Does your furry friend turn into a bundle of nerves every time you reach for the car keys? If your dog experiences car sickness, you’re not alone. Many pet owners face the challenge of keeping their canine companions comfortable during car rides. Embarking on trips with our furry companions should ideally be moments of joy, but for some dogs, car rides induce anxiety and motion sickness. Do you want to have a holistic approach to enhance your dog’s travel experience? Then you are in the right place!

Natural remedies like ginger and lavender, innovative solutions such as Adaptil and Maropitant, and considerations like dietary supplements and safe medication usage (Benadryl and Dramamine) are helpful for dogs having car (motion) sickness. Additionally, we’ll explore crafting a tranquil car environment by maintaining a cool and quiet space. By amalgamating these elements, tailored to your dog’s needs, you can turn every journey into a positive and stress-free adventure, deepening the connection between you and your canine companion.

Table of contents

Dog enjoying a ride in the car

1) Ginger: A Natural Wonder for Canine Car Sickness

One of nature’s remedies for nausea, ginger, is equally effective for our canine companions. The active compounds in ginger, such as gingerol, have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that can help alleviate the symptoms of car sickness in dogs.

How to Incorporate Ginger into Your Dog’s Diet:

  • Fresh Ginger: Grate a small amount of fresh ginger and mix it into your dog’s food. Start with a small quantity and monitor your dog’s reaction.
  • Ginger Dog Treats: Many pet stores offer ginger-infused treats designed to be tasty and beneficial for dogs. Check for all-natural options without added sugars or preservatives.
  • Ginger Tea: Prepare a mild ginger tea by steeping fresh ginger in hot water. Allow it to cool, and then add a small amount to your dog’s water bowl.

Cautionary Notes and Dosage: While ginger is generally safe for dogs, it’s essential to introduce it gradually and monitor for any adverse reactions. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate dosage based on your dog’s size and health condition.

2) Lavender: A Calming Oasis for Your Pooch on the Go

If the mere thought of a car ride sends your dog into a frenzy, consider the calming power of lavender. This fragrant herb isn’t just for humans; it can work wonders for our canine companions too. In this section, we’ll explore how lavender essential oil and other lavender products can transform car rides from stressful to serene.

How Lavender Essential Oil Can Calm a Dog During Car Rides:

Lavender essential oil is renowned for its calming properties, and incorporating it into your dog’s car routine can make a significant difference. Here’s how:

Diffusion Method: Invest in a high-quality essential oil diffuser designed for use in the car. Add a few drops of lavender oil to the diffuser before starting your journey. The gentle diffusion of lavender scent can create a soothing atmosphere for your dog.

Topical Application: For dogs comfortable with topical applications, dilute a drop or two of lavender essential oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut or jojoba oil). Gently rub the mixture on your dog’s collar or a bandana, ensuring they can catch whiffs of the calming aroma throughout the ride.

Caution: Always ensure that the concentration of essential oil is safe for your dog’s size and breed. If your dog shows any signs of discomfort or irritation, discontinue use and consult with your veterinarian.

Proper Methods for Using Lavender Around Dogs:

While lavender is generally safe for dogs, it’s crucial to use it responsibly. Here are some proper methods for incorporating lavender into your dog’s environment:

Adequate Dilution: When using essential oils, always dilute them appropriately. For lavender, a safe dilution ratio is typically one to two drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.

Test Sensitivity: Before introducing lavender products on a larger scale, perform a patch test. Apply a small amount of the diluted solution to a small area on your dog’s skin and observe for any adverse reactions.

Alternative Lavender Products for On-the-Go Use:

  1. Lavender-infused Dog Collars:
    • These specially designed collars release a subtle lavender scent, providing continuous calming benefits during car rides.
  2. Lavender Spray:
    • Opt for a lavender-infused spray formulated for dogs. Spritz the interior of the car before your journey to create a calming atmosphere.
  3. Lavender Scented Toys:
    • Some pet toys come infused with lavender. These can serve as a comforting distraction for your dog during the ride.

