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Why Does My Dog Drool in the Car? Should I Be Worried?

Why Does My Dog Drool in the Car? Should I Be Worried?

Going out with your lovely companion, your dog, should ordinarily be a fun road trip till you get to your destination. However, if your dog begins to drool and salivate, the anticipated fun ride could be a messy, worrisome, and frustrating experience. When this happens, you do not need to fret.

Your dog drools in the car for various reasons, including anxiety, heatstroke, car sickness, excitement, enthusiasm, mouth disease, health issues (rabies), medications, poisoning, allergies, congenital disabilities, temperature, and thirst. Drooling is normal; however, when frequent, there is an issue.

Drooling is the excessive flow of saliva that has been accumulated in the oral cavity (mouth). Some breeds are known to always drool, including Mastiff, Saint Bernard, and Bloodhound.

happy dog door car

Why Does My Dog Drool in the Car?

Drooling in the car is not something any dog owner would want to experience. Aside from the dog distracting while driving, you will also need to get busy with cleaning the car when you get to your destination.

However, regardless of the dog breed, you need to understand that drooling while in the car is normal for dogs, and it happens for certain reasons. It is not something to worry about on most occasions, but when it becomes excessive, it might indicate a medical condition. Some common reasons why your dog drools in the car will be explained below.

Motion Sickness

Just as some humans usually experience motion sickness while in a moving car, the same thing happens to dogs too. If you notice your dog salivating, licking its lips excessively, reduced level of activity, and vomiting in a car, it is a sign of motion sickness. It could cause a dog to lose control of its bowels occasionally.

Motion sickness could be caused by driving on a rough road, making sudden turns, or swaying motions. This is quite common in puppies, although older dogs could also experience motion sickness. So, if you notice your dog displaying any of the symptoms, try to make the dog sit facing forward.

Also, you may need to drive slowly and gently to make the dog feel safe and comfortable. However, if you notice the dog begins to vomit, you need to inform your vet about your dog’s symptoms. Some medications could help reduce the symptoms.


Another reason why your dog could be drooling could be due to excitement. According to some studies, dogs tend to salivate more whenever they are excited. Of course, being in a car could be a very fun activity for many dogs, as they tend to experience different smells and sounds, as well as see other things.

To be sure your dog is excited, you would notice it whining, running around, or even licking you while in the car. Once you notice this, you do not need to get bothered, as this is a very harmless behavior. The moment you get to your destination and the dog comes out of the car, it will likely contain its excitement in no time and feel calm.

Learn More: Why Does My Dog Groan? What Does It Mean?

Heat Stroke

If your dog often drools more whenever the temperature is hot, it could indicate heatstroke. This condition is even more common in dogs that have thick coats. You need to understand that dogs do not sweat as we humans do. So, the temperature we might feel is cool could be hot for dogs.

Whenever you notice your dog is experiencing heatstroke, ensure it gets to drink enough water. This would help to keep the dog’s body temperature cool internally. Also, you could then roll down your car windows. If the effects of the heatstroke get serious, you should take the dog to a veterinarian immediately.


Dogs who are not used to riding in cars could become anxious, nervous, or fearful on their first ride. Anxiety level differs in dogs, and some are naturally more anxious than others. So, if you own a dog that gets anxious easily, riding in a car could increase its blood pressure, causing it to pant and drool.

Also, if your dog is always being taken to the vet in your car for injection, that experience could make your dog always get anxious whenever in a car. Dogs get anxious during road trips because they cannot see the road, so they will get fearful and uneasy. You can get medications to help your dog deal with anxiety.

Mouth Disease

If your dog is suffering from mouth disease, it could lead to excessive drooling. Periodontal disease or gingivitis are common mouth diseases that could make a dog drool. These diseases could lead to inflammation of your dog’s gum, making its teeth loose and fall out if not treated timely.

If your dog has any form of mouth disease and you take it out in a car, there are chances it would drool excessively. So, if you notice the symptoms we already mentioned, perhaps its teeth are already missing out; it is essential you quickly get it examined by a veterinarian.

Related post: Why Does My Dog Keep Gagging?

Puppy Drooling In Car

It is normal for puppies to drool in cars, especially if it is their first time; however, they get used to it with time. If your puppy experiences tummy trouble, it will drool in the car; so, if your dog has eaten what it should not eat, it will occasionally experience stomach distress and drool.

Also, the reason your puppy drools in the car may not result from the car ride. Sometimes it can be caused by different health conditions. One of which can be the teething process; this is one of the main causes of drooling in puppies. The process of growing teeth is similar to how humans grow teeth. Moreover, different babies respond differently to the process.

How To Get Your Dog To Stop Drooling In The Car

Many car owners are unaware that you can train your dogs to prevent some things from occurring when they are older; you only need to train them while they are still puppies. So, it is possible to train a dog so it will not drool; you can do that by getting the puppy used to car rides. However, if your pup is grown and still drools, here are some tips to help it stop.

Stop Frequently

You should not drive for a long time without allowing your dog to go out and relax. This is the best way to prevent the dog from experiencing motion sickness. Dogs can get overwhelmed by the long trips, and this can cause excitement, anxiety, and enthusiasm, resulting in the dog drooling.

Drive With The Windows Rolled Down

During long trips, dogs need steady ventilation and fresh air to remain calm and cool. Fresh air prevents thirst, heatstroke and even eases anxiety in dogs. Also, you should avoid having the air conditioner on for a long time; it can cause car sickness. If your dog feels ill during a car ride, roll the window down before you consider turning the air conditioner on.

dog in the car

Ensure The Dog Goes On Empty Stomach

Before going on a car trip with your dog, you should never do it immediately after the dog finishes eating. You must wait for at least an hour after eating before commencing the trip. Sometimes, meals can be the reason why dogs drool in the car. A full stomach can cause the dog to feel nauseous, and during trips, the dog’s stomach can make it sick.

Final Thoughts

One mistake you should avoid when going on long trips with your dog is not to make it fun. A boring trip can also cause anxiety and fear in a dog, especially a puppy, making it drool. You need to create a fun environment for your dog; happiness helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Also read: Why Does My Dog Pant in the Car?