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7 Reasons Why Dogs Drool In The Car + How To Stop It

Why Does My Dog Drool In The Car

You and your dog are off to an adventure.

During the car ride, you notice them drooling.

You don’t know if this is normal or not.

And this makes you worry.

Here’s some good news for you…

In this article, you’ll find out:

  • 7 reasons why dogs drool in the car.
  • Why car rides can be frightening to them.
  • 10 proven tips to stop them from drooling.
  • How to prevent them from getting car sick.
  • And many more…

Why does my dog drool in the car?

Your dog drools in the car because of car sickness and anxiety. They may also drool due to heatstroke, thirst, or excitement. Other causes include health conditions such as dental disease and digestive problems.

7 reasons why your dog drools in the car

#1: They’re car sick

“Doggo doesn’t like car, it makes doggo sick.”

One of the common reasons dogs drool is due to being car sick.

Just like us, they can also experience motion sickness.

This is caused by swaying movements that affect their balance.

According to experts, it was found that around 7.2 million dogs suffer from this.

Puppies and young dogs are usually the ones who experience this.

Most of them can actually outgrow this phase.

But it can still be developed by adult dogs. And if neglected, can be a lifelong problem.

Some may even already feel nauseated even before the car starts moving.

Aside from drooling, PetMD mentions the following signs of car sickness:

  • Panting.
  • Whining.
  • Yawning.
  • Vomiting.
  • Inactivity.
  • Retching.
  • Licking lips.

It’s important to treat this early as it may lead to your pooch getting scared of car rides.

Simple things you can do to prevent this are:

In one study, 122 dogs that suffer from motion sickness were given a dose of medicine to prevent vomiting.

They found that only 7% of the dogs vomited. This means the medicine can also be helpful in preventing car sickness.

In some cases, your pooch may also have a condition called vestibular disease.

This is more common in older dogs.  It makes them lose balance and become disoriented.

And it also leads to motion sickness. Some of the causes of this disease are:

  • Tumors.
  • Ear infections.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Injury or trauma.

Fortunately, this is treatable. So once you suspect that your pup has this disease, consult a vet immediately.

#2: Your dog is feeling anxious

“That big scary moving box is a nope for me.”

It’s possible that your dog will become anxious if they aren’t used to being in a car.

When dogs are overcome with intense emotions like fear, they drool. 

Because they can’t see the road, it will also increase their anxiety and panic.

Car rides won’t also be enjoyable for your pooch if they’re naturally apprehensive.

It’s also possible that the engine’s sound and vibration are too much.

It may even become too stressful for them that they’ll refuse to get inside your car.

A recent study even found that dogs are most vulnerable to anxiety-related behavior.

Common symptoms of canine anxiety are:

  • Panting. 
  • Aggression.
  • Depression.
  • Restlessness.
  • Excessive barking.
  • Destructive behavior. 
  • Compulsive behaviors.

Some of these symptoms may be the result of one-time anxiety-inducing situations.

But any of these might become persistent, leading to more significant problems.

If they only ride in the car when they have to go to the vet, this could also make them anxious.

They see it as transportation to the big scary place.

And this means that they have developed a negative association with it.

Pro tip: Make visiting the vet a positive experience so they won’t get stressed.

Helping your beloved pup overcome anxiety won’t be easy. But with a lot of patience, you’ll be able to do it.

Noise phobia can also cause them to be anxious around cars.

Fireworks, thunderstorms, and loud cars are common triggers for noise phobia.

Noisy bass sound systems and the sound of honking can be nerve-wracking to them.

Using dog anxiety vests can be helpful in providing them comfort.

Playing white noise or classical music can also keep them calm.

#3: Your dog is thirsty

Your Dog Drools In The Car When It's Thirsty

“Excuse me mum, but can you pass me the water pwease.”

When your canine companion is thirsty, they tend to drool.

It’s their body’s way of requesting more water.

You might also notice them frantically searching for something to drink.

That’s why keeping them hydrated while traveling is important.

The low humidity levels inside a vehicle can quickly drain fluid from your pup’s body.

This could lead to dehydration. And it’s a serious matter that should be attended to as soon as possible.

Warning: Dehydration can be deadly to dogs and they can also suffer from organ failure.

AKC mentions the following signs to look out for:

  • Fatigue.
  • Panting 
  • Vomiting.
  • Dry nose.
  • Thick saliva
  • Sticky gums.
  • Sunken eyes.
  • Disorientation.

Because some signs aren’t as obvious as others, you can do a quick dehydration test.

Checking the elasticity of your dog’s skin is one way to do this.

This can be done through the following steps:

  1. Take a pinch of the loose skin at the back of their neck.
  2. Place it between its shoulder blades.
  3. Lift the skin up, then gently release it.
  4. Keep an eye on their skin as it returns to its original position.
  5. The skin will stretch back into place quickly if they’re well-hydrated.
  6. If they’re dehydrated, the skin will take longer to return to its original position.

Making sure you have enough water in your car is essential.

Bringing a portable water bowl will also make it easy for your pooch to drink.

