Puppies Get Car Sick

Can Puppies Get Car Sick?

Have you ever felt that your puppy is getting anxious or feeling nauseous during a car ride? Probably, you might have. So, can puppies get car sick?

The answer is yes, they can. Car sickness is a common issue that your pup may encounter. This may be because of a lack of proper development of the inner ear parts, responsible for maintaining balance.  Puppies usually outgrow car sickness after becoming 1 year old.

Aren’t you interested in getting more knowledge about, “can puppies get car sick?” Well, this article is perfect for you in this regard. So, let’s start.

What are the causes behind it?

Usually, car sickness in puppies is due to physical or psychological reasons.

Puppies suffer from car sickness more often than adult dogs. This problem is because of the poor development of parts of their inner ears. However, adult dogs can also get nauseous during a car ride because of the lack of conditioning in the vehicle. 

Those who travel less in a year (one or two times) often undergo such a stressful experience. That’s because they are not habitual in traveling.

As a result, your pooch feels anxiety and stress and might end up with diarrhea and vomiting. Puppies also associate their first traumatic experience of car rides with the future. Besides, conditions like infections in the middle or inner ear, or vestibular disease can also lead to nausea in dogs. Also, medications can cause vomiting and diarrhea in them.

If you try to reduce the anxiety and stress of your pooch, he will enjoy car rides more often. Thus, you get more chances of spending time with your puppy.

How Can I Tell If My Puppy Is Getting Car Sickness?

Puppy in a car

Credit : Lukasz Kochanek-iStock 

How do you know if it is car sickness?

If you are getting car sickness, you might turn green or pale because of stomach upsets. So, what about dogs?

Watch out for these signs in the case of car sickness in puppies:

  • Lethargy or inactivity
  • Excessive drooling
  • Licking lips
  • Whining and pacing
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

If you feel like your dog is going to vomit, just stop the car and take him for a walk. This might temporarily reduce his stress.

Sometimes, your puppy gets more frightened because of traveling and shows the worst symptoms. In this case, these signs are:

  • Shaking while traveling
  • Barking or whimpering
  • Peeing or pooping the vehicle
  • Refuse to get inside the car

How to Treat Car Sickness in Puppies?

After getting car sick during the first ride, your puppy will get nervous every time. If you don’t manage it properly, this could be a problem for you. So, you can give him some anti-anxiety medication on your vet’s recommendation. He can even suggest a sedative for your pet.

Moreover, some herbs and plants like ginger, lavender, and valerian are also good for your puppy’s upset stomach. But first, talk to your vet before giving him any herbal remedies or medications.

Some puppies get car sickness throughout their lives, while others will outgrow it. It can be problematic for you and your pet if he ends up with this traumatic experience every time. So, try to reduce his misery and make traveling easier for him and yourself.

Probably, you have found out much about, “can puppies get car sick?” till now. So, let’s have a look at how you can prevent this stressful experience of a car ride for your puppy.

How to Prevent Car Sickness in Puppies?

Prevent puppies car sickness

Credit : Lazy_Bear-iStock

To overcome the car sickness of your puppy, you can follow these steps:

First, train your dog for car traveling by putting him in the car a few times a day.  Don’t drive or start the car, just sit with your pet by gently petting him. After a few days, you can drive the car for a few minutes with your puppy sitting in it.

Try to make this time happy for your pup by bringing him toys. Doing this will gradually reduce his motion sickness but try to stay calm and patient through all this time.

Here are some additional pointers that may be useful in this regard:

Withhold Food 12 Hours before Travel

It’s better to not give food to your puppy before traveling so his stomach remains empty. It also reduces the urge of pooping frequently which can be problematic during long car rides. Make sure to provide fresh water to your puppy. You can hang the water bottles on the carrier’s door for easy access.

Keep the Car Cool and Quiet

It’s a good idea to keep your car’s environment cool. You can also play soft classical music that your pet might enjoy. Also, keep the car windows open so your pup gets some fresh air and feels pleasure.

Use a Carrier or Dog Safety Harness

A carrier is usually considered a safe place for many puppies. That’s because anxious dogs can cause accidents and can harm themselves as well as you.

Offer Special Trip Toys

One way to keep your pup happy is to give him special trip toys. They will engage him and reduce his anxiety.

If these above steps don’t work for your puppy, try these remedies after consulting your vet:

Lavender or Dog Pheromone

You can add lavender or pheromones to your dog’s bedding. They will relieve his stress and calm him in a better way.

Calming Herbs

You can also try calming herbs like passionflower, kava, valerian, and ginger. They are good for reducing anxiety and motion sickness in your puppy. Ginger is good for your pup because of its natural nausea-relieving effects.

Ginger capsules are easily available at drug stores and health food stores. 250 milligrams of ginger are usually enough for puppies having 16 pounds weight. You can give 500 milligrams of ginger to those having more than 16 pounds weight.

Anti-anxiety Medications

After talking to your vet, you can give your pup anti-anxiety medications like Alprazolam. Give your Fido these medicines one night before travel and 12 hours later. But some vets recommend giving him a second dose 2 hours before a car trip. Therefore, always follow your vet’s instructions for better results and to avoid complications.

Anti-Nausea Medications

Likewise, anti-nausea medications like Cerenia or meclizine prevent vomiting in your stressed puppy. In fact, a single dose of Cerenia remains for 24 hours in his body. But make sure to discuss with your vet, the right dosages and frequency of administration.

When to Contact Your Vet?

If your pup’s condition is not improving or he is showing any issues, consult your vet without wasting any time.

Final Words

In the end, can puppies get car sick? Yes, they can get car sick. There are more chances of puppies getting car sick than adult dogs. Your pup undergoes such a stressful experience because of numerous reasons. 

Symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive drooling, etc. are common during car sickness in puppies.

You can train him by sitting with him in a car for a few minutes. Offering special trip toys, calming herbs and medications can be effective in preventing this condition. If not managed properly, get veterinary help in this regard.

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