Your dog can suffer from situational anxiety.
This anxiety can be because of car rides, vacuum cleaners, thunderstorms, phobias, loud noises, or your absence.
Your dog’s anxiety can be debilitating to the dog and heartbreaking to you.
You may try different things to help the dog feel better.
You may use prescription medications that treat the same conditions in humans.
For example, you may turn to Xanax after exhausting your resources, such as playing music, positive reinforcements, etc.
Should you give dogs Xanax? Maybe. Xanax can be helpful, but it has other risks.
This post will help you discover everything you should know about giving Xanax to a dog.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax is alprazolam’s brand name.
Alprazolam is an anti-anxiety medication approved by the FDA to treat various panic and anxiety disorders.
It is a controlled substance, so users need a valid prescription to get it.
Xanax belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepine tranquilizers.
These substances target the recipient’s central nervous system, increasing GABA — an amino acid that induces a calming mood.
People use Xanax to manage stress in uncomfortable situations and treat anxiety disorders.
A veterinarian can prescribe it to dogs as an anticonvulsant or anti-anxiety medication.
They may also prescribe it to manage depression, seizures, loss of appetite, post-traumatic stress, and irritable bowel syndrome in dogs.
Can Dogs Take Xanax?
Yes, dogs can take Xanax. However, the Xanax and dosage rules for dogs vary from those for humans.
It is essential to administer the proper dosage, as is the case with prescription medications.
A veterinarian should prescribe your dog’s Xanax intake and ensure there are no side effects.
The vet tells you the amount to give your dog, how often, and the side effects to look out for in the dog.
Xanax can treat severe anxiety cases in dogs.
You can treat mild or moderate anxiety with alternative methods with fewer side effects.
You may also want to give your dog CBD for anxiety or pain. We recommend Diamond CBD for dogs.
The veterinarian will start your dog with a low dose and increase it while monitoring the dosage’s effectiveness and safety.
You may administer Xanax an hour before the event that triggers your dog’s anxiety.
Xanax comes in pill form, and you can give it to the dog with food.
Store Xanax away from direct sunlight at room temperature.
You may store compounded liquid drugs at room temperature or in the refrigerator, away from sunlight.
The specific storage directions differ, depending on the compounding pharmaceutical company. Follow the guidance listed on the medication’s label to store the drug safely.
How Xanax Works in Dogs
Xanax enhances the effects of GABA in dogs.
The neurotransmitter slows impulses between the brain’s nerve cells, inducing a calming effect.
Xanax can treat various conditions in dogs, such as:
- Grief-related depression
- Post-traumatic stress
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Muscle stress
- General anxiety
- Separation anxiety
- Stimulation of the appetite
How Much Xanax Can You Give Your Dog?
It is best to follow the vet’s prescription to avoid overdosing or under-dosing your dog.
Generally, dogs take 0.01–0.05 milligrams per pound every 6–12 hours as needed.
Xanax is often in pill form.
However, the vet can recommend liquid preparation of Xanax for small dogs to make dosing easier.
Xanax Side Effects in Dogs
Dogs can experience these side effects when taking Xanax:
- Increased appetite
Dogs can also be allergic to Xanax.
Monitor your dog for any of these symptoms when you give it Xanax:
- Sudden diarrhea
- Breathing issues
- Facial swelling
Contact your vet immediately to get the dog allergic treatment if you notice these signs.
The dog may also have the opposite reaction when taking Xanax.
This condition is known as a “paradoxical reaction.”
The dog becomes hyper or aggressive after taking Xanax instead of being calm.
Xanax can cause behavior or mood changes that affect the dog’s ability to provide services.
For example, it can impair a guide dog, service dog, or working dog.
Consult a vet before giving your dog Xanax to avoid missing these essential services.
Your dog can also experience Xanax withdrawal.
Prolonged Xanax use can make your dog depend on the drug.
The dog can experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop giving it the medication abruptly.
Some signs you may expect are trembling, vomiting, and aggression.
These signs are less common in dogs taking Xanax than in humans.
It is best to avoid giving your dog Xanax if it has liver conditions or kidney disease.
Does Xanax Interact With Other Medications?
Keep a list of your dog’s drugs and discuss them with your vet before administering Xanax.
This approach avoids potential interactions in the dog’s system.
The medications’ list should include each drug’s name, dosage, and frequency of use.
Combining barbiturate seizure control medications with Xanax can cause severe complications.
Your vet can help you change the doses and monitor your dog if it needs both drugs.
Don’t combine anti-fungal medications with Xanax.
Combining both drugs can increase Xanax’s sedating effects to unbearable levels.
Combining Xanax with antacids can decrease the absorption rate.
Ensure there’s at least a two-hour window between your dog’s intake of these medications.
Take special care when administering Xanax to pregnant or elderly dogs.
You may also be careful when giving Xanax to a dog with liver problems, kidney disease, or glaucoma.
Alternatives to Xanax
You may support your dog through its anxiety without using potent medications, such as Xanax.
For example, you may try other dog anxiety drugs, such as clomipramine. This substance can be a viable alternative for dogs that can’t withstand Xanax.
Massage can also help manage your dog’s anxiety.
Massaging its muscles can reduce tension, increase calm, and boost its mood via affectionate contact.
You may hire a pet massage specialist.
Keeping the dog stimulated and exercised can make it less bored and prevent it from acting out.
This approach can be helpful to dogs that suffer from separation anxiety.
The pet has less time to be mischievous or anxious if it is busy with activities and toys.
Playing fetch can also serve as a helpful distraction when there are loud noises or thunderstorms outside.
Keeping the dog focused on this exercise will prevent it from being worked up by the anxious event.
You may also reduce the dog’s stress and anxiety through dog calming chews with calming ingredients, such as valerian root, chamomile, and CBD oil.
These components can offer a similar calming effect as Xanax without the prescription drug’s side effects.
We recommend Diamond CBD for dogs.
Xanax can be a helpful drug to manage your dog’s anxiety.
However, be careful with its side effects and dosing requirements.
Consult your vet before you administer Xanax to your dog.
The vet can take you through the interactions, side effects, and dosing rules.
They may also recommend alternatives to medications to try before you resort to using drugs.
Follow the vet’s guidelines to ensure your dog is safe and healthy.