Carsickness in Beagles: 6 Causes & 6 Tips for Preventing

There’s nothing like hitting the road in your car with your Beagle riding along, taking in all the sights and sounds. Unless, of course, your pet gets carsick.

Carsickness or motion sickness in Beagles is pretty common. It can interfere with the fun of taking your Beagle to different places. It can even interfere with taking your dog to the vet or the groomer.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to greatly reduce and even eliminate carsickness in your Beagle. This guide covers this topic in detail.

What are The Common Signs of Car Sickness in Beagles?

Every Beagle is different and will react differently in a moving car. Some Beagles are super-excited to go on car drives. Others might experience hypersalivation, restlessness, and vomiting in a moving car.

Here are some of the common signs of carsickness in Beagles:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Whining
  • Restlessness or panicked behavior
  • Drooling or hypersalivation.

The above symptoms typically begin as soon as the car is in motion. For some dogs, there is a “breaking point,” which might vary from dog to dog depending on the road conditions (constant acceleration and braking or bumpy roads) and also the duration of the ride.

Many Beagles with carsickness tend to show restlessness even before getting into the car. This is typically the case if the pet has experienced these symptoms before and gets traumatized at the thought of getting in the car.

What Causes Carsickness in Beagles?

There are several possible causes of carsickness in Beagles.

Under-developed Inner Ear in Beagle Puppies

Carsickness is usually more common In young puppies. This is because the parts of their inner ear are not fully developed. 

The inner ear plays a key role in balance. That’s why many young Beagles tend to experience ‘vertigo’ or giddiness in a moving vehicle. Typically, this issue resolves on its own by the time the dog is over the age of 12 months.

Disconnect Between Feeling and Seeing the Motion

Beagles are small dogs. An average Beagle measures around 33-41 cm (or 13-15 inches). This means that most Beagles are unable to look out of the car windows, especially in taller cars or SUVs, since they cannot reach the window height. 

This creates a ‘disconnect’ for the dog, meaning they can feel but not see the motion. This disconnect is what triggers carsickness symptoms in your pet.

A Lack of Conditioning 

Beagles that have never ridden in a car before tend to suffer from car sickness due to a simple lack of conditioning. 

A moving car provides a variety of changing stimuli to dogs which tends to overwhelm them. If your Beagle hardly rides in the car other than to go to the vet twice a year, then the reason behind their carsickness could be a general lack of conditioning.

Anxiety and Stress

Dogs can get stressed just like humans. Some dogs with past trauma could suffer from anxiety and stress due to a change in routine or environment. 

If abused and neglected Beagles or Beagles with past trauma are driven in the car, their already anxious nature could trigger symptoms of carsickness such as nausea, vomiting, etc.

Some Beagles dislike vet visits for obvious reasons. They associate car rides with uncomfortable and painful vaccinations and other medical procedures. If a Beagle is already nervous and high-strung, then simply being driven in a car could trigger carsickness.

Past Trauma

Like humans, dogs can suffer from PTSD or post-traumatic stress. 

Beagles that have had an uncomfortable car ride for the first time will remember the experience and relive the symptoms each time they ride in the car.

Illness/Health Issues or Medicines

Beagles with medical issues like vestibular disease or inner ear infections could be predisposed to nausea. Sometimes, dogs taking medication to treat certain conditions could become nauseous in a moving car due to those drugs.

6 Tips for Preventing Carsickness in Beagles

Use Restraints to Keep Your Beagle In Place

Dog seat belts and restraints can keep your Beagle firmly in place in a moving car. They also stabilize your pet’s neck and torso, which, in turn, could prevent motion sickness. 

Your dog won’t have to correct body movements each time the car turns or swerves, thanks to the restraints.

Additionally, restraints can prevent your Beagle from being thrown off the seat in the event of a crash or sudden braking. This can save your dog’s life.

Use Booster Seats

Dog booster seats work just like the restraints or seat belts described above. Additionally, they elevate your Beagle, which helps overcome the disconnect between feeling and not seeing the motion. 

Once you elevate your Beagle by placing it in an appropriate doggy car seat, they can get a better-line-of sight by looking out of the window. This can help them overcome nausea.

Pay Attention to Your Pet’s Meal Times Before the Car Ride

Vets recommend feeding dogs 2-4 hours before driving them. 

The key is to not have your dog travel entirely on an empty stomach but also not have their tummies so full that they feel ill.

A few dry snacks, chicken, or dry dog food a couple of hours prior to traveling are some great options to prevent your Beagle from feeling queasy in a moving vehicle.

Maintain Optimum Temperature

Unless you are driving in a polluted or dusty area, you could roll down the car windows a bit. This will provide fresh air to your Beagle and curb nausea.

Alternatively, use a heater or AC to maintain a temperature range of 60-70 F (15 to 21 C) inside the car. This is the optimum temperature to keep your buddy comfortable.

Take Frequent Breaks on Long Drives

A little potty break every now and then will allow your Beagle to stretch out their legs and get their bearings on long car rides. 

Plan your trip so you can stop every few hours or as often as your pet needs.

Change Your Beagle’s Perception About Car Rides

In case your Beagle has had a traumatic experience from past car rides which trigger the motion sickness symptoms, you need to slowly reverse the situation with gradual desensitization. 

Try taking your pet out on short rides to fun places like the beach, mall, or dog park, or for a playdate with another dog that your pet is friendly with. 

Once your Beagle experiences enough positive car rides, they will automatically replace the negative experiences and bad memories.

FAQs – Carsickness in Beagles

What can I give my Beagle for Carsickness?

Some vets prescribe Benadryl or Dramamine to dogs having extreme anxiety about car rides. However, it is best to consult your vet before using any medication to alleviate your Beagle’s carsickness. 

Is car sickness bad for dogs?

Some Beagles with traumatic car rides may experience carsickness even on short rides. This can create a negative experience for you, your dog, and your fellow passengers.

How long does Beagle car sickness last?

Beagle car sickness could last the entire journey and a few hours afterward. Most Beagle puppies get over car sickness after they are about 1 year old.

Conclusion – Carsickness in Beagles

Carsickness is typically more common in younger Beagles under the age of 1 year. 

Most get over it after their inner ear develops completely. 

If your adult Beagle is still suffering from car sickness, please use the preventive tips above or consult your vet for the right treatment.