Why Does My Puppy Drool When We Take Her in the Car?

Dogs suffering from motion sickness often whimper.
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Taking an animated and peppy puppy in the car can be a daunting experience even if you're fully prepared for the event, with the right safety precautions galore. Being in a moving vehicle is still a pretty new and unfamiliar concept for most young puppies, after all. If you notice your pup drooling during car rides, pay close attention.

Drooling and Motion Sickness

If your puppy drools during car rides, she could be experiencing motion sickness. Salivation is a sign of motion sickness in canines. This drooling often leads to throwing up. Reduced activity is another key sign of motion sickness in dogs. Although mature dogs can experience motion sickness, it occurs more frequently in the youngsters. Thankfully, puppies often cease experiencing it once they reach roughly 1 year in age, indicates Ernest Ward, a VCA Animal Hospitals veterinarian. Just to be safe, however, notify your veterinarian about your pet's motion sickness.

Drooling and Temperature

Drooling in cars isn't always related to motion sickness. If your pup drools when you take her for a ride, consider that it might be a particularly warm or hot day. Consider that you might have the car heater on a particularly warm setting in the wintertime, too. If either of these things apply, your pooch might be drooling because she's seriously uncomfortable with the temperature. Drooling can signify hyperthermia in dogs. Puppies are particularly susceptible to hyperthermia when in warm or hot cars. Other typical symptoms of hyperthermia in dogs include feebleness and fast panting. Dogs sometimes even fall to the ground because of it. If you suspect that your drooling puppy might be suffering from hyperthermia, take her out of the car and get her veterinary attention immediately.

Drooling, Enthusiasm and Anxiety

Your puppy's drooling in the car could also be the result of pure excitement and enthusiasm -- nothing more complex than that. Being in the car, after all, can be a fun event for canines, full of strange and thrilling sights, smells and sounds. When dogs go in cars, their saliva levels increase, according to veterinarian Robert L. Ridgway, author of "How to Treat Your Dogs and Cats with Over-the-Counter Drugs." Felines also experience this. Outside of car rides, feelings of excitement and anticipation in general tend to make canines drool more. When a dog smells his favorite treats, he might drool, for example. On the other hand, many dogs drool when they're overwhelmed by unpleasant feelings of nervousness, fear and frustration. If your puppy cries, shivers and drools in the car, she's likely terrified by her journey.

Other Considerations

Don't always assume your puppy's drooling has anything to do with the car. Many different conditions can lead to drooling in puppies. The teething process, for one, is a major cause of salivation in pups, along with gum pain. Dental issues can also contribute to excessive drooling in dogs of all ages. If your puppy chipped her tooth, you might notice drooling. Gastrointestinal ailments such as bloat can bring upon heavy drooling, too. Make sure that your puppy's drooling tendencies aren't associated with any kind of medical problem by consulting a vet. Note, too, that dogs of certain breeds drool a lot -- think Saint Bernards.