Check out this article: 19 Crazy Simple Tricks To Get Your Dog To Drink More Water

#4: It could be due to heatstroke

“Help hooman! The heat is too much for doggo.”

Heatstroke is a condition that can result in drooling. It’s often due to heat exhaustion.

Being exposed to hot temperatures for long periods of time is the most common cause.

In as little as 15 minutes, dogs in overheated cars can experience potentially fatal heatstroke.

This is because they can quickly burn up and struggle to cool down.

Excessive drooling is a clear sign of heatstroke.

Other warning signs to watch out for are:

  • Fever.
  • Collapse.
  • Lethargy.
  • Rapid pulse.
  • Heavy panting.
  • Bright red gums.

So if you suspect your dog is suffering from one, contact a veterinarian right away.

If you can’t get to the veterinarian right away, make sure to:

  • Immediately remove them from the car.
  • If possible, wet a towel with cool water 
  • Allow them to drink small amounts of water without forcing them.

Did you know that every year, hundreds of dogs die due to being left inside a car?

According to statistics, over 51 animal companions this year had died due to heat-related causes.

Researchers also found that certain breeds are at higher risk for heatstroke.

These are:

  • Pug.
  • Bulldog.
  • Greyhound.
  • Chow Chow.
  • French Bulldog.
  • Springer Spaniel.
  • Golden Retriever.
  • Dogue de Bordeaux.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

#5: Your dog is too excited

“OMG hooman! This is amazing! Let’s go somewhere fun!”

Your pooch may also drool due to excitement.

The mere thought of having fun might trigger your dog to salivate.

For some dogs, being in the car is an exciting experience.

The different scents they can sniff. The intriguing sights they can see.

The thrilling sounds they can hear. All these would feel like an adventure for them.

Drooling may also happen when your dog anticipates the excitement of going somewhere new.

Or if they have associated it with going to fun places. Like going to the park or to the beach.

The good news is that there’s nothing to worry about if this is the reason.

 It’s completely harmless. And it only means your canine companion can’t contain their happiness.

But if they’re being too hyper, there are things you can do to calm them down.

These are the following:

#6: They have a dental problem

Sometimes, your furry friend drooling isn’t related to the car ride itself.

It could be health-related. One of these is due to dental issues.

Tooth decay is one issue that will cause them to slobber.

It’s usually caused by plaque build-up. And it happens when their teeth are not cleaned properly.

PetMD mentions the following symptoms of dental problems:

  • Bad breath.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Bloody saliva.
  • Bleeding gums.
  • Lumps on the mouth.

If you notice them having problems with chewing, it’s time to take them to the vet for a dental checkup.

Having optimal oral health will improve your pup’s quality of life.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to take care of their teeth.

A study also found that by the age of 3, 75% of dogs develop some kind of dental issues.

Here are some tips that can help prevent this:

  • Brush their teeth regularly.
  • Feed them good quality food.
  • Provide them with chew toys and treats.
  • Take them for annual oral examinations.

Watch the video below for the proper way of brushing a dog’s teeth:

#7: Your dog has an upset stomach

An upset stomach could also be the cause of drooling. 

If your pooch is inside a car while suffering from an upset stomach, they may become queasy.

And it may lead to a lot of vomit. Recognizing the signs early on might help you avoid these problems.

The signs to look out for include:

  • Nausea.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Constipation.
  • Excessive gas.
  • Loss of appetite.

It would also be helpful to know what caused them to have an upset stomach.

Common causes include:

  • Bloating.
  • Toxic food.
  • Obstruction.
  • Gastric ulcer.
  • Inflammation.
  • Sudden change in diet.

Once you suspect your pooch is suffering from digestive problems, it would be best to consult a vet.

You can also help ease their discomfort by doing the following:

  • Let them rest.
  • Keep them hydrated.
  • Replace lost electrolytes.
  • Feed them with bland food.

Learn more: Why do dogs arch their backs?

How to stop a dog from drooling in a car? 10 proven tips

#1: Positive reinforcement

If your furry friend associates your car with good things, they’re less likely to feel anxious.

Positive reinforcement is a way to do this. It’s a way to condition your pup that your vehicle is a safe place.

You can start by luring them with treats while walking to your car.

And then provide words of praise while closing the door. 

You can also hide treats inside so they can explore your car.

Remember to never force them to go inside as this will only stress them out.

Spend some time with them in your car while the engine is off. 

And always let them out when they want to.

This may need to be repeated until you notice them getting comfortable.

Once their comfortable, try to go to places that they love.

This will further help in making them associate the car with a positive experience.

Also, don’t forget to give them treats and a lot of praise when they’re in a calm behavior.

#2: Go on frequent rest stops

Nobody, especially dogs, enjoys sitting in a car for long periods of time.

So remember to do frequent stops especially during long rides.

This will prevent drooling that is caused by motion sickness.

It will also give your canine companion a chance to relax. 

And it can give you some time to do a quick walk with them.

Going on rest stops is also the perfect time to offer them some water.

Also, always give them enough opportunity to go on potty breaks.

