Carsickness in Dogs

Dramamine or a prescription medication given before the car ride will prevent nausea.


My 6-month-old Silky Terrier is plagued with carsickness. We have tried traveling on an empty stomach to no avail. We’ve also only taken very short trips–so far 10- to 20- minutes traveling time. Part of our reason

for getting a small breed was so he could join in on family vacations. Is there anything we can do to prevent the carsickness or a medication to help?


Dr. Nichol:

Sorry to hear about all that terrible traveling terrier trauma. The motion sickness that is hounding your dog is likely to be something that he will out grow. Here is why: The vestibular apparatus that manages our sense of equilibrium can take a while to fully develop and mature. Located in the inner ear, this essential part of our nervous system tolerates more in some individuals than others. So there are a few dogs who, like some people, can never enjoy sailboats, roller coasters, and automobile rides. But the great majority of dogs simply mature beyond this problem by age 8-10 months.


So what can we do in the meantime? Acepromazine, a mild tranquilizer available from your veterinarian, should help. In addition to its sedative properties “ace” will also overcome the nausea. Another good drug is Dramamine; but this stuff may be impossible to dose safely for that little guy of yours. What about those short trips? Forget it. You won’t train motion sickness out of this boy. You’ll just have to be patient and keep “traveling on an empty stomach to no avail”. Hey, I think I’ve been there.