Dramamine for Dogs: Anti-Nausea Meds for Car Sick Pups?

By: CertaPet Staff Updated: September 15, 2021

dramamine for dogs

Ahhh, road trips—they’re a ton of fun! Puppies love exploring new places with their owners. But, sometimes, they get motion sickness, just like we do. Cue Dramamine for dogs. This medication helps with the symptoms of motion sickness, from vomiting to dizziness. It’s often recommended to pets by vets. But what exactly is in it, and should you give Fido one of these pills?

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What Is Dramamine? Motion Sickness Pills for Dogs

Dramamine for dogs is a little pill you give Fido before a long car ride. It will help them feel more relaxed and less nauseated. Even if you’re an awesome driver, your pup can feel dizzy and even throw up!

You give them this prescription medication orally. They’re pretty small, so they should be easy to swallow. If they don’t, a trick you can try is masking it in peanut butter or sneaking it into their food bowl. They won’t even notice it.

Dimenhydrinate + Meclizine for Dogs = Dramamine for Dogs?

You may also know this drug by its generic name: dimenhydrinate. Dramamine is the name given to the medication by the company that sells it. But you can find it in pharmacies for a much cheaper price in the generic version.

The drug has two active ingredients: dimenhydrinate and meclizine. It’s considered an antihistamine, just like Benadryl. It’s usually prescribed to humans, but it’s safe for pets, too. While it hasn’t been approved by the FDA for canine and feline consumption, plenty of vets recommend it every year.

Mechanism of Action: How Does Dramamine Work?

Your sense of balance originates from the fluid inside your inner ears. More specifically, in your vestibular system. When you’re in a moving vehicle, this fluid is over stimulated. All the curves, bumps, potholes, and acceleration agitate the vestibular liquid. Dogs go through the same thing.

What do you think happens when all that fluid is moving more than usual? You feel dizzy and lightheaded. In a nutshell, you feel motion sickness!

Dramamine for dogs tricks their body into not feeling car sickness. When you give it to Fido, it disrupts your dog’s vestibular system. But don’t worry, it’s only temporary!

Thus, it won’t send signals to the brain which would, in turn, make the symptoms flare-up. This is why your dog won’t throw up during a car ride. It is also why they won’t bark and howl as much during the trip.

2 Uses for Dramamine for Dogs

Dramamine is most commonly used to treat the symptoms of motion sickness in dogs. It effectively reduces nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. It’s perfect for both pets and humans who plan on going on a car ride soon.

Another use for it is as an allergy medication. Dogs have allergies just like we do. Since Dramamine for dogs is an antihistamine, it helps fight allergy symptoms. Think of runny noses, sneezing, and watery eyes—Dramamine helps with that.

dramamine in dogs

Correct Dramamine Dosage, Side-Effects, and Toxicity

When giving your pup medication, it’s important to know what dosage to give them. Your vet should know exactly how much Dramamine your dog needs. After all, breed, age, and size all influence the correct dosage.

As a rule of thumb, though, you should give your pooch 3mg of Dramamine per pound of body weight. Meaning, a 50-pound dog would need 150mg of Dramamine, while a 20-pound pooch would only need 60mg of the drug.

As with every pill out there, there are side effects. For Dramamine, they include lethargy, sedation, dry mouth, diarrhea, and retention of urine.

It’s worth noting, though, that the vast majority of dogs react well to Dramamine for dogs. When you give them the correct dosage, you shouldn’t run into any problems.

This isn’t to say some dogs may not react well to this canine car sickness drug. There’s always that possibility. If you notice any signs of toxicity, give your veterinarian a call immediately.

Dramamine for Kids vs. Benadryl. Which Is Safer for Your Pooch?

Benadryl is a similar prescription medication to Dramamine for dogs. The main difference is that Benadryl is much more potent.

When you buy Dramamine for kids, you’re getting a weaker dose of the drug. This makes it much safer for small children to take it, as well as for pets. Ideally, this is the version of the drug you want to be giving your furry friend.

Overdose? How to Make Your Dog Throw Up?

If your pup has overdosed on Dramamine for dogs, it’s important to get it out of their system. You can do this by making your dog throw up. Use a 3-percent hydrogen peroxide solution for this.

Here is a rundown of the steps to making Fido throw up:

  1. Have a 3-percent hydrogen peroxide solution at hand.
  2. Feed them one teaspoon per five pounds of body weight by mouth.
  3. Wait 10-15 minutes for the solution to do its work.
  4. Let your pup vomit for around 50 minutes.
  5. If they don’t vomit at all within 15 minutes, give them a second dose.

Make sure to only use this method if your dog has taken the Dramamine within the last two hours.

Some symptoms of toxicity and overdose include vomiting on their own, seizures, and hyperventilation. If your dog is showing these symptoms, rush them to a vet. They could get in serious trouble because of the overdose.

dramamine for dogs side effects

5 Questions to Ask Your Veterinarian Before Motion Sickness Medicine for Dogs!

Next time you pay a visit to the vet office, make sure to ask these questions. They’ll make giving Dramamine to your pup a lot easier.

  1. Can my dog take Dramamine for dogs?
  2. How long before the car trips should I give them the medication?
  3. Is my pup allergic to any of the ingredients?
  4. How should I give them the pill?
  5. For how long does the drug stay in their system?

Other Ways to Avoid Dog Car Sickness

Wanting to avoid car sickness in dogs and cats doesn’t have to mean giving them Dramamine. There are other ways of avoiding this problem.

  1. Take baby steps: Drive extra safely when your pup is aboard and take plenty of walking trips.
  2. Distract them with toys: While it won’t stop the fluid in their inner ears from getting worked up, at least it will stop them from feeling anxious.
  3. CBD oil for dogsCBD isn’t used specifically for motion sickness, but it does promote relaxation in dogs, meaning your pup will be a lot less stressed in the car thanks to the calming effects of CBD. This holistic alternative is completely safe for dogs, won’t get them high, and even offers other potential health benefits like promoting long-term health and supporting the immune system.

It’s fun going on vacation with your dog. What is not as fun is cleaning up the vomit from their motion sickness. The next time you go on a long drive with Fido, give them Dramamine for dogs. It’s completely safe and makes the drive easier not only on them but also on you. Starting your vacation will be a lot less stressful.

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