Does your puppy tend to drool excessively or even vomit when riding in a car? Car sickness is a fairly common problem, especially among puppies.  Over time, most puppies will outgrow the nausea, but the behavior effects from those early months can last for a long time afterwards.  Many dogs who experienced motion sickness as a puppy will continue to be avoidant and afraid of traveling in a vehicle because it has become associated with feeling ill.

To prevent a potentially life-long fear of cars, it is good to be proactive and make sure that your pup gets lots of good experiences with the car that don’t result in getting sick.  Here’s how:

  1. Take your puppy out to the car daily to have a play session, eat a meal, or chew on a stuffed Kong inside the car while it is parked (of course, stay in the car with your pup and make sure the temperature is staying comfortable!).
  2. When your puppy is eager to get in the car for special treat times, then try taking VERY short trips to a fun destination.  You can just drive down the block to the neighborhood park, then get out and go on a nice walk together. These positive experiences will be important in ensuring that your dog will be an eager travel companion, rather than running and hiding when the car keys come out.

Also, motion sickness isn’t fun!  While you wait for your pup to hopefully outgrow it, you may also want to talk to your veterinarian to see if any anti-nausea medications could help make rides more bearable in the meantime.