Motion Sickness in Pets

Symptoms of motion sickness may include restlessness, panting, drooling and even vomiting

As with people, pets may suffer from motion sickness when riding in cars or trucks.  While this phenomenon is fairly common, it is not clear why some pets are more predisposed to this than others.

Symptoms of motion sickness may include restlessness, panting, drooling and even vomiting.  Some pets may get so upset that they will learn to vomit on anticipation of even entering a car at rest.   Other pets will develop motion sickness at various points on a long trip.  Treatment of motion sickness usually involves medications such as Benadryl or Dramamine.  A newer veterinary drug known as Cerenia may also be effectively used for motion sickness in pets. A homeopathic remedy known as Cocculus may also be helpful in some circumstances.

Sometimes crating pets or using special restraints while riding in vehicles may help lessen the severity of motion sickness.  Gradually increasing the length of car trips from a few minutes on up may also help to get pets accustomed to longer trips in moving vehicles.

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  1. My dog, Hannah, will get very sick if I feed her anything before going on a trip of any distance. Now I don’t feed her at all but will be taking a trip soon. I do have to give her meds, am not sure what to do to ensure their staying down during the trip. Any suggestions? Only seems to throw up when she eats anything before going on trip.

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 30, 2012 at 11:23 am

    You can try benadryl or dramamine 30 minutes before the trip to see if that helps. The homeopathic remedy cocculus also may help as well, which you can get from health food store.

  3. Hi – My Husky won’t lye down during car trips – sometimes for more than an hour. She has the whole back of the SUV, but just walks side to side looking out the windows. She’s older & on long trips, is exhausted by the time we get to our destination. I feel so bad for her, but can’t get her to lye down. Is that considered motion sickness ? If os, which of your remedies, is safest for an older dog ?

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