The Best Treatments for Car Sick Dogs

Written by Alan Lemus
Updated: May 27, 2024
© Jaromir Chalabala/Shutterstock.com

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Dogs are similar to humans in more ways than one. Your canine companion often exhibits people-like behavior, such as empathy, people-watching, jealousy, and siding with their owners. And, just like humans, dogs can become ill.

It’s therefore not surprising that dogs, just like humans, experience car sickness too. The lack of fully formed balance-related ear structures makes puppies more susceptible to suffering from car sickness. The fluid in your dog’s ear moves whenever your dog’s head moves and this aids in its awareness of its surroundings. However, dizziness and motion sickness can be caused by too much movement. Although it’s more commonly reported in puppies and young dogs, some older dogs don’t outgrow it.

If your dog appears uneasy, changes body posture, whines, vomits, drools excessively, or licks its lips during car rides, then it could be a case of car sickness. These signs aren’t limited to long trips, even the shortest drive to a nearby park could ruin your car’s leather seats and make your beloved canine sick.

Keep in mind that these symptoms could also point to travel anxiety or both. A visit to the veterinarian can help you figure out if your pup’s aversion to car rides is caused by car sickness or travel anxiety. 

More often than not, dogs develop travel anxiety because they associate riding with going somewhere unpleasant, like the vet’s office or a boarding facility. It could also be a triggering sound the car makes while you drive. 

Car sickness in dogs can also result in behavioral issues. A dog may become scared and anxious if it experiences nausea and vomiting each time it is placed in a car. Some dogs may begin to vomit even before the car is moving because they anticipate the sickness they typically feel.  This may result in a conditioned response, such that even if the dog no longer experiences motion sickness, it might still vomit inside the car

There are tips and best practices you can use to help your dog become comfortable with car rides. It’s essential to time your dog’s meals and avoid feeding for, at least, a few hours before a road trip. Doing this will reduce the likelihood that they will vomit. 

Another method to adopt is desensitization. When you offer toys and treats to your pup while in the car, it helps them gradually warm up to car trips. Desensitization is best done with appropriate help from a professional.

Additionally, while on long car rides, you should pull over and let the puppy take a stroll. Most dogs like using their sense of smell to explore new environments. Your puppy can learn to link car rides with exciting adventures.

Tried these and more, but still have a car-sick dog? We’ve compiled a well-researched list of the best treatments for car-sick dogs. These products have been selected based on quality, customer reviews, and price.

  1. Johnsons Travel-Eze Tablets
    • Formulated with a natural herb known to reduce nausea and upset stomach
    • Comes in 24 tablets, with 2 recommended for cats and dogs weighing 10-25 lbs
    • Suitable for dogs of any size
    Check Amazon
  2. Nausx Anti-Motion Sickness & Relief For Dogs
    • Relieves nausea, dizziness and vomiting.
    • Provides up to six hours of relief.
    • Fast-acting.
    • Odor-free and easy-to-swallow pills.
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Cerenia (Maropitant Citrate) Tablets for Dogs
    • FDA-approved
    • Each tablet scored for easy dosage calculation
    • Lasts up to 24 hours after being administered
    Check Chewy
  4. Nutri-Vet Pet-Ease Soft Chews for Dogs
    • Helps to relieve nausea associated with motion sickness.
    • Contains chamomile to keep dogs calm and relaxed.
    • Formulated by veterinarians.
    Check Chewy

A-Z Animals Top Picks for Treatments for Car Sick Dogs

#1 Best Overall: Johnsons Travel-Eze Tablets

The best overall product for treating car sickness in dogs in our opinion is Johnsons Travel-Eze Tablets.

This product serves as a premium natural supplement to prevent car sickness in dogs of all ages, from puppies to extra large dogs. The tablets are formulated with a natural herb, Zingiber officinale, which is known to reduce symptoms and guard against nausea and and upset stomach.

These tablets can be used for your pups without the worries that come with other over-the-counter treatments. If you’re a cat and dog parent, this product is perfect for you as it can work for your canine and feline companions and offers you a stress-free trip.

These tablets should be administered at least 30 minutes before the trip to make the road, train, or air journey simple and relaxing for both of you. If necessary, the dosage can be repeated periodically on longer journeys. Before allowing your pet to use this product, make sure your veterinarian has given the go-ahead.

There are 24 tablets in each pack, and two tablets are recommended for cats and dogs weighing 10 to 25 pounds. The only drawback is that they do have a strong scent which some dogs may dislike.

Pros and Cons of Johnsons Travel-Eze Tablets

ProsCons
These tablets are suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes.They have a strong scent which some dogs may dislike.
They are formulated with a natural herb which is known to reduce symptoms and guard against nausea and an upset stomach.
The dose can be repeated on longer journeys.
There are 24 tablets in each pack.
Best Overall
Johnsons Travel-Eze Tablets
  • Formulated with a natural herb known to reduce nausea and upset stomach
  • Comes in 24 tablets, with 2 recommended for cats and dogs weighing 10-25 lbs
  • Suitable for dogs of any size
Check Amazon

2. Best Long Lasting: Nausx Anti-Motion Sickness & Relief For Dogs

If you’re looking for a long-lasting remedy for car sickness in dogs then look no further than the Nausx Anti-Motion Sickness and Relief For Dogs which provides up to six hours of relief.