3) Adaptil: Your Canine Companion’s Stress-Free Travel Companion

For dogs prone to stress and anxiety during car rides, Adaptil can be a game-changer. In this section, we’ll explore how Adaptil works to alleviate stress, provide guidance on the proper usage and application of Adaptil products, and share real-life success stories from dog owners who have witnessed the positive impact of this innovative solution.

Understanding How Adaptil Works to Alleviate Stress:

Adaptil, previously known as D.A.P. (Dog Appeasing Pheromone), is a synthetic copy of the natural appeasing pheromone that mother dogs emit to comfort their puppies. This pheromone has a calming effect on dogs, helping to reduce stress and anxiety. Here’s how Adaptil works:

  • Mimicking Motherly Comfort: Adaptil replicates the comforting pheromone released by a mother dog, creating a familiar and reassuring environment for your pet.
  • Targeting Stress Triggers: By providing a constant release of the calming pheromone, Adaptil helps manage stress triggered by various situations, including car rides.
  • Non-Sedative Solution: Unlike sedative medications, Adaptil is non-sedative and does not affect your dog’s behavior or alertness. It simply promotes a sense of security and calmness.

Proper Usage and Application of Adaptil Products:

To maximize the benefits of Adaptil for your dog during car rides, it’s essential to use the products correctly. Here’s a guide to proper usage and application:

  • Adaptil Diffuser:
    • Plug the diffuser into an electrical outlet in the room where your dog spends the most time.
    • Ensure that the diffuser is not obstructed by furniture and remains on continuously for optimal effect.
  • Adaptil Collar:
    • Place the Adaptil collar around your dog’s neck snugly, allowing two fingers to fit between the collar and the neck.
    • Replace the collar every four weeks for continuous support.
  • Adaptil Spray:
    • Apply Adaptil spray to your dog’s bedding, crate, or car interior about 15 minutes before introducing your dog to the environment.
    • Reapply as needed, following the product’s guidelines.

By incorporating Adaptil into your dog’s routine, you can create a serene and stress-free atmosphere, making car rides a positive experience for both you and your beloved pet.

4) Benadryl and Dramamine for Dogs: A Guide to Safe and Effective Use

When it comes to addressing motion sickness and anxiety in dogs, Benadryl and Dramamine are commonly considered by pet owners. In this section, we’ll delve into the safe usage of these medications, providing dosage guidelines, highlighting potential side effects, and offering insights on when and how to administer Benadryl and Dramamine for your canine companion.

Safe Usage of Benadryl and Dramamine for Dogs:

Both Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Dramamine (dimenhydrinate) can be used to alleviate motion sickness and anxiety in dogs, but it’s crucial to use them safely. Here’s an overview of their safe usage:

  • Consultation with a Veterinarian: Before administering any medication, including Benadryl or Dramamine, consult with your veterinarian. They can assess your dog’s health, consider potential interactions with other medications, and provide personalized recommendations.
  • Selecting the Right Medication: While Benadryl and Dramamine can be suitable for certain dogs, your veterinarian will guide you on the most appropriate choice based on your dog’s condition, size, and medical history.

Dosage Guidelines and Potential Side Effects:

Understanding the correct dosage and potential side effects is crucial for ensuring your dog’s well-being. Here are general guidelines:

  • Benadryl Dosage:
    • Typically, the recommended dosage for Benadryl in dogs is 1 mg per pound of body weight.
    • Administer every 8 hours, but the exact dosage may vary based on your dog’s specific needs.
  • Dramamine Dosage:
    • Dramamine dosage varies, with some formulations designed specifically for dogs.
    • Follow your veterinarian’s guidance on the appropriate dosage based on your dog’s weight.
  • Potential Side Effects:
    • Both medications may cause drowsiness, so it’s advised not to use them for the first time during a long car journey.
    • Other potential side effects include dry mouth, urinary retention, and gastrointestinal upset.

