Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Why Does My Dog Drool in the Car? 5 Reasons For This Behavior

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on March 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

Why Does My Dog Drool in the Car? 5 Reasons For This Behavior

While most dogs look forward to riding in the car, some get sick when they do, to the point of drooling and vomiting. However, motion sickness isn’t the only reason dogs drool in the car. Excessive drooling in the car is called ptyalism, but there are a few reasons that it could be happening.

If you’re concerned about your dog drooling in the car and think something might be wrong, you should take them to the vet. However, we will give you a few of the most common reasons for dogs drooling in the car in the article below.


The 5 Reasons That Dogs Drool In The Car

1. Motion Sickness

If your dog is whining, vomiting, licking their lips, and drooling excessively, they may have motion or car sickness. Regardless of age or breed, any canine can suffer from motion sickness when in the car.

There could be reasons for motion sickness that you don’t even know about. For example, the dog might associate car rides with getting vaccines or going to the doggie daycare and being away from you, which could cause motion sickness.

There are medications that your vet can give your pet for motion sickness, but you also need to make them less fearful of car rides. You can start by taking them on short trips to places they enjoy, like your grandmother’s house where they get spoiled with tasty treats.

gray and white Pit Bull Terrier mixed breed dog drooling
Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

2. Tooth Decay/Mouth Disease

Although it’s unpleasant, drooling is a normal bodily function. However, excessive drooling can indicate tooth decay or mouth disease. If that is the case with your pup, you’ll notice them having problems eating because their gums are inflamed and sore.

If your dog doesn’t get the treatment they need, their teeth will start to loosen and eventually fall out. Cuts, bruises, and other injuries to your dog’s gums will also cause excessive drooling. Contact your vet for a full examination if you think your dog is drooling due to an issue with their teeth or gums.

3. Excitement/Anxiety

It is also possible that your dog is simply excited to ride with you in the car. They could also be suffering from anxiety because of some of the issues we mentioned above. Intense emotions can cause your dog to drool excessively. For example, if your dog is afraid of riding in a car, it can cause anxiety and excessive drooling.

Jack Russell Terrier in lounger dog bed for travel inside the car
Image Credit By: FedBul, Shutterstock

4. Heat Stroke

Even when the air conditioner is on in your car, it’s possible that your dog is having a heat stroke. Remember, your dog wears a fur coat all year, and they can’t sweat like you do. Just because it’s cold or comfortable to you doesn’t mean it is to your furry friend.

If your dog is drooling excessively and seems overheated, get them to a cooler location immediately and contact your vet. If they have other worrying signs like hot skin and heavy breathing, head to the emergency clinic right away.

5. Other Possible Causes

You must ensure your dog hasn’t contracted rabies if they’re drooling excessively. It’s also possible that the dog has a foreign object stuck in their mouth, and you can check their mouth to see if anything is stuck in their teeth, gums, or throat. There are also some medications, allergies, and even deformities of the mouth that can cause your dog to drool excessively in and out of the car.

Blue Merle White Pied Female Frenchie Drooling. Off-leash dog park
Image Credit: yhelfman,Shutterstock

How to Prevent Motion Sickness in Your Dog

Now that you know the most common reasons that your dog is drooling excessively in your car, we’ll give you a few tips on how to prevent motion sickness in your dog. First, it’s important to note that puppies are more apt to get motion sickness in a car than an adult dog is, so perhaps your puppy will outgrow it.

  • Roll the windows down to let in fresh air
  • Keep the car cool by running the air conditioner
  • Limit how much food you give your dog a few hours before a trip
  • Talk to your vet about medications that prevent motion sickness
  • About 20 minutes before you leave, take your dog for a walk to relieve the stress that causes anxiety and possible motion sickness

If these tips don’t work for you and your canine pal, it’s best to take the dog to your vet to see if there’s an underlying cause for the motion sickness. Your vet can treat any underlying issues the dog might have that cause motion sickness when riding.

dog riding in the car
Image Credit: antoniodiaz, Shutterstock



There are a few reasons your dog drools excessively in the car. Whether it’s because the dog has motion sickness or is just excited to be in the car going for a ride, you need to be sure that the drooling is nothing serious.

When your dog is drooling excessively, you must check for every possible reason to ensure they’re healthy. Maintaining regular vet appointments to ensure they’re not injured or ill and gradually getting your dog accustomed to riding in a car will help. Your vet can prescribe medications if the drooling is related to motion sickness, and they can provide advice and medicine if the issue is related to anxiety.

Featured Image Credit: Monika Wisniewska, Shutterstock

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.