Dogs are known for being loyal, loving companions, and it is no surprise that they fill our lives with joy. However, sometimes dogs can experience depression or anxiety due to a change in environment or other life events. When this occurs, the dog may exhibit decreased appetite, excessive barking, and licking of objects around them.
Trazodone is an FDA-approved drug that has been used successfully in humans for more than 50 years to treat insomnia and anxiety disorders. Recent studies have shown that Trazodone also has an antidepressant effect on dogs, helping them cope with difficult environmental changes.
This article will discuss the essential information you need to know about using Trazodone for dogs.
What is Trazodone?
Trazodone hydrochloride (Desyrel®) belongs to a class of drugs called serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The FDA first approved it for use in humans in 1981. Trazodone is used to treat depression and anxiety disorders, as well as chronic insomnia or other sleep problems. The most common side effects are nausea and dry mouth.
How does Trazodone for dogs work?
Trazodone is an antidepressant medication that is used to treat depression and anxiety disorders in humans. When taken, it helps regulate the brain’s neurotransmitters related to mood disorders such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These chemicals are also associated with the feeling of happiness and reward.
The drug works by altering the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a brain chemical or neurotransmitter that is thought to be responsible for feelings of happiness, joy, and well-being. When there is not enough serotonin in the body, this can cause various symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and irritability. Trazodone helps to increase serotonin levels in the brain, thus improving mood, taking it also can help dogs stay asleep. If you aren’t sure how much of it to administer, you can check out the Trazodone for dogs dosage chart.
Trazodone benefits for dogs
The main reason Trazodone is used with dogs is due to its ability to help manage symptoms associated with separation anxiety or the need for excessive attention.
According to studies published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice and the Journal of Veterinary Behavior Clinical Applications and Research, Trazodone successfully reduces separation anxiety symptoms in dogs.
Studies also show that Trazodone can help dogs with destructive behavior such as excessive barking and licking objects around them. This was demonstrated through a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research.
Trazodone dosage for dogs
The recommended dose range is between 0.5 mg/kg to 3 mg/kg/day given orally. The drug should be dosed approximately 30 minutes before feeding. You may increase the dosage to 6 mg/kg/day divided into two doses per day in some cases.
Adjust the dosage depending on the response of your pet. It is important to follow the dosage recommendations recommended by your veterinarian or certified veterinary technician (CVT). It is important to consult your veterinarian if symptoms persist long-term as that could indicate a different underlying medical issue.
Trazodone side effects in dogs
Like other drugs, Trazodone can cause side effects. The most common side effects seen in dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Other side effects include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Extreme lethargy
- Loss of coordination
- Lack of interest in food or water
- Hiding or avoiding contact with people and other dogs
- Aggressive behavior
If you notice any of the above side effects in your dog, please consult your veterinarian as it may require an adjustment in dosage or even discontinuation of treatment. As with any medication, it is important to use caution when using Trazodone. Never give Trazodone to your dog without the approval of your veterinarian.
Do not give this drug to a dog allergic to trazodone hydrochloride or any of its inactive ingredients. Also, do not give this drug to a dog under the age of 12 weeks. Pregnant and nursing mother dogs should not be treated with this medication.
Xanax vs. Trazodone
Trazodone is a prescription medication that can be used to treat anxiety in dogs, often compared to the drug Xanax. The two medications are similar but not identical. They both help reduce anxiety and stress in dogs, but they work in slightly different ways.
Xanax was first created as a treatment for panic disorder in humans. It is sold under the name of Xanax and is also commonly known by the names Alprazolam and Niravam. When given to dogs, this drug helps to reduce both anxiety and stress. It does this by increasing the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. These chemicals are responsible for feelings of relaxation and well-being.
Because of its ability to produce anti-anxiety effects, Xanax is often used to help dogs experiencing separation anxiety, aggression issues, or who need a little extra boost when visiting the veterinarian or groomer.
Should you use Trazodone?
Our four-legged companions fill our lives with joy, which is why we would like to reciprocate and make their lives as stress-free as possible. Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors, our furry friends might become anxious and afraid. In this situation, there are plenty of ways to help reduce their anxiety levels, and Trazodone is one of the medications that often prove successful in this regard.
After reading this article, we hope you now understand how Trazodone for dogs works and how it could help your pet.