When and How to Administer These Medications:

Administering Benadryl or Dramamine requires careful consideration of the circumstances. Here’s when and how to use these medications effectively:

Pre-Travel Administration:

Give the recommended dosage about 30 minutes to an hour before the car ride to allow the medication to take effect.

Testing the Medication:

If it’s the first time using Benadryl or Dramamine, administer a test dose at home to observe how your dog reacts before a significant journey.

Monitoring Your Dog:

Keep a close eye on your dog during the journey. If you notice any concerning reactions or if the medication doesn’t seem effective, consult with your veterinarian.

Always prioritize your dog’s safety, and remember that medication should complement a comprehensive approach to addressing motion sickness, including other remedies and behavioral strategies. For personalized advice tailored to your dog’s needs, consult with your veterinarian before using Benadryl or Dramamine.

Litter of Puppies in pickup

5) Maropitant for Dogs: Navigating Motion Sickness with Precision

When it comes to motion sickness prevention in dogs, maropitant has emerged as a promising solution. In this section, we’ll take an in-depth look at maropitant, exploring its role in preventing motion sickness, understanding veterinary recommendations for its use, and shedding light on potential side effects and precautions to ensure your dog’s safety and well-being.

An In-Depth Look at Maropitant and Its Role in Motion Sickness Prevention:

Maropitant, commonly known by the brand name Cerenia, is an antiemetic medication specifically designed to prevent vomiting, including motion sickness, in dogs. Here’s an overview of how maropitant works:

  • Blocking Neurotransmitters: Maropitant works by blocking certain neurotransmitters, particularly substance P, which is involved in triggering the vomiting reflex. By inhibiting these signals, maropitant helps prevent nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness.
  • Long-Lasting Effect: One notable feature of maropitant is its extended duration of action, making it suitable for dogs facing longer journeys.

Veterinary Recommendations for Using Maropitant:

While maropitant can be effective in preventing motion sickness, its usage should be guided by veterinary recommendations. Here’s what to consider:

  • Veterinary Assessment: Before prescribing maropitant, veterinarians typically conduct a thorough assessment of the dog’s health, including any pre-existing conditions or medications.
  • Proper Dosage: The veterinarian will determine the appropriate dosage based on factors such as the dog’s weight and the duration of the journey.
  • Administration Timing: Maropitant is often administered before travel, usually about 2 hours before the anticipated motion sickness-inducing activity.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions:

While maropitant is generally well-tolerated, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects and take necessary precautions:

Common Side Effects:

Mild side effects may include lethargy, drooling, or diarrhea. These effects are usually temporary and resolve on their own.

Allergic Reactions:

In rare cases, dogs may experience an allergic reaction to maropitant. Watch for signs such as facial swelling, hives, or difficulty breathing, and seek veterinary attention immediately if observed.

Precautions for Certain Conditions:

Dogs with liver disease may require adjusted dosage or additional monitoring. It’s crucial to inform your veterinarian of any existing health conditions.

Interactions with Other Medications:

Inform your veterinarian of any medications your dog is currently taking, as maropitant may interact with certain drugs.

Understanding potential side effects and taking necessary precautions ensures a safe and positive experience with the maropitant for motion sickness prevention in dogs. Always follow veterinary guidance for optimal results and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions.

6) Dietary Supplement: Enhancing Your Dog’s Car Travel Experience Naturally

In the pursuit of making car journeys a joyous experience for your furry friend, dietary supplements can play a pivotal role. In this section, we’ll provide an overview of dietary supplements tailored to alleviate car sickness in dogs, recommend some trusted supplements with their associated benefits, and stress the importance of consulting with a veterinarian before introducing new supplements to your dog’s regimen.

