Your Carsick Dog is Stressed

Stress is the biggest reason behind a carsick dog.

Many of us enjoy taking our pets for rides to the beach or mountains or just around town.

But if you have a carsick dog then it becomes a source of stress for you and your dog.

Have you wondered what causes your dog to get sick on car rides? Maybe your dog doesn't even want to get in the car at all!

So, I did a little research and here's what I found. I learned that it’s not the motion so much that upsets the tummies of our friends but the stress.

Even if you’ve never associated car rides with stress some dogs link the two.


Husky Mom Nurses her pups

Think of this, your dog's first car ride probably took him away from his mother and littermates.

No wonder he might have strong negative feelings associated with car rides!

Then, if he goes in the car to the vet or other unpleasant place--well, he's not likely to be any less anxious.


Rebel at Vet Office

So, What Can You Do About It?

Short of avoiding all trips in the car except necessary ones like to the vet (which will just make the situation worse) you can try herbs and help your dog to overcome his concern about car trips.



Start with short trips to soothe your dog.

This might mean just to the end of the driveway. Or, if your dog is usually ok for 5-10 minutes you could try driving somewhere fun.

For example, if there’s a nearby park you could try driving to it rather than walking.

While enroute talk soothingly to your pet or have someone else ride alongside him and pet him, talk to him, and otherwise distract him until you get to the park.

If you have a more severe problem, for example, your carsick dog can’t make it to the park, you can work up to it with shorter distances. Ride to the end of the driveway or part way down the street.

Repeat these practices until your pet is more comfortable and relaxed.

There are also several herbs you can use to calm your pet before the ride.

Peppermint --You can offer your pet cooled peppermint tea or feed him a peppermint capsule prior to your car ride Peppermint Capsules

Ginger--Try cooled ginger tea about ½ hour before the car ride or capsules if your pet doesn’t like the tea. Ginger Root capsules soothes an upset tummy

Rescue Remedy-- Rescue Remedy is a natural destresser

My Carsick Dog Won’t Go Near the Car

carsick dog If you have a severe carsick dog case, such as your dog doesn’t want to get in the car at all, then you'll have to go slow and use plenty of positive reinforcement.

Leash your pet and walk him toward the car praising and feeding treats all the way.

After a few repetitions of this--try over the course of a few days, a scared animal needs time to overcome the fear--then you can gradually open the door and lure him in with treats.

Go Slow! Don’t do anything besides offer praise, pets and treats. You want your dog to see sitting in the car can be good!

After a few sessions of just sitting in the car together you can move to the front seat and sit. It’s a good idea to have someone else praise and pet your dog from the back seat.

Eventually, you can turn on the car. Let them get accustomed to the sounds. Again, praise and pets for your dog.

Let your dog be your guide. Look for him to seem relaxed and comfortable before progressing to the next level!

When your dog seems comfortable with this action, you can back out of the driveway or drive partway down the street.

Praise and pets are definitely in order all the way. It’s good to have a second person to offer this support from the dog’s side.

Cover the seats with an old towel or sheet in case your dog does get sick.

The end of the driveway should be it for the first moving excursion. You can work up to going around the block. Just remember to let your dog be your guide.

If he does get sick, don’t get upset but just continue to soothe him. He’s stressed enough.

As your trips get a little longer go to fun, close places. The dog park or a dog friend’s house will work. Don’t set yourself up for failure by making your first longer trip to the vet or the groomer!

Dog in Lovin' the Car!

This whole process will probably take you a few weeks.

But by taking the time to be with your dog and help him overcome his anxiety you should be able to have a happy well-adjusted dog who loves riding in the car!

No morec cleaning up after a carsick dog.

And for safety’s sake, keep your dog restrained in the car!

Dog Seatbelts

Dog Kennel

Herbs for Carsick Dogs

You can try cooled ginger or peppermint tea about 1/2 hour before your ride or capsules of these herbs

Peppermint Capsules Ginger Root capsules soothes an upset tummy

Rescue Remedy is a natural destresser