Many dog owners often get worried whenever their dog gets overly anxious or scared when they encounter specific triggers. However, to reduce the anxiety and help the dog feel calm, some dog owners often use medications like Trazodone. While this medication helps reduce anxiety issues, it is also important to know the appropriate dose.
Trazodone is used to treat phobia-related behavioral disorders and anxiety in dogs. The appropriate dosage of Trazodone in dogs is between 1.7 and 19.5 kg or mg; this drug must be administered daily and with meals. Some of the side effects include shaking, hypertension, and reduced coordination.
Many dogs, like people, suffer fear or anxiety at times. Unfortunately, dogs also suffer from extreme anxiety, negatively influencing their quality of life. Modern medicine can help, which is wonderful news.
What Is Trazodone Used For In Dogs?
Trazodone is a medication that helps balance the level of serotonin in the brain and improves behavioral issues like anxiety or stress in dogs. This drug was initially produced for humans to treat depression and insomnia. However, after several experiments with positive results, veterinarians have confirmed that the drug is safe for dog use.
There are several uses of these drugs for dogs. However, it is often advised that the prescription is based on a vet’s recommendation. Failure to do so could make your dog suffer some side effects of this drug. We will be explaining some of the benefits of Trazodone in dogs below.
Calming Dogs Having Anxiety Issues
Trazodone has proven to be effective in helping to manage anxiety issues in dogs. Things like loud noises, separation, and abandonment are common causes of anxiety in dogs. When a dog is anxious, it could begin to engage in some destructive behaviors. So, to avoid this, it is usually important to ensure the dog is calm. A way of achieving this is by giving the dog Trazodone.
Trazodone has a sedation effect that makes an anxious dog stay calm and relaxed. When the dog is calm, you can then even train it on how to cope with the anxiety trigger. Trazodone is only to be administered to a dog before the anxiety is triggered.
For instance, if the cause of your dog’s anxiety is due to separation while you are away, ensure you give your dog the Trazodone some minutes or an hour before you are set to leave. That way, your dog would remain calm when you leave the house.
Treatment Of Insomnia
For dogs having some difficulties sleeping and not getting enough rest, Trazodone could be administered to the dog to help. The drug has sedative and hypnotic effects, which could make a dog get some sleep and rest.
The cause of insomnia in dogs could be stress, anxiety, or boredom, which could cause the dog to stay up whining all night. Regardless of the cause of insomnia, once the dog is given Trazodone, it will surely get some rest.
Helpful For Surgery
Trazodone has proven to be one of the effective medications vets often use to calm dogs during surgery. For instance, when performing orthopedic surgery, the importance of this drug is to keep the dog calm during and after the surgery and to reduce pains. In addition, the drug is also quite helpful in the healing process while the dog is recovering and resting from surgery.
To Control An Overly Excited Dog
If your dog has been acting overly excited lately, and you want to make it calm and relax, you could give it Trazodone. However, if you are not interested in giving your dog a drug to keep it calm, perhaps due to the risks of side effects, you can engage it in some exercises. Once the dog exhausts some energy, it will get tired and probably sleep off after the exercise session.
Helpful For Dogs Having Seizures
This is another valid use of Trazodone in dogs. If a dog is having some seizure attacks and other treatment methods have been exhausted, a dog could recommend using Trazodone for treatment. Using the drug alongside another medication – potassium bromide, could help reduce the number of seizure attacks.
Although, it is usually advised that all drugs should only be administered to a dog based on a vet recommendation. If your dog has a seizure attack, ensure your vet approves this drug before giving it to your dog.
Side Effects Of Trazodone For Dogs
Generally, Trazodone is usually very safe for dogs, especially when the dog’s prescription and dose are given based on a vet’s recommendation. However, despite this, there have been some complaints about Trazodone causing some dogs to display certain symptoms of illness. These symptoms are often the side effects of the drug.
The side effects are more likely when the drug is being administered to a dog in addition to other medications or at higher doses. This could be because the drugs have increased the sedative effects on the dog’s brain. Whenever you notice your dog having some side effects from a certain medication, always ensure you inform your vet. Some common side effects of Trazodone are:
- Panting or increased breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Excessive salivation
- Weakness of the body
- Reduced body pressure
- Reduced coordination
Trazodone Dosage For Dogs
Trazodone is offered in branded and generic forms; the most common tablet sizes are 300g, 150mg, 100mg, and 50mg. When it comes to administering Trazodone to your dog, you must ensure you consult your veterinarian and have the go-ahead to give your dog the drugs.
There is a wide range of dosing for dogs. They range from 2.5 milligrams per pound a day to 15 milligrams per pound in 24 hours. The normal daily dose is roughly 3.5 milligrams per pound. When taken with several behavioral modification drugs, lower doses are used.
Most veterinarians give Trazodone at a smaller dosage and gradually increase the amount after 3 to 5 days to reduce side effects. Another way to dose a dog is to calculate the total milligram values based on its weight. For example, a dosage of 25 mg for 8 to 24 hours is recommended for dogs under 22 pounds.
Before being confirmed as useless, Trazodone must be given to pets for two weeks. The length of treatment is determined by the disease and treatment, the patient’s response to the drug, and the occurrence of any side effects. Unless your veterinarian specifies otherwise, make sure to finish the prescription.
Even when your pet is feeling better, you should follow the treatment plan to the end. If withdrawal symptoms arise, the dose should be progressively reduced. Trazodone should be taken about an hour before any potentially anxiety-inducing stimulation, as it takes 30 to 60 minutes for it to take effect.
Dogs can overdose on Trazodone when they are unintentionally given more or get their paws into the prescription bottle. Put this and several other prescriptions out of reach of your dog. Trazodone overdose can lead to serotonin syndrome, resulting in symptoms like paralysis, blindness, drooling, coma, and death.
Trazodone can interact with various medications, so ensure you inform your veterinarian about all your dog’s supplements and prescriptions. When Trazodone is used with other serotonin-related medicines, the chance of serotonin syndrome increases.
Trazodone is used to treat anxiety in dogs, such as thunderstorm and fireworks phobias, social withdrawals, and to reduce activity following surgery. The medication can be taken with or without food and can take about two weeks to exert a relaxing effect, especially when taken alone. Reduced activity and tiredness are the most typical adverse effects. Call your veterinarian if you detect an overdose.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.