Do you have a dog that is struggling with anxiety? If so, you may be wondering if trazodone is the right medication for them. Trazodone for dogs is a common antidepressant that is sometimes prescribed to your furry friend. It can be helpful in treating a variety of issues, but it’s important to use the correct dosage. You should never give your dog trazodone without first consulting with your veterinarian.

What is Trazodone for Dogs?

Trazodone is a medication that’s primarily used to treat humans. It’s an antidepressant that’s also occasionally used as a sleep aid. When it comes to dogs, trazodone is most commonly prescribed to help with anxiety or separation anxiety. It can also be effective in treating aggression in some cases. Trazodone works by affecting the brain’s neurotransmitters. This leads to a calming effect for your dog, which can be helpful if they’re feeling anxious or stressed.

However, it is important to remember that trazodone is a human medication and should not be given to dogs without first consulting with your veterinarian. Giving your dog too much trazodone can be dangerous and even deadly.

The recommended dosage of trazodone for dogs varies depending on their weight. As with any medication, it is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions exactly when giving your dog trazodone.

trazodone for dogs infographics

Trazodone for Dogs Dosage Chart

To calculate the correct dosage for your dog, you will need to know their weight in pounds. The following chart lists the recommended trazodone dosage for dogs, based on their weight.

Dog’s Weight (LBS)Recommended Trazodone Dosage
Below 5 lbsAs advised by vet (once a day)
10-20 lbs20-25mg once a day
21-30 lbs50-55mg once a day
31-40 lbs75-80mg once a day
41-70 lbs100-120mg once a day
71-99 lbs150-175mg once a day
100 lbs and above200-250mg once a day

The chart above outlines the recommended trazodone dosage for dogs, based on their weight. Please keep in mind that this chart is only a guideline and your veterinarian may recommend a different dose depending on your dog’s individual medical history.

If you are considering giving your dog trazodone, it is important to consult with your veterinarian first to make sure it is the right medication for them and to get instructions on how to safely give them the drug. Trazodone can be a safe and effective way to help calm down an anxious or stressed-out dog, but it should always be given under veterinary supervision.

Anxiety and Stress in Dogs

There are a number of reasons why your dog may be feeling anxious or stressed. Some common causes include:

Separation anxiety

Dogs who are separation anxious may become agitated and destructive when their owners leave them alone. This is because they are stressed at the thought of being away from their guardians.

Anxiety caused by changes in routine

Dogs who are used to a certain routine may become anxious when that routine is disrupted. For example, a dog who has gotten used to its owner working from home may become anxious and destructive when its owner suddenly starts working somewhere else.

Noise anxiety

Some dogs may be afraid of loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks. This can be a very distressing experience for them.

Situational anxiety

Dogs may also become anxious in specific situations, such as car rides or visits to the vet. If your dog is experiencing anxiety, talk to your veterinarian about whether trazodone may be a good option for them.

Interaction with other animals

If your dog is uncomfortable around other dogs or cats, they may become agitated in their presence. This is especially true for dogs that are protective of their family and property.

trazodone for dogs dosage chart - dog wearing eyeglass and a tie standing in front of charts

Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs

If you think your dog may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety, look for the following behaviors:

  • Excessive panting or drooling
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Panting or pacing around a confined space
  • Urinating or defecating indoors

If your dog manifests any of these symptoms, it is best to speak with your veterinarian about the possibility of trazodone treatment.

Alternatives to Trazodone for Dogs

If your veterinarian does not feel that trazodone is the best treatment for your dog’s anxiety, there are other medications available. The most common alternatives include:

Benzodiazepines such as Valium or Xanax

Benzodiazepines work by binding to receptors in the brain and central nervous system, causing a calming effect.

Acepromazine

Acepromazine is a sedative that is often used prior to anesthesia. It works by blocking signals between the nerves and the brain, resulting in relaxation.

Buspirone

Buspirone is an anti-anxiety medication that increases serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation. Buspirone can take up to two weeks to reach full efficacy.

Each of these medications has its own set of potential side effects, so be sure to speak with your veterinarian about which option may be best for your dog. Treating anxiety in dogs can be tricky, but with the help of your veterinarian, you will be able to find the best solution for your furry friend.

