Dog Car Sickness

Groodle out of carTravelling with a dog suffering from car sickness can be quite the drama, and quite messy and smelly as well, if its left to continue to its usually unhappy conclusion. Most puppies suffer from car sickness due to the fact that the inner parts of the ear associated with balance have not yet fully developed. As a result, they may suffer nausea induced by motion sickness. If the dog is not used to riding in the vehicle they may become stressed and start to shake, drool, or even vomit. Other dogs may suffer from motion sickness just as some humans are susceptible to it.

If you have trouble getting your Cavoodle into the car, or they get ill when you finally do manage to get them in, there are things you can do to make the whole process a little more comfortable for them, and ultimately for you as well.

As with any stress inducing situation for a dog the best treatment is often one of getting them used to it. While the car is parked and not running let the dog into the car and share a treat with him. For dogs that are apprehensive even in close proximity to the vehicle sharing a treat while getting them as close as possible may start to change their attitude.

Moodle in the carOnce your Beaglier is used to being inside the car it’s time to start the vehicle and repeat the above process while the motor is running. Induce a positive experience by rewarding the dog with a treat. It’s important to reassure the dog that all is well if they start to appear nervous. Take your time and eventually your dog will become comfortable inside the vehicle.

When you have successfully maneuvered your dog into the car while the motor is running it’s time to get them comfortable in a moving vehicle. Short trips are the key here, such as reversing down the driveway and then back into the garage. After a successful trip reward the dog with a treat and give them lots of praise. Do it as many times as it takes for your Moodle to develop a calm demeanor.

Once you know your dog isn’t going to freak out it’s time to take the car all the way out of the driveway, and around the block. Take them to the park and play with them for a while, kick a ball around, or throw a stick. Do this a few times and your dog will start to associate the car with good times and tasty treats. Pretty soon you will be able to take them any distance without any signs of sickness.

Cavoodle sleeping in the car
©Ryan Carr

Stress is the likely cause in over 90% of cases but if your dog is showing signs that the car sickness is not caused by stress you may need to consider medication. Fortunately, there are a number of over the counter medications which can help your dog overcome their travelling problem such as anti-nausea drugs, antihistamines, or prescription drugs to sedate and reduce drooling. It’s always required to check with your vet before medicating your dog with any over the counter medication.