Overview of Dietary Supplements for Car Sickness:

Dietary supplements can offer a natural and holistic approach to managing car sickness in dogs. These supplements often contain ingredients known for their calming and anti-nausea properties. Here’s a brief look at what you might encounter:

  • Herbal Formulas: Some supplements feature a blend of herbs like chamomile, peppermint, catnip, valerian root, and passionflower, known for their calming effects on dogs.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Certain vitamins and minerals, such as B-complex vitamins and magnesium, may support the nervous system and help reduce stress.
  • Probiotics: Maintaining gut health is crucial for overall well-being. Probiotic supplements can aid in digestion and potentially alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort during car rides.

When selecting a dietary supplement for your dog’s car sickness, it’s essential to choose products with a reputation for effectiveness and safety. Here are a few recommended supplements and their associated benefits:

Consultation with a Veterinarian Before Introducing New Supplements:

Before incorporating any new supplement into your dog’s routine, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian. Here’s why:

  • Individualized Recommendations: Veterinarians can assess your dog’s specific needs and recommend supplements tailored to their size, health condition, and temperament.
  • Avoiding Interactions: Some supplements may interact with medications or exacerbate existing health issues. A veterinarian can ensure that the chosen supplement is safe and compatible with your dog’s overall health plan.
  • Proper Dosage: Veterinarians can provide guidance on the correct dosage for your dog, preventing overuse or underuse of the supplement.

By incorporating the right dietary supplement, you can enhance your dog’s resilience to car sickness and create a positive association with travel. As we continue our journey through natural remedies for car sickness, stay tuned for more tips on ensuring your dog’s comfort on the road!

7) Exploring a Variety of Other Calming Supplements for Dogs

A diverse range of calming supplements is available to cater to different needs and preferences. Here are some commonly used supplements:


Known for its mild sedative properties, chamomile can promote relaxation and ease anxiety.

Valerian Root

Valerian root is often used to reduce stress and nervousness in dogs, helping them stay calm during car rides.


An amino acid found in green tea, L-theanine has calming effects and can be useful for anxious dogs.

CBD (Cannabidiol)

Derived from hemp, CBD is known for its potential anti-anxiety and calming properties.


Melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles, can be used to induce relaxation in dogs.

Effectiveness and Considerations for Different Products:

Understanding the effectiveness of calming supplements involves considering factors such as the dog’s individual needs, the specific supplement, and the overall health of your pet. Here are some key considerations:

Individual Responses

Dogs may respond differently to various supplements. What works for one dog might not have the same effect on another.

Quality of the Product

Choose supplements from reputable brands to ensure they meet quality standards and contain the intended ingredients.

Dosage and Administration

Follow the recommended dosage guidelines provided by the manufacturer or your veterinarian. Consider the form of the supplement (chew, treat, liquid) that your dog is most comfortable with.

Combining Multiple Approaches for Maximum Impact

Enhancing the effectiveness of calming supplements can be achieved by combining them with other strategies. Here’s how:

  • Behavioral Training:
    • Combine supplement use with positive reinforcement and desensitization techniques to create a positive association with car rides.
  • Environmental Adjustments:
    • Ensure a comfortable and familiar environment within the car, incorporating favorite toys or blankets to create a sense of security.
  • Professional Guidance:
    • Consult with a veterinarian to tailor a holistic approach that may include supplements, behavior modification, and, if needed, medication.

By exploring a variety of calming supplements, considering their effectiveness, and combining multiple approaches, you can tailor a solution that best suits your dog’s unique needs.

8) Use Car Safety Restraints: Ensuring Your Dog’s Safety on the Road

When it comes to your dog’s well-being during car travel, safety should be a top priority. In this section, we’ll explore the significance of restraining your dog in the car, the various types of safety restraints available, and effective training tips to make your pup comfortable with this essential practice.

