Why Do Dogs Drool in the Car? - 5 Ways to Prevent It

Why does my dog drool in the car?

Why does my dog drool in the car?

If you've ever taken your furry friend on a car ride, you've probably noticed that they tend to drool. Of course, it's not the most pleasant thing to deal with, but have you ever wondered why dogs drool in the car? 

This happens for a few reasons, and we will explore them in this article.

It's a Natural Response

First and foremost, it's important to understand that drooling is a natural response for dogs. When they get excited or anxious, their salivary glands start working overtime, which can be triggered by various factors such as foreign objects, medication, allergies, poisoning, and even congenital defects. This can happen in any situation, not just in the car. However, being in a moving vehicle can be particularly stressful for some dogs, leading to excessive drooling caused by health conditions or the sight and smell of dog food.

It's a Sign of Motion Sickness

Another reason why dogs drool in the car because they may be experiencing motion sickness. Just like humans, some dogs are more prone to getting nauseous when in a moving vehicle. The drooling is a symptom of this, along with other signs like vomiting, whining, and restlessness.

They Smell Something Interesting

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and can pick up scents that humans can't detect. When in the car, they may catch a whiff of something interesting outside or inside the vehicle. This can cause them to drool as they anticipate getting closer to the source of the smell.

They're Anticipating Something

Dogs are creatures of habit, and they thrive on routine. So if your dog is used to car rides to certain destinations, they may start drooling as soon as they get in the car because they know what's coming. This could be a trip to the park, a visit to their favorite human friend, or a trip to the vet (which may be less exciting for them).

They're Nervous or Anxious

As mentioned earlier, being in a moving vehicle can be stressful for some dogs. If they're not used to car rides or have had a bad experience in the past, they may become nervous or anxious, especially if they are in a hot car and at risk for heat stroke and lethargy. This can lead to excessive drooling and other signs like panting, shaking, and pacing.

They're Excited

On the flip side, some dogs may drool in the car because they're excited. They may be going on a fun adventure or seeing someone they love. Wagging tails and happy barks usually accompany this type of drooling.

They're Hot

Dogs don't sweat as humans do, so they have to regulate their body temperature in other ways. One of those ways is by panting, which can sometimes lead to drooling. If your dog is hot in the car, it may start drooling to cool down.

They're Teething

If your dog is still a puppy and undergoing teething, it may drool more than usual. This is because their gums are sore and produce more saliva to help soothe them. The car ride may exacerbate this, leading to even more drool.

They Have Dental Issues

Finally, excessive drooling in the car could be a sign of dental issues. Your dog may drool more than usual if it has gum disease, tooth decay, or other dental problems. Taking your dog to the vet for regular check-ups is important to catch any dental issues early on.

So, now that we know why dogs drool in the car, what can we do about it?

Here are five tips to help prevent your dog from drooling excessively in the car:

Make the car a positive experience for your dog: One of the best ways to prevent your dog from drooling excessively is to make the car a positive experience for them. Start by taking your dog on short trips to places they enjoy, such as the dog park or a friend's house. This will help them associate the car with positive experiences such as using seat covers, rather than stress or anxiety.

Take breaks during long car rides: If you're planning a long car ride with your dog, it's important to take breaks every few hours to prevent them from getting carsick. This will allow your dog to stretch its legs, use the bathroom, and get some fresh air. It will also help prevent feelings of nausea and motion sickness by giving your dog a ginger cookie, which is an excellent treat that can calm their stomach.

Use a car harness or crate: Using a car harness or crate can help keep your dog safe and secure in the car. It can also help prevent excessive drooling, as your dog will be less likely to move around and become anxious or overexcited.

Limit food and water before car rides: If your dog is prone to motion sickness, limiting their food anda water intake before car rides is a good idea. This will help prevent feelings of nausea and vomiting, which can lead to excessive drooling.

Consider medication:  If your dog is particularly prone to motion sickness, your veterinarian may be able to prescribe medication to help prevent it. This can be especially helpful for long car rides or trips.

That's a wrap!

In conclusion, there are many reasons why dogs drool in the car. It could be a natural response to excitement or anxiety, a sign of motion sickness, or a symptom of dental issues, such as gum disease or tooth pain, while traveling. Whatever the reason may be, including common reasons, it's important to make sure your dog is comfortable and safe during car rides. 

This could mean taking frequent breaks, using a crate or harness, or simply making sure the temperature is comfortable. With a little bit of patience and understanding, you and your furry best friend can enjoy car rides together without the excess drool.