When going on long trips with your pup, 

#3: Start with short journeys

Go On Short Trips With Your Dog

Going on shorter trips with your pooch will help them get used to being inside a car.

You can start by just sitting with them in your vehicle while the motor is running.

Make sure to stay in one position without moving. 

You can gradually increase this by going on a brief trip around the neighborhood.

After this, consider taking them on short trips every now and then.

Remember to praise and reward them for good conduct.

Doing this will enhance their enjoyment of car rides and reduce their nervousness.

#4: Roll the window down

Rolling down your car windows will provide your canine companion with fresh air. 

This will also give them some proper ventilation. And they won’t feel locked in.

Doing this will help prevent motion sickness and heat stroke.

Even though the air conditioner is available, keeping the window down is a far better option.

The air conditioner may even increase the risk of car sickness for your pooch.

Once the window is open, avoid letting them stick their head out.

This can be dangerous because foreign objects can strike them.

It may even damage their eyes. Insects may even find their way into your pup’s ears.

What’s worse is that they may even jump through the window.

So don’t completely roll it down. And make sure to not let them get too close.

#5: Empty stomach

It’s common for fur parents to let their fur babies travel with an empty stomach.

This is because they could be more prone to vomiting if they are full.

But make sure to give them plenty of water to avoid upsetting their stomach.

Before taking them on the road, wait at least four hours after any meals.

And when it comes to treats, only give it to them during longer rides.

Traveling on an empty stomach may or may not work depending on the dog.

There are some who need to eat something to prevent car sickness.

#6: Keep them occupied

One way to keep your beloved pup occupied is by bringing their favorite toys.

This will provide them with something to do while traveling.

It’s a way to distract them and keep them entertained.

The best toys to bring are chew and interactive toys.

Chew toys are the safest option that will keep them occupied for hours.

Plus, it’s a great way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy even while traveling.

On the other hand, Interactive toys can keep their minds stimulated.

And it will keep them busy for an even longer time.

For safety reasons, it’s recommended to bring plush puzzle toys.

Another way to keep them occupied is by having someone teach them tricks.

This is possible if there are multiple passengers in the car.

Someone sitting with your dog can make them do simple tricks.

#7: Provide them a sense of security

When your furry friend feels safe inside a car, they will also be much more comfortable.

Some pet parents make the mistake of letting their dog roam free inside the car.

Some would also allow their dogs to stay in their lap.

But these will actually do more harm than good. Letting them roam around will make you distracted.

While allowing them to sit on your lap is plain dangerous. It will only put them at risk of fatal injuries when accidents happen.

In fact, a survey showed that 65% of drivers engaged in distracting activity while in a car with their dogs.

The activities mentioned were:

  • Petting the dog.
  • Playing with them.
  • Giving food to them.
  • Holding them while driving.
  • Restricting them from movements.
  • Reaching the backseat to interact with them.

Anxious dogs are unable to control their behavior. They may injure themselves or cause mishaps.

The best way to keep them safe is by providing them with a dog carrier or a safety harness.

These will also be able to provide them with some security while they’re on the road.

In a scary ride, a harness could be their safe refuge. And it could keep them secured in one spot.

In your dog’s carrier, you can also place a t-shirt or blanket with your scent.

You’ll be surprised at how easy they can relax when you do this.

And this will also provide them with a sense of security. 

Investing in a dog crate can also keep your pup calm.

It’s ideal when going on long rides. And it can be easily attached to the car seat.

#8: Keep your car clutter-free

When traveling by car, your pooch may require additional space.

Don’t pack your car with too much stuff to the point where your dog would feel claustrophobic.

Getting rid of any clutter can give them more room to lay down.

Drooling can be effectively treated by allowing them to relax in a comfortable space.

 However, make sure you have all of your dog’s necessities with you.

This includes:

  • Toys.
  • Treats.
  • Dog bed.
  • Medication.
  • Poop bags.
  • Medical records.
  • Grooming supplies.
  • Updated tag or collar.
  • Portable food or water bowl.

#9: Tire them out ahead of the trip

If your travel buddy is tired, the more likely they’ll behave inside the car.

Letting them use all their pent-up energy before your trip is a good way to tire them up.

Take them on walks or play with them. Go to the park and let them run around.

The moment you start the engine, you might already see them closing their eyes.

And they will be asleep in no time. Also, consider providing a dog bed seat for them.

You can also bring their blanket to make them extra snoozy.

Doing this will surely make them take longer naps.

#10: Visit a vet

If all else fails, it may be time to visit a vet. They can properly determine the reason why your pup is drooling.

And they may be able to prescribe medication that can prevent car sickness.

But note that when giving them medicine, carefully follow the instructions.

So talk to your vet to know the right dosage to give your pup.

Consulting them before going on car trips is also a good idea. 

They will be able to determine whether your pup is healthy enough to travel.

Ask them how travel can affect your dog’s health. And make sure your dog’s vaccines are up to date.

This is also a chance for you to get a copy of their vaccination card or medical records.

It will be something you’ll need when going on trips.