Importance of Restraining Dogs in the Car:

The open road might seem like a thrilling adventure, but for an unrestrained dog, it can pose serious risks. Here’s why securing your dog during car rides is crucial:

  • Preventing Injury: Unrestrained dogs can be injured in the event of sudden stops, sharp turns, or accidents. A safety restraint acts as a protective barrier, reducing the risk of harm to your furry companion.
  • Minimizing Distractions: Dogs can be curious and easily distracted, which may lead to erratic behavior in the car. A restraint keeps your dog in place, preventing them from causing distractions that could compromise your focus on the road.
  • Protecting Both Passenger and Pup: In the unfortunate event of a collision, a restrained dog is less likely to become a projectile, protecting both the dog and the car’s human occupants.

Types of Safety Restraints and How to Choose the Right One:

Choosing the right safety restraint for your dog involves considering factors like size, temperament, and the type of vehicle. Here are common types of safety restraints:

  • Dog Seat Belts: These are designed to attach to your dog’s harness and secure them to the seat belt buckle. Ensure the seat belt is appropriately sized for your dog and that they are comfortable with the restraint.
  • Dog Car Seats: Small to medium-sized dogs may benefit from a booster seat that elevates them, allowing them to see out the window while keeping them safely contained.
  • Dog Crates and Carriers: For smaller dogs, a well-ventilated crate or carrier secured with seat belts provides a secure and cozy space. Larger dogs may have travel-specific crates that fit in the cargo area. Don’t forget to check our article about soft dog crates
  • Dog Harnesses: Specifically designed for car travel, these harnesses can be attached to the seat belt or the car’s LATCH system. Look for harnesses that are crash-tested for additional safety.

Want to learn more about safe travel with your dog? Then, don’t forget to check our related article

lady placing cute dog in crate in a car

Training Tips for Getting Your Dog Accustomed to Restraints:

Getting your dog comfortable with a safety restraint requires patience and positive reinforcement. Here’s how to approach the training process:

  • Gradual Introduction: Start by introducing the restraint in a calm environment. Allow your dog to sniff and explore it without pressure.
  • Positive Associations: Associate the restraint with positive experiences. Use treats, toys, or praise to create positive associations with wearing the restraint.
  • Short, Positive Sessions: Begin with short sessions of wearing the restraint, gradually increasing the duration. Ensure your dog remains calm and rewarded during the process.
  • Practice in a Parked Car: Once your dog is comfortable with the restraint indoors, practice in a parked car. Use treats and praise to reward calm behavior.

By prioritizing your dog’s safety through proper restraint and positive reinforcement, you’re not only protecting them but also ensuring that every car ride remains a safe and enjoyable experience.

9) Keep the Car Cool and Quiet

For dogs prone to car sickness, the temperature and noise within the vehicle play pivotal roles in their comfort. In this section, we’ll delve into the impact of temperature and noise on a dog’s car sickness, provide tips for creating a comfortable and calming car environment, and explore portable solutions for maintaining a quiet and cool space that turns every journey into a soothing adventure.

The Impact of Temperature and Noise on a Dog’s Car Sickness:

Understanding how temperature and noise contribute to car sickness in dogs is essential. Here’s a brief overview:


Dogs can be sensitive to temperature extremes. A hot car can lead to discomfort and dehydration, while a cold car may induce shivering and stress.


Loud or unfamiliar noises during a car ride can exacerbate anxiety in dogs, contributing to motion sickness.

Tips for Creating a Comfortable and Calming Car Environment

Crafting a serene car environment is a key step in mitigating motion sickness and ensuring your dog’s comfort. Consider the following tips:

Temperature Control

Maintain a comfortable temperature within the car. Use air conditioning on hot days and consider using a pet-safe heating pad or blankets in cooler weather.


Ensure proper ventilation by cracking windows slightly to allow fresh air circulation.

Familiar Items

Bring along your dog’s favorite blanket, toy, or bed to create a familiar and comforting environment.

