However, it can also be given to dogs to help relieve nausea and vomiting. The recommended dosage for dogs is 0.5 mg per pound of body weight, administered orally every 8-12 hours as needed.
  2. Cerenia: a prescription medication that is approved for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in dogs. The recommended dosage for dogs is 4 mg per pound of body weight, administered orally once daily as needed.
  3. Ginger: a natural remedy that has been shown to be effective in treating nausea and vomiting in both humans and animals. The recommended dosage for dogs is 1/8 teaspoon per pound of body weight, administered orally every 8–12 hours as needed. 

How Do I Get Rid of Dog Anxiety in my Car?

The best ways to get rid of dog anxiety in the car are:

  1. Distract your pup with a toy: if your dog is anxious in the car, one way to help him calm down is a toy! This could be a toy filled with treats or their favorite squeaky toy. By giving them something to focus on, your furry friend may be less likely to focus on his anxiety.
  2. Play relaxing music: another way to help your dog relax in the car is to play some relaxing music. There are a number of CDs and apps available that are specifically designed for dogs, and they can help to soothe your pooch during a long car ride.
  3. Give your dog plenty of breaks: if you're going on a long car trip, make sure to give your dog plenty of breaks. This will allow him to get out of the car and stretch his legs, which can help to reduce his anxiety levels. Additionally, make sure to bring along some water and snacks for your dog, so he can stay hydrated and fed during the journey. 

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