Separation anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and other related medical conditions are just as common in dogs as in humans. As dog owners, we are responsible for taking care of our little bundles of joy and acting when we observe aggressive behavior or behavioral changes in our beloved pets. Just like humans, your pet is also allowed to take medications when they are ill or if they experience anxiety and depression.
One of the prescriptions medications given in such a condition is Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication. Yes, you read it right. This human medication is given to dogs facing anxiety disorders. But that does not mean that it is a perfect dog anxiety medication because it comes with some serious side effects, which you can find out further in the article and judge whether you want to give your beloved pet Xanax or not.
What To Know About Xanax
As your pet’s owner, you should know that Xanax is a brand name for anti-anxiety medication that also works as an anti-seizure medication for your pup known as alprazolam. This drug treats panic disorders and dog anxiety and performs as a muscle relaxant for your pet. Since this common drug affects the pup’s central nervous system and fights off anxiety issues, it contains potential side effects, which makes it a veterinary medicine, which means it is a prescription drug that the vet can prescribe for your beloved pet.
This type of medication lies under the benzodiazepine tranquilizers group. As we all know, it affects the central nervous system, causing a hike in GABA, an amino acid that puts anxious dogs’ minds in a safe space and provides a calming effect. This drug is prescribed to dogs if they have anxiety due to a triggering event or face thunderstorm phobia, noise phobia, storm phobia, or loss of appetite. So, can your dog take Xanax or not? Let’s find out.
Can My Dog Take Xanax
The dog Xanax comes with potential risks, and giving your pup the dose prescribed for you can cause various health problems. There is no doubt that you can give your beloved pet the Xanax dosage but giving the dose prescribed to humans is not a good idea. You should give your dog an optimal dose of alprazolam that their vet prescribes to minimize the adverse reactions to the medicine.
So, if your little furry friend suffers from some triggering events, noise, thunderstorm phobias, or more that cause them to experience anxiety, then take them to the vet. There are chances that your pup might be feeling separation anxiety and withdrawal symptoms, which do not require such a high dosage of Xanax and can be controlled with natural methods, some natural alternatives, and other dietary supplements. Xanax is great to use as an appetite stimulant and is available in liquid form and tablet form. Still, it has a lot of adverse effects on your dog’s health, so going for a natural remedy is better than opting for Xanax. Let’s learn about the side effects of this calming supplement.
Dogs, Xanax, and Side Effects
Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication, and if the proper dosage of Xanax is not given from the first time of usage, then it can lead to severe side effects of Xanax in your beloved pet. Even with small amounts of Xanax, the possible side effects include kidney diseases and liver disease leading to liver problems and eventually complete liver damage in your pup. Your beloved pet may lose its motor functions and coordination, experience fatigue, and high appetites, and show aggressive behaviors.
So, this type of medication needs proper drug administration to avoid common side effects for your pet. Long-term usage of Xanax can affect the ability of dogs to provide services. Suppose your pup is on some other vitamins, dietary supplements, or medication. In that case, you have to consult your vet before giving them Xanax, as it can cause extremely dangerous opposite effects and may increase the element of panic in your pup. Xanax can also cause physical dependence on the drug, which can cause withdrawal symptoms after discontinuation, including chronic pain, dry mouth, blood pressure issues, vomiting, aggression, and trembling. So, it is better to use alternatives that are not as harsh as Xanax.
Other Alternatives That You Can Give
Suppose your little bundle of joy suffers from situational anxiety. In that case, you can try other alternatives for them without going for medications that they cannot tolerate and that cause them potential risks. You can take advice from your veterinary behaviorist, and after discussing it with them, you can opt for the best possible situation. Your pup feels anxiety when their heart rates increase, and they feel suffocated, where they cannot control what will happen next. In such cases, the only solution they need is your attention and to calm down.
The dog Xanax is not the solution for your pup, especially if they are older or on some other medication, as it can cause a paradoxical reaction which can be quite difficult for you to handle. If you want to give them some medicine, you can try tricyclic antidepressants, which are quite light and do not possess any serious harm to your beloved pet. Other than that, during storms, high noises, and phobic attacks, you can body wrap your pup, hug them closer to you and massage them with constant pressure, so they know you are there for them.
The last thing you can do is give them some calming chewable, which contains stress-reducing ingredients such as CBD oil, chamomile, and valerian root. You can also keep them exercised and play games to distract them when they feel anxious. This behavior modification is also beneficial for pups suffering from separation anxiety as they will get your attention, love, and care.
Dosage And Safety of Xanax for Dogs
Too much Xanax can harm your beloved pet as the medication has several risks and cannot be given without caution. Vet visits during the prescribed period are essential, so your vet can check your dog’s condition and change the dosage of Xanax accordingly. The prescription varies in older dogs, medium-sized dogs, large-sized dogs, young dogs, etc.
In general, if your dog weighs around 50lb, their starting dose of alprazolam drug would be approximately 0.5 mg of Xanax. But another great way would be to start with an initial 0.25-mg dose to check your pup’s reaction to the medication. As prescribed by the vet and regular visits to the vet will set the appropriate dosage of Xanax, which can go up to 2-mg tablets for your pup depending on their condition.
If you have older dogs or dogs that are lactating, pregnant, have kidney or liver diseases, or are diagnosed with glaucoma, you need to be careful when giving them Xanax. If your pup is a service animal again, it can be dangerous over time as it may affect the dog’s scent signal detection, vision, and other abilities.
Xanax is a great drug, but it is not for everyone. This type of medication is typically made to be used by humans, so giving human medication to your beloved pet and risking their life is not a good idea. Cats, dogs, and all other animals have behavior modifications with time, requiring therapy and treatments to minimize their issues and increase their safety.
It is better to avoid Xanax to calm down your pup and go for safer options to help them avoid any future withdrawal symptoms or common side effects caused by the anti-anxiety medication. So, give your pup special treats such as peanut butter, meat, bones, and other treats they love to keep their anxiety down and them away from the Xanax that can cause severe risks for them.
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