Motion Sickness in Dogs

Leslie Sinclair, DVM explains how to identify and cure your dog's motion sickness.

Q. My dog gets carsick. What can I do to help her?

Leslie Sinclair, DVMLeslie Sinclair, DVM says: You can take several steps to diminish your dogs carsickness. First, safely confine your dog in a secured crate in the car. Some carsick dogs do better in the front seat, but the rear seat provides more protection from hitting the windshield. Then, ensure that she has an empty stomach before the ride (no food or water for four to six hours prior). Acclimate your dog to riding in the car by taking her for frequent, short trips, such as around the block. Take along a favorite chew toy to distract her. Consider covering her crate with a blanket. Watching the scenery fly by sometimes contributes to nausea. Be sure, however, that she gets plenty of fresh air while riding.

If these steps don’t help, consult your veterinarian about medication, which will decrease your dogs nausea as well as sedate her somewhat, so that she can relax and sleep through the trip. Make frequent stops (at least every two hours) during a long trip to allow her to get out of the car and get a bit of exercise. Offer your dog small amounts of water during these stops so that she doesn’t become dehydrated. Stop more often if you notice her showing signs of nausea, such as drooling or burping.


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Reprinted from Ask the Vet About Dogs, by Leslie Sincliar, DVM © 2003. Permission granted by BowTie Press.

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