Rover Road Trips: How to Treat Car Sickness in Dogs

There’s nothing like hittin’ the open road with your favorite pawssenger by your side. But let’s face it: road trips are far less fun when Fido gets sick. Is your BFF prone to motion sickness? These tips on how to treat car sickness in dogs will transform your fren into a ride-ruvin’ rover in no time!

What Causes Motion Sickness?

Dogs can experience car sickness for several reasons. Young puppies’ inner ears—the part that controls balance—are not fully developed. Less adventurous doggos may get sick from not being used to the motion of the car. Doggos that only go on car rides once or twice a year for the dreaded trip to the V-E-T may associate the car with fear and ouchie needle pokes, making the car an anxiety-inducing place.

Car Sickness Symptoms

Most hoomans think of vomiting when they think of car sickness, but there are actually several additional symptoms that could indicate motion sickness. These include:

  • Whining
  • Pacing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Licking lips
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea 

How to Treat an Active Case of Car Sickness

If woofer is going through the paces of motion sickness, try these tricks.

Keep Cool and Calm

Let the car’s AC blast through floof’s fur, and play some quiet, calming music. Keeping cool in a calm environment will help puppo relax.

Use Your Dog Harness or Carrier

A pacing dog puts himself at risk for injury and may cause accidents—plus the constant added motion isn’t doing rumbly tummies any favors! Make sure to use a car harness or pet carrier to keep smol fries safe.

Provide a Comfort Item

Everything is better curled up with a blankie! If you packed blankets, let doggo lie with one. Being able to doo a cuddle with an item that smells like home can calm pupper down. T-shirts, jackets, and other clothing items work too.

Preventing Car Sickness Is Key

It’s much easier to prevent car sickness than it is to treat it, so do your fren a solid and prepare accordingly when planning your next road trip together.

Desensitize Your Dog

If you can, let pup adjust to the car by taking a few short joy rides before going on a large trip. It’ll help her get used to the motion of the vehicle as well as help alleviate car anxiety.

Don’t Feed Right Before You Leave

Car rides + full stomachs = disaster. An empty stomach can help reduce nausea, so try to withhold food within 12 hours of departure time. Just don’t forget to provide plenty of fresh water at all times!

Give an Acupressure Massage

Keep fluffer feelin’ fine with an acupressure massage. Not only will this help doggo relax, but certain pressure points can be used to prevent nausea. Try it before buckling up!

Try Anti-Nausea and Anti-Anxiety Medications

If pup’s prone to puking, check with your veterinarian about anti-nausea meds. If your dog is too stressed even after trying other methods, ask your vet if anti-anxiety medication is right fur your floof.

How did your backseat buddy overcome motion sickness? Woof at us in the comments and let us know your best tips on how to treat car sickness in dogs! And don’t forget to tag @SidewalkDog in all your cute car ride Insta posts.

Featured photo: Andrew Pons

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and pup parent giveaways on Instagram.

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