Natural Treatment for Car Motion Sickness in Dogs ©

I posted the following information on LinkedIn to help a member, and thought you might find it useful as well. 

Car sickness is certainly one of the more unpleasant issues we can deal with as pet parents.  There can be more than one cause for car sickness in dogs, from anxiety to an immature inner ear in young dogs.

Natural treatments for car motion sickness may include:

Car Motion Sickness in pets, dogs and cats

A secure dog is a safe dog, and a crate may reduce anxiety nausea.

Holistic remedies: Rescue Remedy, scleranthus, mimulus and walnut.

Herbs for an upset stomach/nausea: Ginger, peppermint, catnip, fennel and dill.

Herbs for anxiety: Skullcap, passionflower and oatstraw. Valerian will calm hyper dogs and also helps a nervous stomach.

Ginkgo: Improves blood circulation in the inner ear, so it may help juveniles experiencing motion sickness.

Essential Oils:  All essential oils should be heavily diluted.  Calming oils include Lavandula angustifolia, Valeriana officinalis, Anthemis nobilis, Ocimum basilicum, Origanum marjorana, Salvia sclarea, Vetivera zizanoides, Citrus aurantium, Citrus sinensis, Citrus bergamia, and Citrus odorata. Peppermint and ginger are available as essential oils for the treatment of nausea.  High quality is an absolute must for effective treatment with essential oils. Try making this Easy Essential Oil Recipe for Dog Nausea and Vomiting.

Note: Be very careful treating cats – they can be hypersensitive to essential oils and herbs.

Crate:  It is safest for your dog and you to secure them in a crate.  Becoming familiar with the crate before traveling in it will help to calm them.

Training: If the issue is anxiety, take dogs on short drives to do fun stuff. Tell them in your excited voice that you’re going to play ball or whatever, then talk about it on the way, and repeat the phrase while you’re at the destination. They soon associate it with something positive so anticipation replaces anxiety. Do it often and slowly increase the distance driven.

??? Has your pet experienced car sickness?  Were you able to help them?


Zucker, Martin. Veterinarians Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs : Safe and Effective Alternative Treatments and Healing Techniques from the Nations Top Holistic VeterinariansVeterinarians Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs. 2000.
Winter, William G. DVM The Holistic Veterinary Handbook. 1997.
Messonnier, Shawn DVM. Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and SupplementsNatural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements 2001.
Bell, Kristen Leigh. Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with AnimalsHolistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols for pet muscle sprains, strains and spasms
Tilford, Gregory. Wulff, Mary Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s LifeHerbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet's Life. 2009.
Harris, Viv BVSc Natural Remedies Dogs and Cats Wish You Knew: A Holistic Care GuideNatural Remedies Dogs and Cats Wish You Knew. 2008.


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    • Karen, the herbs are most effective when fed – sprinkle a little on wet pet food or make your own treats. The essential oils can be used to scent the environment or ingested, depending on the oil (check out the recipe linked in the article).

  1. I’ve had 9 dogs and not one has ever been car sick but the cat vomits every time she has to go to the vet. Goo thing we don’t have to take her very often.

  2. Thanks, this is great information that I’m sure will help my weak stomached dog when she’s nauseated.

  3. My dog is like that too Nancy. I never know when he’ll get car sick so I have to crate him and put his crate on a tarp. I tried taking him on an empty stomach but you know what? He got sick every time then. I guess it made him queasy.

  4. This is just what I was looking for, thanks! My pooch gets motion sickness sometimes but usually she’s ok. I’ve never figured out what exactly triggers it.

  5. Our friend’s dog can’t stand any motion at all without getting sick. I’m surprised he can walk without puking. Car, boat, being carried…everything upsets his stomach. I’ll print this for them.

  6. OK check this out: my dog gets car sick if she goes in the daytime but not after dark! Weird old girl that she is!

  7. This post is a Godsend for those of us who have dogs with nervous stomachs because it makes car sickness much more likely to happen. Thank you for sharing natural treatments here and so freely with others around the internet.

  8. We keep essential oils on hand for our fostered dogs and they work well most of the time.

  9. I just dropped off a copy of this motion sickness article at our local shelter for when they transport dogs and need natural prevention. They truly appreciated it.

  10. Myster only got sick in the car once when he was still a puppy. I was worried that he would have motion sickness for life but he grew out of it thankfully.

  11. My Collie never got over her car sickness but I haven’t tried everything here. I hope it works for her because she gets lonesome at home alone.

  12. I’m actually looking for remedies for motion sickness so my dog can come on the boat with us. She is fine in the car but on the boat she sometimes throws up. She loves going with us so I hope this works.

  13. I’m another one who fosters shelter dogs and most of them get car sick. I think it’s mostly nerves and we’re always ready for it with plastic so it’s no big deal. The poor things have been through so much, no wonder they throw up! Thanks for the ideas.

  14. My puppy gets car sick but I’m hoping he’ll grow out of it. I’ll try this stuff just in case!

  15. I also foster shelter animals and have to deal with car sickness quite often. Only the dogs though.

  16. My dog gets sick in the car every time we have to take him somewhere. I’ll try these tips. Thanks!

  17. I didn’t know there were so many natural options for car sickness. Thanks for posting this. Facelicks from my dog to you! xo

  18. We foster dogs and cats so car sickness is something we’ve come to expect. It seems to be more nerves than anything because they’re usually fine once they settle into our wild household.

  19. My dog only gets car sick on really long drives if we don’t stop every couple of hours. As long as he gets to walk around for awhile he’s fine.

  20. I had one dog that puked every time he was in the car. I wish I’d known then what I know now!! Both of the dogs I have now love the car.