These tablets are easy for dogs to swallow and are formulated with ingredients that work quickly to reduce your pet’s motion sickness symptoms — including nausea, excessive drooling, dizziness, whining, and vomiting. They are also completely odorless and provide relief for up to six hours. For optimum performance, it is recommended that they are administered 30 minutes before the journey.

Unfortunately, this product is not suitable for pregnant females or puppies under six months of age.

Pros and Cons of the Nausx Anti-Motion Sickness & Relief For Dogs

ProsCons
These tablets are formulated to reduce motion sickness symptoms — including nausea, drooling, whining, and vomiting.It is not suitable for pregnant females or puppies less than six months old.
They are completely odorless.
They provide relief for up to six hours.
Best Long Lasting
Nausx Anti-Motion Sickness & Relief For Dogs
  • Relieves nausea, dizziness and vomiting.
  • Provides up to six hours of relief.
  • Fast-acting.
  • Odor-free and easy-to-swallow pills.
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best Veterinary Prescribed: Cerenia (Maropitant Citrate) Tablets for Dogs

As the best veterinary prescribed option we recommend the Cerenia (Maropitant Citrate) Tablets for Dogs.

These tablets are a veterinary-specific medication that treats and prevents car sickness-related vomiting in dogs. The main ingredient is maropitant citrate and means that the tablets are specially formulated to reduce motion sickness symptoms. This product is FDA-approved and is a top choice among veterinarians for treating car sickness in dogs. Not only that, but each tablet is scored so you can be certain that you can give your dog an accurate dose for their size. It’s also suitable for puppies aged four months and older.

Unfortunately, it can cause excessive drooling in some dogs.

Pros and Cons of the Cerenia (Maropitant Citrate) Tablets for Dogs

ProsCons
This product is FDA approved.It can sometimes cause excessive drooling.
It contains maropitant citrate as the main ingredient to prevent car sickness-related vomiting.
Each tablet is scored to ensure that accurate dosing is achieved.
It is suitable for dogs aged four months and over.
Best Veterinary Prescribed
Cerenia (Maropitant Citrate) Tablets for Dogs
  • FDA-approved
  • Each tablet scored for easy dosage calculation
  • Lasts up to 24 hours after being administered
Check Chewy

4. Best Soft Chew: Nutri-Vet Pet-Ease Soft Chews for Dogs

Sometimes dogs just don’t want to swallow tablets and that’s why the Nutri-Vet Pet-Ease Soft Chews for Dogs are a great option.

The best feature of this product is that it comes in a soft chew format which means you can easily feed it to your dogs as required. It contains chamomile and tryptophan to soothe your dog and keep them calm. It also contains ginger to help alleviate the nausea associated with motion sickness. Plus, it includes taurine which works as a neuro transmitter to help promote calming behavior. Not only that, but it is formulated by veterinarians themselves so you can rest assured that your pet is only consuming the very best quality product on the market.

Unfortunately, some customers have reported that it does take more than one chew — especially with heavier dogs — to achieve the desired result.

Pros and Cons of the Nutri-Vet Pet-Ease Soft Chews for Dogs

ProsCons
This product comes in a soft chew format that is easy to feed as required.Some dogs — especially heavier ones — need to be fed more than one chew.
It contains chamomile and tryptophan to keep dogs calm.
It contains ginger to help alleviate the nausea associated with motion sickness.
It is formulated by veterinarians.
Best Soft Chew
Nutri-Vet Pet-Ease Soft Chews for Dogs
  • Helps to relieve nausea associated with motion sickness.
  • Contains chamomile to keep dogs calm and relaxed.
  • Formulated by veterinarians.
Check Chewy

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

There are several factors to consider when choosing medication to treat car sickness in dogs. Let’s take a closer look below.

Active Ingredients

This is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a medication for your carsick canine. How safe are the ingredients used to formulate this product? Are they natural? Are they safe? Ensure that you have satisfactory answers to these questions and more before making a purchase decision. Always check with your veterinarian for clarifications.

Medical History

Some treatments for car sickness aren’t suited for dogs with certain conditions. If your pup has liver disease, then you should pay extra attention before choosing the best. Likewise, some medications aren’t recommended for pregnant and lactating dogs. 

Allergies

Overlooking your canine’s allergies isn’t the way to go. If you’re not sure about your dog’s allergic reactions, consult your veterinarian.

About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

The Best Treatments for Car Sick Dogs FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How do dogs act when they are car sick?

The symptoms of a car sick dog include drooling (some dogs who are particularly anxious about the car ride may begin to salivate before they even get in the car), physical shaking, excessive panting, and yawning (when nervous or anxious dogs yawn, it can be in an effort to calm themselves and can be seen as a sign of stress)

Do dogs grow out of car sickness?

Although many dogs will outgrow carsickness, some are prone to it throughout their lives. It would be a shame if every trip to the vet is traumatic (for both of you) or if your dog has to miss family outings and vacations.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.