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Dog Anxiety Medications

Mar 28

Dog Anxiety Meds

If your dog's anxiety symptoms are severe, despite behavioral modification, training and homeopathic treatments, medication may be necessary to help ease their discomfort. Fortunately, there are a variety of medications available that can treat dog anxiety safely and effectively.

Your veterinarian will determine the best option for your pet, depending on their particular symptoms. The most common medications for dog anxiety are antidepressants and benzodiazepines. Dogs with situational anxiety, like car rides to the vet or groomer, thunderstorms and fireworks, being boarded, or around strangers will often respond well to a long-acting antidepressant such as fluoxetine (Prozac for dogs). Clomipramine, an older antidepressant, also has been shown to be effective in treating separation anxiety in dogs.

Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam, have a rapid sedating effect and can be used to address short-term, acute anxious episodes or to complement the effects of long-acting antidepressants. These drugs can have unpleasant side effects, so they should be given only as directed by your veterinarian and used in conjunction with other treatment modalities.

For more chronic conditions, your veterinarian will likely recommend a longer-acting antianxiety drug such as clomipramine or fluoxetine. These can take four to six weeks to be fully effective, so your veterinarian will closely monitor your dog's progress.

The goal is to eventually be able to reduce or eliminate your dog's reliance on medication, but some dogs will require lifelong treatment. In these cases, your veterinarian will use the most effective combination of medication and behavior modification.

Other Dog Anxiety Medications

There are many supplements and over-the-counter products that can help reduce anxiety in your dog, but it's important to work with your veterinarian before trying any of these products. Some can have detrimental or dangerous side effects if not administered properly.

One of the most popular supplements for dog anxiety is melatonin. It's a naturally occurring hormone in your dog that can decrease anxiety, but it should only be used under the guidance of your veterinarian.

Dog Anxiety CBD

Another natural option to reduce anxiety in your dog is cannabis-based oil. CBD, or cannabidiol, has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety in humans and is now being studied for its effects on dogs. CBD oil is easy to administer, and it can be mixed into your dog's food or treats. Our team has also found that many dogs will take a CBD dropper or chew toy without any hesitancy, especially if they're associated with a treat they love. It's best to start with a low dosage and gradually increase your dog's dose until you see the desired effect. The most important thing to remember is that your veterinarian should always approve any supplement or medication before you give it to your dog. The same goes for behavior modification and any other treatment modalities you choose to implement with your dog. Always work with a trained and certified animal behaviorist to help your pup overcome their anxiety issues.