Many things can cause nausea in dogs, including car sickness, overeating, eating too fast, eating non-digestible items or plants. Motion sickness is common in young dogs and puppies, just as in humans. Signs of nausea are excessive licking, whining, drooling and listlessness.
Correctly feeding your dog, preparing for a car ride ahead of time and monitoring what he eats can prevent nausea. Below are some anti-nausea tips for mealtime and travel -- two of the most common times nausea in dogs occurs.
• Place hard or canned dog food in a slow feed dog bowl. This type of bowl has compartments in it or raised areas in the center. It prevents dogs from stuffing their mouths with large bites of dog food and slows down the eating process. Overeating or eating too fast can lead to stomach distress, nausea and vomiting.
• Divide the amount of food that you normally feed your dog into two or three meals per day. Eating the total amount of food in one large meal may not allow the food to digest properly and lead to nausea.
• Do not play rigorous games or excite your dog directly after a meal. Dogs need some quiet time after a meal for the food to start digesting. You wouldn't jostle a baby around directly after feeding her a bottle or she would deposit the contents on you, just as too much activity can do the same with dogs.
• Feed your dog a meal smaller than normal a few hours before a car trip and walk him prior to entering the car. It is best if he urinates and defecates before a ride to empty his digestive system of food. Otherwise, if he has motion sickness he will vomit inside your car and leave you a mess to clean up.
• Secure your dog in a canine seat belt facing forward in a seat that is in the middle of the car. Facing forward causes less nausea than if he is facing sideways. Rear seats tend to have more motion and bump around more, causing nausea in the car.
• Roll the window down a few inches near your furry friend’s seat in the car. This action balances the air pressure from outside and inside the car and decreases nausea.
• Adjust the air conditioning or heating in the car to a cool temperature. Many dogs pant excessively when they are nauseated. Keeping them cool helps calm the urge to vomit.
Additional Tips For Preventing Nausea
• Do not allow your pets to eat plants or grasses inside or outside in the yard. Many grasses and plants cause stomach or intestinal problems and can make your dog nauseous.
• If you change dog food to a different type or brand, do it gradually over the course of a few days, mixing decreasing amounts of the old food with the new, to prevent stomach upset.
• Do not put a dog in the front seat with a seat belt. The airbag can cause serious injuries if it hits your four-legged friend.
• Human food can cause digestive upset in dogs. It is best to feed them pet food only.
By Mary Lougee
Pet Health and Care: Dog Nausea
VetInfo: How Can You Tell if Your Dog is Feeling Nauseous?
PetMeds: Could Your Dog Benefit From a Slow Feed Bowl?
WebMD: Dogs and Motion Sickness
Georgia SPCAA: Signs of Health and Sickness in Your Dog
VetInfo: Dogs Vomiting White Foam
About the Author
Mary Lougee has been writing since 2004 and specializes in pets with publications in "Modern Dog" and "Pet Planet." Lougee gained extensive pet knowledge and expertise in care and rehabilitation, built a farm, and cares for rescue animals from small to large. She holds a bachelor's degree in management.