Do Norwich get car sick?

Some people are more susceptible to motion sickness than others. While the environment - the particular type of motion - seems to be a major factor, a genetic component is also suspected. However just about everyone will become motion sick if exposed to motion that is intense enough. So it is not surprising that the same is also true for dogs.

My answer to the question "Do Norwich get car sick?" is that they can, but in general that they do not or they get over it.

I live in the country. So my Norwich get long car rides whenever we go anywhere - vets, classes, and especially shows or trials. I sometimes have a young puppy who will get car sick once, but then they seem to get over it and they do not have a problem later. They get their "car legs" (similar to "sea legs" for those who get sea sick).

One puppy I bred never got car sick with me, but their new owner reported that the dog got car sick. I suspect that the dog was only taken on short rides, with lots of sudden stops and turns. I have heard from old-time dog breeders that the best way to cure a dog of car sickness is to take the dog on a multi-day cross-country car trip to a specialty show; they predict that by the time the dog arrives the dog will be cured of car sickness. While I have learned from bitter experience that not everything that old-time dog people say is correct, this has an element of truth. So long highway car rides are something to try to cure car sickness.

I used to subscribe to the theory that a dog in a car seat high enough to see out would not get car sick ... until I had one dog who did. Now I believe that it is safer if dogs are crated while in a car. (If ever there is an accident, a rescue worker would most likely be attacked by a loose injured dog ... which might delay rescue for people in the car.)

Friends have reported that the drug maropitant (trade name: Cerenia) is good for dogs with motion sickness.


Genetic variants associated with motion sickness point to roles for inner ear development, neurological processes and glucose homeostasis, Hromatka et al., Human Molecular Genetics, 2015.

Motion sickness: an overview, Leung et al., Drugs In Context, 2019.

8 Aug 2020