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Many of us take our dogs in the car everywhere. My Lhasa as a puppy was always being sick in the car even on the shortest of trips. Together we overcame this and today he can do a 1000km trip without any car sickness.

I have asked myself this question often, How do I stop my dog from being sick in the car? With these tried and trusted remedies, you will be relieved that your dog will stop being sick in your car. The next journey you make together will be pleasant for you both.

After enduring many occasions when Lucky was car sick I started to look for answers. Just as some adults and children can have motion sickness some of our four-legged friends can suffer. The most successful remedies I have tried that really work, you will find below.

What are the causes

Nearly all dogs at some stage have been car sick and it is normal if your pet is still a puppy as their system vestibular is still in its developing stage. What is the system vestibular? We have the same system so it will be easy to explain. Inside our ears there are three pairs of looping hollow bones that are filled with serum, these help us to balance. These looping bones combined with other parts inside the ears make a sort of sense of balance gyroscope inside ours and your dog’s ears help keep us balanced. When traveling the serum inside is shaken around too much and sends signals to our brain which in turn sends a signal to our eyes trying to keep the person or animal upright, but when this goes on for too long the brain gets confused with too many input signals at once it can not handle it, the motion sickness is the result.

Adapt your dog to the car

This first step is important and you should spend some time playing in and around your car with your pet, so they do not see it as something to be afraid of. Puppies were not born to become car travelers, it is not something natural for them to do, this time with them around the car helps them to see you are at ease and they will pick that up from you.

Although Lucky is no longer sick he still gets excited when I go to the car, he jumps in before I’m ready, he loves to ride along with me now. But he still shows signs of excitement once we set off, he shakes, is restless and drools a lot, but with time he has grown out of being sick.

Medical assistance

So what can we do to help them? In the early days when they are still being sick even after you have started to train them around the car. There are some medications they could take called Dramamine, or Cerenia, I would get these from your vet who knows your pet and will advise on the dosage that is adequate in your dog’s case. Do not rely on this as a long-term solution, just a temporary measure. Although I have never tried it I have learned that ginger, in capsule form or in reward biscuits is also a natural remedy.

Reduce meals before a trip

If their stomach is full and they already suffer from motion sickness you are asking for trouble! The best here then is to limit their food intake a couple of hours before the journey to reduce as much as possible any accident. With a long trip over several hours then do take freshwater and some dry biscuits for them to stave off their hunger. Do not forget on a long trip they need a pee-pee break and that is another way of them learning new smells and noises around them. Some fresh air they will appreciate too, I open the window about 10cm during the trip.
         Don’t give too much before a trip

You can help

If your trip is with the family then ask one of them to talk and play with your dog, this occupies your dog and takes his mind off the motion, bring along his toys and bedding where he will feel secure and in this environment. Regular stops and walks will also help cure this car sickness.


With good patience, teaching and praise your pet dog will become more used to car trips and what was first a big problem for you, they being always sick, will become a thing of the past. If you have to use some medication do not feel guilty it is all part of the solution for a better journey together.

Related questions

What can I give my dog for travel sickness?

There are some medications that are ok for dogs to help overcome their motion sickness, two that I know of are Dramamine and Cerenia.

Always ask your vets advice before giving any medication on the correct amount for the size of your dog is very important.

Do dogs outgrow car sickness?

In his case, Lucky has grown out of his car sickness, it took a while and lots of small trips to start with but it has paid off. Keep up the work with your dog and he/she will soon grow out of being car sick

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