How can you manage your dog’s travel sickness?

Two cute puppy poodle dogs in car window wearing colourful harnesses

Photo Credit: Milo & Marnie

Taking your pooch on a road trip can be an extremely rewarding experience for you both. However, some dogs respond negatively to being on the road, and this can make driving incredibly stressful for both you and your dog. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to help take care of your furry friend on your travels, giving you one less thing to worry about. In this post, we outline four ways to help keep your dog happy and healthy on the road.

Before you travel

Speak to your vet

Your dog’s vet should always be your first port of call whenever you’re concerned about any kind of illness or condition. They will be best placed to advise you on any medication or anti-anxiety products that could help to manage your pet’s motion sickness. There is a wide range of anti-nausea medications that could be useful for your dog and can be prescribed by a vet, so be sure to get their professional advice.

Practise makes perfect

While it may seem counterintuitive, often the best way to help your dog overcome their travel sickness is by acclimatising them to being in a car. To start with, spend some time with them in your vehicle, bringing plenty of blankets and their favourite toys. This will help them to understand the car is a safe place for them, reducing any anxiety.

Before embarking on any longer journeys, be sure to make some short trips with your dog in tow. This will help them to become familiar with the movement of a car and all the distractions around them on the road. Conditioning your pet in this way may take several weeks, but it’s often the most effective way to keep motion sickness at bay.


Photo Credit: Ivy

In the car

Keep them distracted

When your dog is distracted, they’re less likely to be affected by the motion of the car. One of the best ways to keep your pet preoccupied is to have a passenger play with them using their favourite toy. Especially if you’re just making a short trip, this should be enough to keep them entertained and help to reduce symptoms of travel sickness. However, if you don’t have another human passenger in tow, make sure to bring a few home comforts with you to create a safe environment for your dog.

Bring plenty water

Just as you’d give water to someone who's feeling nauseous, it’s equally as important to keep dogs hydrated when they’re suffering from motion sickness. However much training you’ve done with them and however comfortable they may seem, it’s crucial to bring plenty of water, especially for longer journeys. You should also always use your car’s air conditioning to help keep your dog cool and avoid overheating (particularly during the summer months), which can exacerbate any sickness they may feel.

 You may also want to bring some food and treats just in case you break down and become stuck. However, it’s generally better to avoid overfeeding your dog before travelling, since this is more likely to make them sick on the road.

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