Dog Car Sickness and What You Should Do

Dog Hanging Out Car Window
How well does your dog ride in the car?

For many dogs, riding in the car is pure joy and thrill. Head out the window, ears flapping in the wind, tongue hanging out … what could be better?

Unfortunately for some dogs, plenty could be better. That’s because many dogs suffer from car sickness. Below, we’ll outline the common symptoms of this condition in dogs and discuss what you can do to prevent and reduce them.

Symptoms of Dog Car Sickness

The most obvious sign of car sickness is vomiting — either in the car or after driving. However, there are other symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored either:

  • Hypersalivation (excessive drooling)
  • Panting
  • Lip smacking and excessive licking
  • Repeated swallowing
  • Repeated yawning
  • Pacing
  • Stumbling or swaying from dizziness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Trying to hide or avoiding the car


Aspiration Pneumonia

Car sickness is certainly an unpleasant experience for both your pet and you, but the only major potential health issue associated with car sickness is aspiration pneumonia.

This occurs when a dog vomits and accidentally inhales the vomit into their lungs. Although rare, the condition can be serious. Having it occur once may also lead to future anxiety for your pet. And unfortunately, puppies tend to be most prone to it, which — despite them growing out of it — may cause a lifetime of car anxiety.

What Can You Do?

The best thing to do if you suspect your dog is prone to car sickness is to visit your vet. Many times, a simple medication can relieve the symptoms instantly.

You can also try these tips:

  • If your dog gets sick in the car, don’t freak out! It will only make them associate the car with bad emotions.
  • Avoid having your dog sit in the way back of your vehicle as it’s bumpier and less comfortable there.
  • If you choose, try a crate with limited side visibility.

Give your dog praise in the car and make it a pleasant experience (just don’t give treats until you’re out!).

Schedule an Appointment at Sunset Vet Clinic

Always remember that because our dogs can’t talk to us (in English anyway!), it’s our responsibility to be hyper-aware of their symptoms and sensitivities.

If you suspect your pup may be dealing with car sickness symptoms that you can’t prevent, come visit us at Sunset Veterinary Clinic for a checkup. Our vets would be happy to take a look at your dog and discuss possible treatment options. Call us today to book your appointment.

Contact Info
2017 N Kelly Avenue Edmond, OK 73003
Monday – Friday
7:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM to 12 PM