Many dogs drool, and it can be an especially common occurrence with Saint Bernards, Bulldogs, Great Danes, and similar dog breeds. For many owners, though, their dog’s drooling gets much worse when they are riding in the car. This is typically because the dog is excited, but they could also have motion sickness. If this happens to your dog, keep reading for other possible explanations, along with tips that might help reduce this behavior so you both can have a better time on your adventures.
The 5 Reasons Why Your Dog Drools More Than Usual in the Car
1. Motion Sickness
One of the primary reasons for excessive drooling during car rides is motion sickness. Dogs can experience discomfort and nausea when subjected to the jostling and movement of a moving vehicle, and the discomfort can lead to excessive drooling, which is their way of dealing with an uncomfortable situation.
2. Anxiety and Stress
Dogs are creatures of habit, and changing their routine or environment can induce stress and anxiety. Car rides can be intimidating for some dogs, especially if they associate them with unpleasant experiences like visits to the veterinarian or if they haven’t gotten used to them yet, which can result in excessive drooling. Other signs of stress and anxiety can include trembling, panting, and quivering. They may also try to avoid getting into the car.
One of the most likely reasons behind excessive drooling in the car is excitement. Many dogs may become overly enthusiastic about car rides, and their bodies may react by producing more saliva, resulting in excessive drool. You will also likely see plenty of tail wagging, and the dog will move quickly from window to window, trying to see everything.
It may seem strange, but thirsty dogs tend to drool more than usual, and the excitement of a car ride can cause them to run around and pant, which might cause them to get thirsty and start to drool.
Unfortunately, the elevated temperatures that can occur in a vehicle can cause a dog to go into heat stroke, which can lead to excessive drooling. Heatstroke is a dangerous situation that can occur in only a few minutes when the car is too hot, and it can also result in collapse or even death.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Medication to Prevent My Dog From Getting Motion Sick in the Car?
Medications are available to help your dog with motion sickness in the car. However, it’s best to discuss this option with your vet to ensure that it’s the best alternative, as they may just need time to get used to the movement of a vehicle through increasingly long rides and training.
Is It Safe to Let My Dog Stick Their Head Out of the Car Window During a Ride?
Allowing your dog to put their head out of the car window can be unsafe. It exposes them to debris and potential hazards and can lead to ear and eye injuries despite their fast reflexes. Keeping your dog secured inside the vehicle during the ride is always best.
Can I Use Calming Products or Supplements to Help My Dog Relax During Car Rides?
Yes, various calming products and supplements are available for dogs that can help reduce anxiety and stress during car rides. Most include ginger, chamomile, hemp, or other natural ingredients to help some dogs feel more relaxed during the ride. Consult your veterinarian to find the right product and dosage for your dog.
How Can I Make Car Rides a More Enjoyable Experience for My Dog in the Long Term?
To make car rides enjoyable for your dog for the long term, focus on desensitization, positive reinforcement, and creating positive associations with the car. Consistency, patience, and gradual exposure will help your dog become more comfortable, and many dogs look forward to going in the car once they get used to it.
Most dogs drool excessively in the car because they are excited to go for a ride. It’s a real joy for many pets, and few things are more exciting, so the drooling always seems to get out of control. Positive reinforcement training can help keep them calm in the car so they don’t get so excited, which might reduce the amount of drool. The thrill might wear off as they age, and with less excitement comes less drool.
Dogs can also drool due to motion sickness, anxiety, and heatstroke, so it’s important to watch your dog carefully, especially if they don’t seem excited, and never leave them in the car with the windows up, as it only takes a few minutes to reach dangerous temperatures.