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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Motion Sickness




Condition Overview

Many young dogs become sick when traveling by car, boat, or airplane.


The signs are restlessness followed by salivation (drooling), yawning, nausea, and then vomiting.


Motion sickness is caused by over-stimulation of the labyrinth in the inner ear.


Diagnosis is obtained by examining symptoms.


Ginger or even a ginger snap cookie, may also relieve motion sickness. If your dog is susceptible to motion sickness, you veterinarian may prescribe a drug such as dimenhydrinate (Dramamine and Gravol) to control the symptoms. Give the first dose one hour before traveling. Do not medicate your dog on the day of a dog show, since the medication causes drowsiness.

Cerenia is a new drug that is said to relieve vomiting in dogs, including motion sickness. It is currently in the study phase.


  • It is a good idea to travel on an empty stomach.
  • Feed 6 hours before the trip.
  • Try to plan your trip on roads with less turns and hills.
  • Riding in the front seat may help some pets get over their sickness, since there tends to be less movement in the front of the car than the back.
  • Cracking the window to allow them to get fresh air may also help. Be sure they are not able to stick their head out of the window, as this can lead to other conditions such as foreign objects in the eye.


Please contact your veterinarian with questions regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats

Publisher: Bantam Dell Publishing, 1996

Website: http://www.randomhouse.com/bantamdell/

Authors: Matthew Hoffman, Laura Catalano, Maryanne Dell

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