dogs get carsick

Do dogs get carsick? Introducing the symptoms of car sickness and how to deal with it

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I think there are many owners who want to go out with their dogs. When traveling by car, you worry about getting carsick.

In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatments for car sickness. Let’s practice the measures we can while nestled in the feelings of our dog.

Why dogs get carsick

Here are some reasons why dogs get car sick:

car shaking

One of the reasons why dogs get car sick is the shaking of a car. Car sickness in dogs is basically the same mechanism as in humans. The shaking of the car stimulates the semicircular canals and the vestibule in the inner ear, which control the sense of balance, which disturbs the sense of balance and the autonomic nervous system. Because dogs are smaller than humans, they tend to be more susceptible to shaking.

smell in car

Smells in the car can also cause carsickness. For dogs, which have a better sense of smell than humans, smells such as air fresheners and deodorants in the car are very irritating. If your dog is in the car, don’t use it.

Anxiety, fear, and dislike about cars

Children who are unfamiliar with cars or who are vulnerable to changes in the environment tend to feel anxiety and fear about cars. Therefore, you may get carsick from the stress of riding in a car. Also, many children have a strong sense of dislike for cars if they have had a painful experience with carsickness before. In some cases, just riding can make you feel sick.

Symptoms and Behaviors Dogs Show When They Get Car Sick

Let’s take a look at the symptoms and behavior of dogs with car sickness. It is important to treat the condition as early as possible, as the symptoms can get worse over time.

early symptoms

In the early stages of car sickness, anxiety symptoms are seen due to stress and tension.

  • Fidgety and restless.
  • Frequent yawning.
  • Screaming or barking.

mild symptoms

When it becomes mild, in addition to the initial symptoms, changes can also be seen in the body.

  • Haahaa and shortness of breath.
  • Profuse drooling.
  • I have a runny nose.
  • My body trembles.

severe symptoms

Mild symptoms, such as drooling, often precede severe symptoms. Don’t miss the signs and deal with them.

  • I have diarrhea.
  • -Vomiting.
  • Lower your head and get tired.

Read Also: is it ok for dogs to eat peaches – Notes on effects and how to apply

How to prevent car sickness in dogs

What are some effective ways to prevent car sickness in dogs?

Put it in a crate or carry bag

In order to prevent car sickness, please ride in a crate or carry bag. This is because trying to keep your balance in a swaying car can easily make you sick. Inside the car, the doors should face the direction of travel. Since it is stable in a crate or carrier bag, your dog will be able to spend it quietly.

do not feed just before

If you get in a car with a full stomach after giving it food, it is easy to induce car sickness. Eat smaller meals at least 2 hours before departure. It is also easy to get car sick when you are hungry, so be careful.

Exercise or take a walk before boarding

Before you get in the car, exercise or take a walk to keep your body moving. The point is to create a rhythm that makes you sleepy by giving you a moderate amount of fatigue. If you fall asleep in the car, you won’t feel carsick.

Drive safely

To prevent car sickness, it is effective to minimize the shaking of the car. Sudden braking and sharp steering can cause car sickness. Owners, when you put your dog in the car, please try to drive safely more than usual.

open windows for ventilation

Let’s change the air in the car before boarding. At that time, remove items that emit odors such as air fresheners. In addition, it is a good idea to open the windows and ventilate frequently while riding. By opening the window, you can smell various smells outside, which will change your dog’s mood.

Take breaks when traveling long distances

When traveling long distances, it is important to take frequent breaks. If you stay in the car for a long time, it is easy to get sick. Take breaks as needed. Try using dog runs in parks, highway service areas, and parking lots.

What owners do when their dog gets carsick

If your dog gets car sick, it is important to remain calm. If you prepare pet supplies such as pet sheets, plastic bags, and wet wipes in the car, you can rest assured in case of emergency.

let the air out

If you have nausea due to car sickness, you may feel refreshed by breathing outside air. However, it is dangerous to have your face out of the window. Keep the tip of the nose slightly sticking out, and the owner should hold it firmly so that it does not fall out of the window.

lower the temperature inside the car

If the temperature inside the car is high, try to lower the temperature. Warm air can easily cause nausea and sickness. Beware of heatstroke in the hot summer, and be careful not to overheat the car in the cold winter. It may be better to set the temperature of the air conditioner a little lower.

get out of the car

Get out of the car if possible. Shaking of the car is the cause of car sickness. Take a break in a safe place without shaking and wait for your dog to recover.

stimulate pressure points

Pushing a key point is also effective for car sickness in your dog. The acupuncture point called Chikuhin is located in the middle between the knee and the ankle. Please rub it with your fingers. The acupuncture point called the tragus is located on the cartilage protrusion just in front of the ear canal, so pinch it and gently massage it to stimulate it.

How do I get my dog ​​used to the car?

If your dog is not used to the car, it is recommended to proceed step by step with training to get used to it.

Teach the car is a safe place

Cars can be a scary place for dogs who aren’t used to them. Therefore, you need to teach your dog that the car is a safe place.

Start by getting the car in with the windows open and the engine off. For puppies and small dogs, the owner should carry them in the car and gradually accustom them to riding in the car.

Start with a short drive from nearby

Once you’re comfortable closing the door in your car and feeling calm, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Try to drive around your neighborhood for a short period of time, about 5-10 minutes. Remind them that there is something fun to do in the car by playing at the park where you are going or giving them treats.

Gradually increase drive time

If you don’t have to worry about car sickness, gradually increase the time you drive. When driving, take frequent breaks while monitoring your dog’s physical condition and behavior, and extend the time within a reasonable range.

Talk to your veterinarian and get a prescription for car sickness meds

If you get car sickness even after taking various measures, please get a prescription for motion sickness.

Do not give your dog motion sickness pills made for humans. Be sure to have your pet examined at a veterinary hospital, give your pet the prescribed medication, and follow your veterinarian’s instructions on how to take medication.


Dogs get car sick just like humans. If you have carsickness, it is important to take appropriate care according to your dog’s condition. Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and behavior, and if you notice any signs of illness, treat them as soon as possible.

By getting used to the car, the symptoms may be reduced, so it is also recommended to train at each stage.

If you still get car sickness even after taking measures, ask your veterinarian to prescribe an anti-sickness medicine.

Let’s support the owner firmly so that the dog can spend a comfortable driving life.

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