How To Treat Stress or Anxiety in Dogs Without Medications?

If you are interested in treating your dog’s anxiety without medications, there are a few things you can do.

Give your dog plenty of exercises

A tired dog is a happy dog. Therefore, you should make sure your dog gets plenty of exercises. A good walk or game of fetch will help burn off some energy and can help alleviate stress or anxiety.

Create a calm environment

Try to create a calm environment for your dog by minimizing noise and distractions. You may also want to try using calming supplements such as lavender oil, chamomile, or Rescue Remedy. Senior dogs are easily stressed, so make sure to take extra care with them.

Provide positive reinforcement

One of the best ways to reduce stress or anxiety in dogs is through positive reinforcement. Reward your dog when they exhibit calm behavior and avoid yelling or punishment when they are acting out due to their anxiety.

Provide your dog with mental stimulation through interactive toys and games

Dogs also need to be mentally stimulated to reduce anxiety. Try providing your dog with interactive toys or games that will keep their minds active. This can be something as simple as hiding treats around the house for them to find or playing fetch.

Make sure your dog has a safe place to retreat from the world when he needs it

Even dogs need a break. Therefore, you should give your dog a safe space where he can retreat from the world when he needs it. This could be a crate, bed, or even just a quiet corner of the house.

Consider using natural supplements to help calm your dog’s nerves

CBD oil is one option that is gaining popularity for its anti-anxiety properties. You can use it to help calm your dog’s nerves before or during a fireworks display or if he is anxious about something else. There are also many other natural supplements that can help calm dogs, such as chamomile or lavender oil.

If all else fails, that is the time when you should consider talking to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication for your dog. Trazodone is one option that is commonly prescribed for dogs who suffer from anxiety. It is important to note that trazodone should not be used as a first-line treatment and should only be considered after other options have failed. You should also never give your dog trazodone without first talking to your veterinarian.

Side Effects of Trazodone for Dogs

The most common side effect of trazodone is drowsiness. Other possible side effects include dry mouth, constipation, and dizziness. If you notice any of these side effects in your dog, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

trazodone for dogs dosage chart - dog wearing stethoscope

Benefits of Trazodone for Dogs

The main benefit of trazodone for dogs is that it can help to reduce anxiety. It can also be helpful in treating other conditions such as aggression and hyperactivity. Trazodone can also be used to help promote relaxation and calmness in dogs.

Should I Rely on Trazodone for My Dog?

Due to the potential for side effects, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian before starting your dog on trazodone. It is also important to note that trazodone should not be relied on as the only form of treatment for anxiety or other behavioral issues in dogs. Rather, it should be used in conjunction with other therapies such as behavior modification and training.

Related: Melatonin for Dogs

FAQs About Trazodone for Dogs

What happens if I give my dog too much trazodone?

If you give your dog too much trazodone, you may see signs of overdose including lethargy, drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. You should never give trazodone to your dog without first consulting with your veterinarian.

Max trazodone dose for dogs

You can determine the maximum trazodone dose for dogs by following the dosage chart above. If you have any questions about giving trazodone to your dog, please consult with your veterinarian.

How long does it take for trazodone to wear off in dogs?

It usually takes about 12 hours for trazodone to wear off in dogs. If your dog experiences any side effects after taking trazodone, please consult with your veterinarian.

Is trazodone for dogs the same as for humans?

No, trazodone for dogs is not the same as trazodone for humans. The dosage for dogs is much lower, and you should never give your dog more than the recommended dose.

Final Thoughts

Trazodone for dogs is a medication that can be used to treat anxiety, separation anxiety, and aggression. If you are thinking about giving trazodone to your dog, please consult with your veterinarian first. This way, you can be sure that your dog is getting the right dose and that trazodone is the best medication for your pup’s needs.

Aside from trazodone, there are other ways to help your dog with anxiety or aggression. You can also try dog training, crates, and exercise. If these methods fail, that’s the time to consider giving trazodone to your dog.

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by Nicole Barnett

Nicole has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. She has three dogs, two of which she rescued from the streets. When not furiously typing away at her computer, you’d either find her chasing after her adorable dogs and kids, or volunteering at a local shelter.

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