Motion sickness isn’t a condition that only effects us, it can affect our animal friends too! Canine motion sickness causes chaos on long road trips and can ruin an otherwise perfect outing, and inflicts unnecessary suffering on our dog. Generally pets who suffer with this problem are younger and as they mature the problem will correct itself, but this is not always the case.

In this article we will cover some basic ways of treating your dog and how you can curb this nagging problem using Benadryl for dogs.

What Causes Motion Sickness In Dogs?

Dogs get motion sick when sensory information (what they are seeing) does not match the signals being sent by the structures of the inner ear. This may sound odd, and counterintuitive, but the structures in your dog’s ears (known as the vestibular system) provides them with a sense of balance and motion. For example, if your dog begins running, the fluids in the ear will change position and tell the brain that they are moving. In some dogs, travelling causes a nauseating sense of unbalance where their inner ears are telling the brain they’re sitting still, while their eyes tell them they are travelling very quickly.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Is Motion Sick?

There are a few visual and physical clues which can help you determine when your pet is suffering from travel sickness such as:

  • Stillness
  • Whining
  • Drooling
  • Yawning
  • Vomiting

If you notice several of these symptoms during travel, your dog is likely feeling motion sick. Luckily, there are several ways to combat the issue which we’ll cover.

How Can I Treat A Motion Sick Dog?

The first and easiest preventative measure is to keep a window slightly open. This will help to keep the air pressure balanced, and remove the “stuffy” feeling from breathing in air which isn’t so fresh. Another way is to face your dog forward during journeys instead of having them stare out of the windows. It can be nearly impossible to have your pet adopt this position by themselves as most dogs are inquisitive and like seeing what’s going on around them. However, by using a specially designed seat belt, you can keep them in a forward position.

Benadryl for motion sick dogs:

Benadryl is an antihistamine which can suppress sickness by blocking signals sent to the vomiting center in the brain, and it may also help to keep your dog calmer. If you choose to give your dog Benadryl to aid their motion sickness, opt for the plain formula which uses diphenhydramine as the sole active ingredient. The typical dose is 1 mg/lb, and should be administered about 30 minutes before your planned journey so the effects have time to kick in.

Diphenhydramine is very similar to dimnehydrinate, the active ingredient in Dramamine (a medicine often used for travel sickness). In fact, dimenhydrinate is diphenhydramine, with the addition of the mild stimulant chlorotheophylline. Dimenhydrinate can be thought of as being slightly weaker than diphenhydramine, where 27 mg of diphenhydramine is about the same strength as 50 mg of dimenhydrinate.

Note: Be sure to give your vet a quick call just to check it over in case your dog is not suitable for the medicine. Benadryl should not be administered alongside erythromycin or allopurinol and may interact with several other substances, which is why you should let your vet know of any medication your dog is on. It could also be unsuitable for dogs with heart conditions, glaucoma, prostatic disease or hyperthyroidism.