Reduced Noise Levels

Minimize loud noises within the car by avoiding blaring music or excessive conversations. Opt for a calm and quiet atmosphere.

Gradual Introductions

If your dog is not accustomed to car rides, start with short trips to help them acclimate gradually.

You can check our article related to keeping your dog cool in the car for more information.

Portable Solutions for Maintaining a Quiet and Cool Space

When it comes to maintaining a serene atmosphere on the go, portable solutions can be invaluable. Here are some ideas:

Travel Fans

Battery-operated travel fans can provide a gentle breeze, helping to keep the car cool.

Car Window Shades

Use sunshades on windows to block excessive sunlight and maintain a comfortable temperature.

White Noise Machines

Portable white noise machines or calming music playlists can drown out external noises, creating a more tranquil setting.

Portable Cooling Mats

Invest in portable cooling mats that can be easily placed in the car to provide a cool surface for your dog to rest on.

Creating a comfortable and calming car environment involves a combination of temperature control, noise reduction, and the introduction of familiar elements. Portable solutions add versatility, ensuring your dog’s well-being on any journey.

Golden Retriever Looking Out Of Car Window

FAQs About Car-Sick Dogs

How can I treat my dog’s car sickness naturally?

Natural remedies for treating your dog’s car sickness include incorporating ginger, lavender, and chamomile. Ginger can be given in small amounts or as a treat, lavender essential oil can be diffused in the car, and chamomile can be administered in the form of tea or calming supplements.

How do you stop motion sickness in a car dog?

To stop motion sickness in a dog, consider using calming supplements like Adaptil or Maropitant, ensuring a comfortable and cool car environment, and employing behavioral training techniques. Additionally, using motion sickness medications such as Benadryl or Dramamine, under veterinary guidance, may be an option.

What is a natural anti-sickness for dogs?

Natural anti-sickness options for dogs include ginger, chamomile, and lavender. These can be used in various forms, such as treats, teas, or essential oils, to help alleviate nausea and anxiety associated with car sickness.

What essential oil helps with car sickness in dogs?

Lavender essential oil is known for its calming properties and can help with car sickness in dogs. It can be diffused in the car or applied in a diluted form to the dog’s collar or bedding to create a soothing atmosphere.

Does coconut oil help sick dogs?

While coconut oil is often touted for its health benefits, including potential anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, its direct impact on treating sickness in dogs may be limited. It’s advisable to consult with a veterinarian for appropriate treatment options for specific illnesses or conditions in dogs.

Does sugar help with car sickness in dogs?

There’s no substantial evidence to suggest that sugar helps with car sickness in dogs. In fact, giving sugary substances to a dog experiencing car sickness may exacerbate the issue. It’s recommended to focus on proven remedies such as ginger or consult with a veterinarian for appropriate solutions.

Do dogs grow out of being car sick?

Many dogs do outgrow car sickness as they become more accustomed to car rides. Puppies, in particular, may experience motion sickness due to their developing inner ear structures. Gradual exposure to car rides, positive reinforcement, and the use of calming techniques can help dogs build tolerance and, in many cases, overcome car sickness as they mature.

Conclusion: Elevating Your Dog’s Travel Experience

Embarking on a journey with your furry friend is an adventure that should be marked by joy, not distress. In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored a myriad of strategies to alleviate car sickness and anxiety in dogs, ensuring that each ride becomes a positive experience. From natural remedies like ginger and lavender to innovative solutions such as Adaptil and Maropitant, we’ve navigated a spectrum of options. Whether incorporating dietary supplements or utilizing the calming effects of Benadryl and Dramamine, safety and efficacy have been at the forefront. Crafting a serene environment by keeping the car cool and quiet completes the picture. By combining these approaches, tailoring them to your dog’s unique needs, and consulting with a veterinarian, you can transform car travel into a delightful journey, fostering a bond of trust and companionship that lasts a lifetime. Here’s to stress-free adventures and wagging tails on the open road!

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