Why Does My German Shepherd Drool In The Car? Reasons + What To Do

Having your German Shepherd in your car is necessary when going from destination A to B whether on a trip to the vets, a family trip, or running errands. However, the downside of this is that your German shepherd drools when in the car.

Why does my German Shepherd drool in the car?  The common causes why a German Shepherd may drool in the car include motion sickness, heatstroke, excitement, stress and anxiety, tooth decay, mouth disease, illness, obstruction in the throat, medication they are on, allergies and poisoning. There are some ways you can implement to help your dog and control excessive drooling during car rides.

In this article, we will discuss and show the reasons why your German Shepherd drools in the car and how you can help your dog from drooling to minimize the mess created as well as calming them during car trips.

Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Drools In The Car


Motion Sickness

Just like us humans, dogs experience motion sickness from the movement and swaying of the car.

Motion sickness can make car trips stressful for your German Shepherd which causes them to drool excessively and very uncomfortable.

Alongside excessive drooling, other signs of motion sickness include constant yawning, vomiting, whining, licking or smacking of lips, uneasiness, and inactivity.

Watch out for the signs to know when your German Shepherd is experiencing motion sickness.

Stress And Anxiety

Drooling can also be associated with stress and anxiety your dog feels because car rides mostly relate to uncomfortable experiences such as visits to the vet that they dread as well as the feeling of motion sickness when traveling.

The negative association of car rides to an uncomfortable result causes stress and anxiety which triggers excessive drooling.


Excitement about going for a car ride can also cause drooling. Your German Shepherd may be excited about going on a ride and as a response they may drool, which is quite normal.


The inside of a car can get extremely hot compared to the outside. Also, unlike us, dogs get hot quickly within the car environment because of their thick coats.

Because of increased heat, they become extremely thirsty, and drooling is also triggered as a coping mechanism that happens alongside this.

Tooth Decay or Mouth Disease

Tooth decay or mouth disease can cause excessive drooling.

Periodontal disease and gingivitis cause flare-ups of the gums and drooling. Injuries to the mouth, cuts, bruises, or chipped teeth can also cause drooling.

Having your German Shepherd checked by your vet will help determine if this is the root cause of the drooling. 


Some illnesses cause the production of excessive saliva in dogs. If your dog is unwell, they may drool a lot and this calls for an examination by a vet to determine the illness and treatment provided.

Recommended Reading: Why does my German Shepherd get hiccups?

Throat Obstruction

Throat obstruction as a result of swallowing pieces of things such as toys, sticks, or anything else can make it difficult for a dog to swallow saliva resulting in excessive drooling.

Obstructions can also be a result of the growth of a mass in the throat such as tumors.

Having your German Shepherd examined for this is important especially if you suspect that your dog has swallowed something that requires immediate medical attention to be removed.

Allergies, Medication, and Poisoning

Allergic reactions that your German Shepherd may have can also cause drooling as a response. Your vet can help determine if the drooling is a result of this and help advise on how to manage their reactions to control the drooling.

Medications that your dog may be on can also result in the production of excessive saliva. Any form of accidental poisoning can also lead to drooling as part of the body’s response.

In case you suspect that your dog may have ingested something harmful, immediately take them to the vet.

How Do I Stop My Dog from Drooling In The Car?: What To Do

Excessive drooling can be managed. The good thing is there are things you can do to help your dog with this so that they are not as affected as much. Implement the below to help your dog be comfortable during car rides. 

Managing Motion Sickness

Motion sickness can be managed by having your dog lean forward in their seat during the car ride. This is achieved by having pet car seats that are designed to have dogs in a forward position in the car.

You can also roll down the car window so that there is fresh air that comes in which is also helpful.

Traveling on an empty stomach has also been shown to be helpful and they will less likely be car sick. Travel at least 1 hour after after a meal, however, provide them water.

If motion sickness is the root cause of your dog’s excessive drooling in car rides, your vet can also prescribe mild treatment to control it.

Take Short Rides

Consider making car rides shorter especially when you travel long distances to take breaks. Breaks every 1 hour or two can be helpful.

This will also help counter motion sickness and give your dog a break where they can calm down and relax.

After this, you can continue on with the journey with your dog being relaxed and not feeling so uncomfortable.

Keep The Car Cool

To keep your dog comfortable and avoid heatstroke, keep the inside of the car cool during car rides. Roll down the window to have fresh air come in to cool off your dog.

Have Frequent Car Drives

Try also taking frequent car rides with your dog so that they can get used to being in the car.

Simple rides such as around your block, to the park, or running errands, can really help assist your dog get used to car rides and they will not be as stressful each time they are in the car.

If you can have a larger car with more room for movement for your dog, they will not feel so confined compared to being in a smaller car. This will also reduce car sickness.

Make Car Rides Less Stressful

As previously discussed, a German Shepherd would be dreading car rides because of the negative association they have with it.

This makes them have stress and anxiety which results in drooling responses every time they know they are going into the car.

Try making car rides fun and to create a positive association with them.

You can do this by going to places where your dog will be involved in an exciting activity such as going to the park or whichever place that your dog will have a good and exciting time.

Talk to Your Vet

Talk to your vet about the excessive drooling experienced by your dog while in the car. Your vet will get to examine them and determine the root cause of their drooling.

From this, they will recommend the best way forward depending on the underlying reason.

In some cases, medication might also be prescribed to manage motion sickness. Therefore depending on your vet’s assessment and evaluation they will provide the specific action to take based on your dog’s situation. 

Conclusion: Why Does My German Shepherd Drool In The Car?

A little bit of drooling is normal for a dog but you may have noticed excessive drooling by your German Shepherd every time they are in the car. The common causes of this such as motion sickness, stress, and anxiety or excitement are no cause of alarm. However, other causes such as illness, throat obstruction, or accidental poisoning require immediate medical attention.

Have your vet examine your German Shepherd to determine the underlying issue whether medical-related or behavioral responses to know what you can do to help them during car rides. 

I hope this article helped you know why your German Shepherd noticeably drools more in the car and how you can minimize and stop this from happening. By following the tips provided you should be able to control and stop the drooling to have drool free car rides and make your German Shepherd comfortable as possible during the rides.

If you liked this article you may also like to learn more from the below resources on German Shepherds.

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